OLLI at USM offers many diverse activities beyond the classroom. Open exclusively to current OLLI members, our Special Interest Groups provide great opportunities to connect socially with people with similar interests.

OLLI members sketching each other.

List of OLLI Special Interest Groups

To participate in any Special Interest Group, you must be a current OLLI member. Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are not intended as instructional events. Most groups that previously met on campus at Wishcamper will meet via Zoom and not in person. Many programs run year-round, except for July and August.

Sign up for a SIG!

Review the different Special Interest Groups below.
Make a note of any SIGs you would like to join and then go to Registration Information for your next steps.

Try your hand at a new skill on the third Thursday of each month at 3:15 p.m. A group member will demonstrate and lead an activity (fabric and paper crafts, jewelry making, book arts, knitting, crocheting, mixed-media collage, etc.). This group will meet via Zoom until further notice.

FMI: Contact Sue Jennings at jensusa10@gmail.com

If you like to bike, how about joining a group of OLLI members for a ride every couple of weeks with a delicious treat along the way? This group does not meet in the winter months.

FMI: Contact Mark Love at mlove196@maine.rr.com

Members meet monthly to discuss readings from various genres, including contemporary novels, classics, biographies, memoirs, short stories, etc.

FMI: Contact Karen Winslow at kpwinslow#yahoo.com or Anna Messmer at aemessmer@maine.rr.com

Those who enjoy playing bridge for fun are welcome to join this group, which meets weekly.

FMI: Contact Barbara Freeman at bhfreewoman@gmail.com

A seasonal outlet for downhill skiing enthusiasts, the club welcomes new and returning members. Skiers plan trips to area mountains when snow conditions are good and driving conditions permit.

FMI: Contact Lois Winter at loiswinter54@gmail.com to join the email list for notice of upcoming ski trips.

Members read and discuss one work of history each month. Works include social, political, economic, and foreign-policy history as well as biography, autobiography, memoir, and historical fiction.

FMI: Contact Sue Gesing at susangesing@gmail.com or Dawn Leland at lelanddm@gmail.com

Come enjoy good food and good company with fellow OLLI gourmands who meet periodically at local restaurants. Watch the OLLI Newsletter for upcoming dates and locations.

FMI: Contact Barbara Bardack at bravalascala@gmail.com

This group, directed by an experienced leader and supported by a skilled accompanist, meets weekly to have fun with vocal music and prepare for several performances each year. All are welcome.

FMI: Contact Vicki Swerdlow at vicki@maine.rr.com.

Meets twice a month to share and have fun playing a wide variety of ukulele music. All levels are welcome.

FMI: Contact Cheryl Eling at cfeling@gmail.com

Outdoor enthusiasts gather twice a month for invigorating walks in interesting places

FMI: Contact Rae Garcelon at raegarcelon@gmail.com

Shutterbugs at OLLI at USM meet and learn from each other while sharing their love of photography.

FMI: Contact Sharon Roberts at sharonlh@gwi.net.

In addition to having fun making music together, the Recorder Ensemble may also perform at OLLI at USM events and venues.

FMI: Contact Karen Simpson at ksimpson1953@gmail.com.

Each month, this group reads and discusses articles from the latest issue of Scientific American.

FMI: Contact Elizabeth Housewright at ehousewright@gmail.com or visit olliusmsciencediscussion.wordpress.com.

Thespians perform staged readings twice a year at USM and off-campus on several occasions. Senior Players is open to all OLLI at USM members.

FMI: Contact Cheryl Squiers at nenegirl8th@gmail.com or Sidney Lincoln at linck7s@maine.rr.com.

This new walking group strives to get OLLI members outdoors in the Portland area on easy to moderate walks that promote good health, social mixing, and understanding of our natural environment and our cultural heritage.

FMI: Contact David von Seggern at vonseg1@sbcglobal.net.

An OLLI wine enthusiast helps educate your palate during featured wine-and-appetizer pairings at a local restaurant. The group meets at 5:30 p.m. every month or so. Novices and wine enthusiasts welcome.

FMI: Contact Stephen Pelsue at scpelsue@gmail.com if you’d like to join an email list for advance notice of the date, price, and venue.