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Checking in with Rosie Mosteller

Fast Facts about Rosie Mosteller

Rosie Mosteller is the Director of the Dalton Whitfield Senior Center associated with the Dalton Parks & Recreation Department in Dalton, Georgia.

Run by the Dalton Parks and Recreation Department, the senior center’s travel club offers trips to anyone over 50. Rosie Mosteller came up with the name the Recycled Teenagers for the club, which serves about 2,000 members.

Born: Nashville, Tennessee

Education: National Certification Council for Activity Professionals certification.

Employment:  Mosteller spent many years as a stay-at-home mom before taking a job as the activity director of a local nursing home in 1981. She started working for the senior center in 1984 as assistant director and became director in 1989. 

Family: Mosteller’s husband, John, travels with the Recycled Teenagers. The couple has three children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Hobbies: Mosteller enjoys travel, scrapbooking, photography, bowling and reading.

Travel Profile

On a dune buggy ride in the middle of seemingly endless sand dunes, Rosie Mosteller and her group of 50 were suddenly drenched by a torrential rain.

“The rain was so cold,” said Mosteller, director of the Dalton Whitefield Senior Center and the Recycled Teenagers travel club. “You could hardly see, it was raining so hard. Everyone in my group looked like drowned ducks.”

That soggy moment had the potential to ruin the trip. However, Mosteller’s response illustrates how she developed a wildly successful senior center group travel program. She helped her passengers take a long view of the incident.

“I told them that years from now, this is the part of the trip they’ll be talking about,” said Mosteller. “I said, ‘Right now, it might not be fun. But in a few years from now, you’re going to be laughing.’ And we still talk about that day.”

Mosteller’s positivity has proven contagious. Not only did she convince the group to treat the dune buggy disaster with a sense of humor, but she has also encouraged about 2,000 people over the age of 50 in northwest Georgia to become world travelers.

From the Ground Up

Though these days Mosteller leads seminars about how to run a successful group travel program, her first few years out of school involved little travel or interaction with seniors. She stayed home to raise her three children before taking a job in 1981 as activity director of a local nursing home, which sparked a passion for working with seniors.

During that time, Mosteller developed a friendship with the senior center’s director, who made her an assistant three years later. In 1989, she became director of the facility, which meant the travel program also fell to her.

“At the time, we were just doing a few trips a year,” said Mosteller. “People started coming to me and asking for more trips. I thought it was a good idea, too. I love travel. I could be on the road all the time.”

The program grew from offering a few trips a year to monthly day trips and an average of 15 annual overnight trips.

“It snowballed into this program that is separate from the senior center but still linked to the senior center,” said Mosteller. “It developed because when you ask people what they want to do, they want to travel.”