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The Chautauqua Tour

Chautauqua Tour, a board game created and manufactured by Susan Trinter

Here is a photo of “‘The Chautauqua Tour” game board, a game that yours truly created, designed, manufactured– against all odd–ably distributed, and marketed in the early 80’s.  It was designed to capture some of the rich legacy of Chautauqua Institution in western New York state and its gated, summer resort community of gingerbread houses. The summer schedule continues to revolve around family, ideals, ideas and the arts. Founded in 1878, Chautauqua flourishes today. [Find current program, schedule, and accommodation  information at www.ciweb.org/].

Why a Game?

To begin with, I wanted to create a special thank you to the cherished hosts and personal cheerleaders for my weekend visits of many years. Anything purchased would be sublime to the gifts of esteem and growth they enabled. So in addition to the wealth of friendship, the vast beauty of that part of the country, I was totally enamored by Chautauqua Institution’s role and advocacy of American education and ideas. So many significant historic figures were regulars – Thomas Edison, Alexander G. Bell, Adoph Ochs to name a few- spending time together and envisioning America’s future from Chautauqua grounds. Chautauqua’s first training for Methodist Sunday School teachers, impacted the development of our public education system. Thomas Edison held a workshop for the deaf- with the young Helen Keller attending. Long before “Oprah”, Chautauqua’s C.L.S.C. (Chautauqua Literary and Science Circle) inspired our young nation to read and discuss literature.  Many national figures chose Chautauqua Institution as the location to engage the country and further discussion on major national topics. FDR gave his “I Hate War” speech at Chautauqua. Yet, at that point in the early 80’s and a centennial later, it was my perception that the devoted generations of Chautauqua families and summer guests were truly losing touch with that history which I cherished.

Writing a book was an option.  But, how would a book keep history alive? Books seldom provide the opportunity and flexibility for families to “learn” together, recollect and share stories while in this case, explore together the many facets of their Chautauqua life.  So, the notion a game came together. It would have a map of the grounds, cards of historic facts, and others with the rituals and traditions that continued over a century, complete with wooden playing pieces and dice.  But, the costs with traditional manufacturers was through the roof for a “limited run” specialty game.  The answer was I had to do it on my own, sole source.  A series of problem solving matters resulted in sourcing and adapting  materials to meet pricing and product aesthetics.

With vision, planning and working “smart” – “The Chautauqua Tour” happened motivated by appreciation.

Where are the ideas that you would like to transform ? What are you waiting for?

~ Susan Trinter

Quality means doing it right when no one is looking”~ Henry Ford