More Than Just a Place to Practice

Thistle and Heather Highland Dancers More Than Just a Place to Practice

More Than Just a Place to Practice….
THHD has been extremely fortunate to call Caledonia Senior Living and Memory Care “home” for the majority of my highland dance teaching career. The Scottish Home has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I danced at my first Scottish Home Picnic in 1963. My maternal grandparents used to come and entertain the residents of the Scottish Home when they first came to this county in the 1930’s. My parents volunteered in many capacities throughout the years. I have served on the Board of Governors in many capacities throughout the years, including President of the organization. The connection is strong.

You too are connected! We have several opportunities during the year to share our talents with the residents of the Scottish Home, the staff, and the membership and Board of the Illinois Saint Andrew Society/Chicago Scots. The Scottish Home Picnic in August, the ISAS Christmas Party, the Scottish Home Resident Family Christmas Party, and the Scottish Home Resident New Year’s Eve Party are just a few of the annual events that allow us to “give back” to the facility that houses us and provide a storage spot for the vast costume inventory. In addition, we dance at the Feast of the Haggis, the Robert Burns Supper and a variety of other special events that may come up during the year. The partnership is strong.

The Illinois Saint Andrew Society is the oldest philanthropic organization chartered in the State of Illinois back in 1845. The history of this organization is strong. It has survived the Chicago Fire and a fire to the original Scottish Home building. The campus has grown many times including the latest addition of the Caledonia House in 2016. While the name “Illinois Saint Andrew Society” will always be the name of the organization, the name “Chicago Scots” has been introduced as our DBA to better represent to the general public the fact that we are a Scottish organization. With the addition of the Caledonia House, the entire campus has now become known as Caledonia Senior Living and Memory Care, though the Scottish Home name still applies to the building. I tend to use ISAS and Scottish Home more than I use Chicago Scots and Caledonia Senior Living and Memory Care in reference to the organization and the facility, but they are one in the same!

There is so much history in this building! The Scottish American Museum is housed in Heritage Hall and contains memorabilia related to Chicago history as well as the history of the Society. In addition, the Scottish American Hall of Fame lives on the walls outside Heritage Hall and represents many of the contribution of the Scots to our modern world, highlighting inventors, statesmen, business leaders and more. There are currently two books in print that highlight the history of the ISAS and the Scottish American Hall of Fame. Please let me know if you’d like to check out these publications. If you’d like additional information regarding membership in the ISAS/Chicago Scots, that is available as well. Membership in the Society is open to those that are Scottish by birth, by heritage, or by inclination!

There are a variety of additional Scottish resources available to the dancers as well. “Scot in the Box” is a self-contained suitcase full of Scottish “things” that can be checked out for school ethnic fairs, classroom presentations, etc. In addition, there are several boxes of Scottish related books in the class closet that are also available for use for school reports or just to read and enjoy. Please make use of these resources.

By being a part of the THHD community, you are also a part of the larger Chicago Scottish community. I hope that you will embrace that connection and take part in all that goes along with it!

–Nancy Strolle