Travel and Hostelling Organization Holds Annual Meeting in Rochester

Going to the Royal Park

The Michigan Council of Hostelling International returns to Downtown Rochester for the second year in a row to hold its annual membership meeting. Last year the event was held at the Rochester Mills Beer Co.

This year the event will be July 22 at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester with lunch, business meeting, and musical entertainment.

What is Hostelling?

Hostelling came to America in 1934 and as early as 1936 Detroiters were involved with hostelling under a group called the Southeastern Michigan District of A.Y.H. (American Youth Hostels). A year later in 1937 the group incorporated with the state of Michigan. In 1943 they became an official charter member to the national organization. When A.Y.H. adopted the worldwide name of Hostelling International, the local charter became the Michigan Council of HI-USA.

Today, many young travelers use the hostel network of 4,000 hostels in more than 60 countries as access to a safe and inexpensive way to travel. Locally, members enjoy travel education workshops, outdoor activities and special events.

Celebration for Members

While the business meeting is free and open to the public, non-members are welcome to pay a modest $20 for lunch and entertainment. “We’ve selected the Royal Lunch Buffet” states Sonya Julie, Treasurer of the council, “it has a nice selection including vegetarian options.”

The afternoon will conclude with music and dancing by the Michigan touring band, The Smokin’ 45s Rock and Blues Revue.

This may be the last formal meeting for the local council as its main matter of business this year is to vote to dissolve the Michigan Council.

Why Dissolve the Michigan Council?

The national organization voted on sweeping changes last year and has “asked” all 26 of its local councils across American to dissolve and unify as one larger organization. They will assume all the debts and assets of each council and provide a new platform for individuals and groups to get involved and be engaged as volunteers.

Voting to dissolve allows members to willingly unify, move forward with the changes, and wind down the council on their terms. A no vote would result in the national organization de-chartering the Michigan Council and taking all their assets anyway.

The Future of HI-USA in Michigan

Danny Marx, staff member of the national organization, will be presenting ways “current and future members will be able to engage the community of travelers,” states Marx. The Michigan Council board of directors has asked for this presentation to give members an understanding of how the new structure will operate here in Michigan.

Many life members are use to traditional forms of communication, such as newsletters and phone calls. The new platform will be mostly online, sort of Facebook meets Meetup for travel minded people.

The presentation should help all stakeholders with what will be expected of them and what they can expect from the unified organization.

Want to Come?

All current members are encouraged to come, free of charge. Non-members are welcome to come to the business meeting and presentation from HI-USA. For only $20, non-members may enjoy lunch and music too. Adult memberships are $28 and senior memberships are $18; so do the math, join HI-USA and be part of influencing the community of travelers in Michigan. Here is the schedule for Sunday, July22:

  • 12 noon – Meet ‘n Greet
  • 1:00 pm – Lunch
  • 2:00 pm – Business Meeting & Membership Vote
  • 3:00 pm – Future of Local Engagement
  • 4:00 pm –  Two Hours of Live Music & Dancing
  • 6:00 pm – Wrap-up and Goodbyes
  • 7:00 pm – Event Ends 

RSVP for the annual meeting by Monday, July 16. Email the Michigan Council at or call 248-302-8026.

The Michigan Council of Hostelling International


National Organization of HI-USA


The Smokin’ 45s Rock and Blues Revue


The Royal Park Hotel


Michael Dwyer is a freelance writer and travel columnist. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Michael is also the current President of the Michigan Council of Hostelling International. Contact him at

About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at

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