Active Retirement Association

ARA hikers at Northwood Meadows State Park


Welcome to the
Active Retirement Association

ARA - Expanding Your World

Currently Serving the Greater Seacoast Regions of NH and Maine

Become a Member View Photo Galleries

  • ARA presentation

    Introduction to ARA presentation for Riverwoods residents by Debbi Forster, Kathy Kowler, and Janet Phelps

  • Group food drive photo in front of car


    Kneeling: Gayle Hylen, Deborah Forster, Kathy Kowler. Standing left to right: Ismini George, Bruce Jolin, Fran Houlihan, Anne Marie Jones, Pat Pine, Bob Hylen, Henry Machri, Bill Mahoney, and Anne Kisil. ARA courtesy photo by member volunteer Cathy Schirmer.

  • Bob Hylen giving Police Cheif David Kurz a certificate in front of the Durham Police logo

    ARA President Bob Hylen presents retiring Durham Police Chief David Kurz with ARA certificate of appreciation.

  • Doug and Katie

    Doug and Katie Wheeler are recipients of the 2020 UNH Age of Champions Inspiration Award

  • Carol Selsberg

    Congratulations to Carol Selsberg the 2022 Wildcat Inspirational Awardee

  • Bob hands Penny a certificate

    ARA President Bob Hylen presented Penny Drooker with ARA Volunteer Appreciation Award 2020 taken by Gayle Hylen

  • Ann Beattie gives a presentation
    Wonderous Isles of Shoals - Ann Beattie
  • Bikers in a line on a forested trail

    Cotton Valley Rail Trail, Wolfeboro by Ed Perkins 2019

  • Group photo of bicyclists

    Pedal Pushers By Sandy Rose

  • Group photo of the Stagecraft POD

    Stagecraft POD 2019

  • Group photo in front of ocean

    Walks and Hikes

  • Don Clark being honored at the 2016 Volunteer Gala

    Award Ceremony

  • Deidre Prescott and Bob Hylen

    Deidre Prescott and Bob Hylen

  • Black History Trail Tour

    ARA members enjoyed a guided tour on the Black History Trail in Portsmouth

  • Bob & Gayle Hylen

    Congratulations to Bob & Gayle Hylen 2023 recipients of the UNH Age of Champions Excellence in Volunteerism Award


Congratulations to Bob & Gayle Hylen 2023 recipients of UNH Age of Champions Excellence in Volunteerism Award

Bob & Gayle Hylen

Congratulations to Bob & Gayle Hylen 2023 recipients of the UNH Age of Champions Excellence in Volunteerism Award

Bob and Gayle Hylen, now in their mid-seventies, grew up in Holbrook, Mass. 

In the 1970s, Gayle began volunteer activities that continue to this day. She was the campaign coordinator for State Representative Andrew Card (who later became the White House Chief of Staff),  chaired the Whitman Town Recreation Committee and the Whitman-Hanson H.S. Music Association, managed the South Shore Chapter of Camp Fire and American Heart Association, while also participating in local theater and choral groups. Following retirement and moving to Durham, Gayle has sung in a number of choral groups and volunteers at the Durham Community Church’s thrift shop (ECHO). As a member of the Active Retirement Associations, she served on the Board of Directors for 13 years as the Cultural Tours Director, Hospitality Director while also organizing an art exhibit and food drives during the pandemic.

Bob served as the first President of the Cottages at Spruce Wood Condominium Association here in Durham and has been the President or Vice President of Jordan’s Camps, Inc. in Fryeburg, Maine for 41 years. In ARA, Bob served on the Cultural Tours Committee, was the hike’s coordinator, and was the longest-serving President in ARA’s history.

Bob and Gayle have been married for 55 years and have two children, five grandchildren, and an 18-year-old cat. They love living in Durham and greatly appreciate being  honored to receive this award as the 2023 Age of Champions Excellence in Volunteerism Award.

The COVID-19 Pandemic and How ARA Continues to Adjust

We plan to continue our Spring programs and other activities in person, and the use of Zoom for optional remote access will still be a tool in our toolbox.

However, we continue to be guided by the prevailing CDC Guidelines and will monitor the COVID situation for any impact on the Spring schedule.  Any further changes will be communicated to you via email