Filling the lazy, hazy days

Tri-State area students pass summer days with activity

Tri-State area students pass summer days with activity

August 08, 2005|by MARLO BARNHART

Ahhh - it's summertime and the living is easy, or so the song goes. But for many Tri-State students, there are better things to do during the weeks when school isn't in session than just doing nothing.

At Virginia Avenue Baptist Church in Hagerstown, a group of about eight teens and preteens spent one week this summer as helpers at Vacation Bible School.

"It's tradition with our family," said Terry Cassidy, 17, who has been helping set things up each day at the church he attends. "I was ready to do my turn."


Rick Wolf, who attends South Hagerstown High School along with Terry, said he needs the community hours.

"But I am having a good time as well," the 16-year-old said.

Twelve-year-old Alex Keplinger said she just wanted to help out wherever she could. She admitted she, too, was having fun helping the younger children work with crafts and play games.

Deanna Molnar said that once Bible school ends, she will be going to Kentucky on a family trip. Until then, the 13-year-old Springfield Middle School student said she is enjoying her second year working with the youngsters at her church.

"I've known these people all my life," said Behai Tran, 14, a student at Williamsport High School. "All week, we have been making craft plaques and prayer baskets."

Programs - like those at the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Boys and Girls Club - provide learning and fun activities throughout the summer.

Chris Hume, 14, of Martinsburg, W.Va., has been doing some traveling this summer.

"I went to Yosemite National Park with Pat Murphy and two other students earlier this summer," Chris said.

A member of Murphy's photography class at the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Boys and Girls Club for two years, Chris also was to journey to Orlando, Fla., in August for winning a national color photography contest.

Last summer, Chris said he sat around most of the time watching television.

"I didn't want to do that again," he said.

An incoming freshman at Martinsburg High School, Chris said he divides his time between his love of photography and music. He plays drums and guitar.

Erica Bingaman might be only 8 years old, but the Orchard View Elementary School fourth-grader said she wanted to be active during her summer vacation, and she does that at the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Boys and Girls Club.

"I go every day, Monday through Friday," Erica said. She said she really enjoys the activities there during the nine-week summer program.

There are field trips and visits to the library.

"And we go swimming every day," Erica said.

Gavin Washington, 13, is an eighth-grader at South Middle School in Martinsburg. He has been busy as a member of the traveling basketball team at the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Boys and Girls Club.

"We just got back from Williamsport, Pa., where we won four and lost four games," Gavin said.

Additional trips to Baltimore and other locations in Pennsylvania still are on tap for the team before school starts.

"I really like being involved with the team over the summer," Gavin said.

Kailee Bower, 16, is in her second year as a counselor with the 21st Century Learning Center of Chambersburg, Pa., which operates out of Andrew Buchanan Elementary School in the summer.

"This is a state-funded program, which starts each day with breakfast for the kids and then tutoring," Kailee said. This summer, there are between 75 and 80 kids in the program.

After the tutoring, there is lunch, and then the children go on field trips and swimming. The youngsters are between the ages of 5 and 14 and are split up into four groups, with two counselors assigned to each group.

An incoming junior at Chambersburg Area Senior High School, Kailee said she hopes to go to college and study psychology.

"I worked with the program at the YMCA last summer and I really enjoy it," Kailee said.

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