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Around Hancock

August 10, 2006

Photo contest a snap for residents

We live in one of the most beautiful areas of Maryland. At lease I think so! Last year, I entered several photos in the photography contest sponsored by the Hancock Arts Council, the Chamber of Commerce, War Memorial Library and the local paper. One was given an "honorable mention."

Sam Judge has been the driving force behind this project and has already announced plans for the 2006 photo contest. Sam is an excellent photographer and many of his snaps are used for the Chamber of Commerce Web site, as well as other Hancock publications. If you want to join Sam in sponsoring a Hancock area photo club, you may contact him at judge.sam@gmail.com.

I have received some wonderful e-mail "postcards" from Sam in the last year. The winning snap from 2005 showed a scene right out of Mark Twain: a young boy fishing at the boat ramp. Copies of this winning photo are available from the Hancock Arts Council, through Sam.

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Monetary awards will once again be offered in the next photo contest, and photos taken in the last five years, or anytime between now and next March, will be accepted. There are three categories: People, Places and Things. So get out those cameras - old fashioned, color, digital or whatever and begin seeing Hancock through the viewfinder or screen!

Vacation Bible School coming to a close

Only two nights remain - tonight and tomorrow - of "SonTreasure Island: Discovering God's Love." That this year's theme for the Vacation Bible School at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church.

This week, more than 50 children, youth and adults are enjoying lessons with a "tropical" theme, focusing on God's love.

Tomorrow and Sunday, the students will have an opportunity to display the crafts they have completed, including some beautiful wooden crosses decorated with sea shells. They will also perform their theme songs. And tomorrow evening, all present will enjoy the finish by sharing in an outdoor communion service and an ice cream social. It's not too late to join in!

Meet the Teachers Night set for Aug. 21

"Meet the Teachers Night" at Hancock Elementary School has been scheduled for Monday, Aug. 21, at 6:30 p.m. Kindergarten and pre-kindergarten orientation will begin at 6 p.m. that same evening.

These are not times for teacher conferences, but are times for your children to take a good look at their school, meet their teachers and for you to get valuable information on what the teachers expect for the coming year.

I always enjoyed these events, as there is time to reconnect with old friends.

The PTA will be providing refreshments, and you will have a chance to support them and find other ways to volunteer to help your school. Remember, the first day of school for Washington County is - gasp - just two weeks from today - Wednesday, Aug. 23.

School getting needed upgrades

And speaking of getting ready for school, the Hancock Middle/Senior High School has been having a facelift over the summer. The greatest and most long-awaited improvement is the installation of a new track! The old track had been increasingly dangerous, not to mention unsightly.

The new track is almost finished and boasts a retaining wall to prevent mud and other runoff in a rain. In addition, the computer labs and main offices are now air-conditioned, the first phase of a plan to air condition the entire school by the end of 2007. The gym floor in the main gym is being refinished, complete with a new "Panthers" logo.

We are always proud of the beautiful condition of our school, kept that way by our wonderful maintenance and cleaning staff. These new renovations will simply add to that "Panther Pride" we take in our local school!

Bicyclists to invade town

Sometime this Friday, a group of bicyclists from "Bike-Aid" will arrive in Hancock.

This group, which is riding across America, is raising money for various causes all having to do with fair trade practice and economic development.

They will spend the night, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, before leaving on Saturday morning to ride east, along the Western Maryland Rail Trail to Fort Frederick, and from there along Md. 68 to Lappans Crossroads.

There they will spend Saturday night at St. Mark's Episcopal Church (yes, the church where I am rector!).

This group is only one of many groups which make their way through our town during the spring, summer and fall of the year. Hancock is becoming well known in the bicycle world, and we always welcome these health-conscious folks!

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