Hot ideas to beat summer boredom

July 26, 2007|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

Why be bored this summer when you could be sloshing down the Potomac River on a whitewater rafting tour, with wine and a concert to follow?

Or learning the craft of painting from an experienced artist?

Or leaping for flying discs in a friendly game of ultimate Frisbee?

Why be bored? There is no good reason.

There are roughly 8 1/2 weeks until the first day of fall, Sept. 23 - or 5 1/2 weeks if you count Labor Day as summer's last day. But any way you count it, there is plenty of time to find fun things to do. Here are a few ideas on how to spend the rest of the season:

Ultimate Frisbee

With cleats on and a stack of fluorescent flying discs resting in the grass nearby, a handful of ultimate Frisbee players gather along the sidelines before a two-hour, Sunday afternoon practice at Hagerstown Community College.


The leader, Nate Buchman, 25, of Chambersburg, Pa., thumbs through the stack of discs before whipping one out and casting it to a teammate across the field to warm up.

Before long, roughly 20 people show up for a game of ultimate Frisbee, a game in which the object is to score points by catching the disc in the other player's end zone.

The Hagerstown team, known as the Hucking Heiskellers, meets every Sunday afternoon at HCC. Competition will start this fall, though the club hasn't finalized its schedule, Buchman said. The Hucking Heiskellers, which formed last year, are among roughly 100,000 ultimate Frisbee players in the U.S., according to the Ultimate Players Association, a nonprofit group that sets official rules for the game.

Charlie Markle, 48, of Brownsville, Md., has been playing ultimate Frisbee for the past 15 years.

"They're all half my age, but I try to keep up any how," Markle said of his teammates.

Hemargiri "Hemu" Arumugam, 18, of Hagerstown, is a North Hagerstown High School graduate and state cross-country champ who occasionally plays with the Hagerstown club.

Arumugam attends Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he juggles his workload as an aerospace engineering major with his duties as a student athlete, competing in everything from the 800-meter run to the 10,000-meter race.

While at school, he makes time for ultimate Frisbee.

"It's a good way to get your (daily) mileage," he said.

If you go ...

WHAT: Ultimate Frisbee

WHEN: 2 to 4 p.m. Sundays throughout the fall and winter, weather permitting

WHERE: The soccer field at Hagerstown Community College, off Robinwood Drive east of Hagerstown.

COST: No fee to join, though there might be fees for tournaments.

MORE: To learn more about the Hucking Heiskellers, Hagerstown's ultimate Frisbee team, go to To find other ultimate Frisbee pick-up games in Maryland, visit the Ultimate Players Association online, at

Paddle and wine tours

Experience is not a prerequisite for a seven-mile, guided canoe or kayaking tour (your pick) along the Potomac River, hosted by River & Trail Outfitters. And even less experience is needed for the wine tasting and the concert that follow the tour.

All summer long, River & Trail Outfitters, based in Knoxville, Md., has been offering its Paddle and Wine tour, which starts and ends at Tarara Winery in Leesburg, Va., said Lee Baihly, chief executive officer of River & Trail Outfitters.

"All you need to do is show up," said Baihly, who said the next tour is Saturday, Aug. 11.

River & Trail provides the canoe - or kayak, if you prefer - and the guides. The winery provides the wine samples. There's a concert at the winery after the tour - usually a bluegrass band, Baihly said.

The suggested age is 16 or older, though wine is only served to those 21 and older. It costs $71 per person or $66 for those younger than 21.

Lunch is not provided on the tour.

River & Trail Outfitters also hosts rafting, tubing and kayaking trips sans wine. Similar activities are offered at Harpers Ferry, W.Va.-based River Riders (

If you go ...

WHAT: Paddle and wine tour

WHEN: 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11. The tour, wine tasting and concert end at around 9:30 p.m.

WHERE: Tarara Winery, 13648 Tarara Lane, Leesburg, Va.

COST: $71 per person or $66 for those younger than 21

MORE: Lunch is not provided; bring your own bag lunch. Reservations are required. For more information, visit or call River & Trail Outfitters at 888-446-7529.

Learn how to paint

If you're not in the mood for giving your body a workout, why not give your brain one?

Washington County Museum of Fine Arts offers several art classes for adults.

"Our oil painting and watercolor classes are the most popular," said Amy Blank-Rowland, museum educator, adding that drawing and clay pottery classes are also offered for adults.

Classes range from six to eight weeks, some held during the day and others in the evenings. Classes are taught by local artists, many of them exhibiting at local galleries, Blank-Rowland said.

Don't know how to paint? No problem, Blank-Rowland said.

Students learn which materials they need once they've registered. Materials and registration costs vary, though materials for the oil painting class, which are more expensive, Blank-Rowland said, are around $40 to $50.

Registration for oil painting costs $90, or $81 for museum members (membership costs range from $30 to $60 yearly).

Watercolor classes begin Tuesday, Aug. 28. Oil painting classes start Wednesday Sept. 5.

For more information, or the full schedule of classes, visit

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