WESTMINSTER — If you enjoy a good old-fashioned game of checkers now and then, theCarroll County Farm Museum is looking for you.
The Youth Checker Tournament, sponsored by the Farm Museum, will take place at 11:30 a.m. next Wednesday, Aug. 7, offering people ages 12 through 18 the opportunity to play one of America's oldest and most-loved board games.
The tournament, whose format will rely on the number of participants, is the second such event scheduled this summer.
"This is one of the planned activity days that has been added to the Farm Museum'scalendar this year," said Dottie Freeman, a museum administrative assistant.
"We decided that these types of interactive events could enhance the program by making it a more educational experience for young people."
For seven years, the Farm Museum has offered a three-week summer learning camp, which offers youngsters the opportunity toexperience the resourcefulness of those who lived in the 1800s. Additional activities like the checker tournament have been introduced this summer to show visitors another side of 19th-century life.
"This was a popular leisure activity for people who lived at this time," explained Freeman, who suggested the idea for the tournament. "We thought this would be a fun activity for the youth -- showing them how people in the 1800s spent their leisure time.
"We are trying to promote the living history that exists at the museum by scheduling thesetypes of special activity days throughout the summer," she said.
Two junior counselors working with the Farm Museum's learning camp say they look forward to the opportunity to sit down and enjoy some healthy competition be tween friends.
Thirteen-year-old buddies JimmySilfee and Matt Crum are anxious to stare each other down over a tournament checkerboard.
"I want to beat Matt. He is a real good friend of mine," said Jimmy, a West Middle School pupil. "I kind of have this little bet going with him. He doesn't think I can beat him, but I am going to try."
Said Matt simply, "Jimmy thinks he can beat me, and I think I can beat him. I just want to get a good challenge. I haven't played checkers in a while."
Freeman said she hopes that the response to the youth tournament will be better than for the firsttournament, scheduled for July 17. The earlier tournament for adultsnever really got off the ground due to a lack of interest.
"Therewere some people who came out that were interested in playing checkers, but the response was just not what we had expected," she said.
"So far, I do not have any idea as to how many youths will participate in this tournament," she said. "Obviously we are looking for a better turnout than we had at the adult tournament."
Fliers promotingthe youth checker tournament have been distributed to camps and organizations throughout Carroll, according to Sharon Kirk of the TourismInformation Center, who is handling publicity for the event.
County Big Brother and Big Sister organizations and Scout groups also have received fliers, as have the Ag Center and Piney Run and Hashawha parks.
While boards and checkers will be supplied, youth are invited to bring their own game materials. Refreshments will be served.
Cost for the tournament is $1.
Participants can pre-register up until the day of the tournament by calling the Farm Museum at 848-7775 or 876-2667.