If it's 8 a.m. on a school day in Hampstead, Roxanne LaVoie will be there -- in blazing orange vest and sunglasses at the corner of Boxwood Drive and Northwoods Trail.
She's Hampstead's school crossing guard, sifting the flow of school buses, cars and a walking parade of families on their way to Spring Garden Elementary School.
At lunchtime, the vest comes off and she goes to work in the cafeteria -- at Hampstead Elementary. "That's where my own kids go," she said.
She's back on the street for the afternoon rush around 3 p.m. In the crowd of 693 students, she's begun to know whom to expect out first and last.
"When Brian Knoerlein is on his way, I know the kindergarten is out," she says.
Brian is one of many upperclassmen -- fourth- and fifth-graders -- who help in the lower grades. He helps kindergarten teachers, said Mrs. LaVoie.
Then it's a quick drive home for her, to find out what happened inside the school that day.
If you're over 60, you'll find lots of friends at the North Carroll Senior Center. If you've celebrated a birthday in September, better still. Seniors celebrating September birthdays are being honored today.
The party, complete with cake and ice cream, follows the noon meal of Swiss steak in tomato gravy. It all starts at 11:30 a.m. at 2255 Hanover Pike in Greenmount.
And you thought carnivals were only in summer? The Manchester Volunteer Fire Company brings back the best of summer with a Fall Carnival Friday through Sunday at the Firemen's Building on York Street.
For three days, there will be family rides, games and a flea market.
The food festival begins Friday evening, when platters of roast beef, turkey, fried shrimp, chicken, crab cakes, pit beef and more will be served from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., while Big Wheeley and the Whitewalls rock the town until 11.
Return on Saturday for breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. until the platters come back at 11:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. The Liberty Street Rodders, Cabin Creek and Reno Brothers provide the music.
Sunday, you can take in breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m., platters again from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and entertainment in the afternoon by Anita Stapleton.
Manchester's pride, its fire equipment, will be on display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
An easy way to support our schools is to take part in the PTA. Bringing the efforts and talents of parents, teachers and children together has made the North Carroll schools successful year after year.
At Hampstead Elementary, if you missed "Back to School Night" last evening, you can still join the PTA. Membership is $2 single or $3 for the family. Call the school at 239-7444 for information.
At Spring Garden, the initial meeting is at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow. Call the school at 374-9202 for information.
At Manchester Elementary, the PTA's "Meet the Teacher Night" was Sept. 15. The group has launched its membership drive; to join call 374-4401.
The monthly card party at the North Carroll Senior Center is attracting 30 to 40 players who pay $4 each for dinner and all kinds of card games "including the deep stuff," says Dorothy Houff, center manager. The next party is Oct. 16, from 2 to 7 p.m. Call 239-6400 to save your place at the table.