N.Y. visit triggers a trip through school memories SOUTHWEST--Mount Airy * Woodbine * Taylorsville * Winfield

NEIGHBORS

June 25, 1993|By KATHY SUTPHIN

The score is two down and two to go under the category of daughters who have graduated from high school in the Sutphin family.

After my daughter Nicki's graduation from South Carroll Saturday, I have indulged in a few moments of reflection over her years in school.

What came to mind -- beginning with a kindergarten trip to Baugher's apple orchard in 1980 -- were my numerous experiences with Nicki and a portion of the Class of '93 as a school trip chaperon.

From walking elementary school jaunts in Mount Airy to a deluxe charter bus trek to Florida, I have traveled many miles and counted the backs of many young heads to avoid the ultimate chaperon error, the misplaced child.

Being a chaperon is a really good way to get to know a group of kids and for them to get to know you, especially on a long trip. You learn quickly who can sit still, who likes to chat, who has an abundance of energy, who follows directions, who needs reassurance in new surroundings, and who likes to wander and who doesn't.

No one can return to the status of a stranger once you have seen them with drool on their chins after they've dozed off on a hot, bumpy bus ride.

One of my most enjoyable experiences as a chaperon took place in May when I took a 24-hour whirlwind bus trip with 40 members of the South Carroll High School Chorus to the Big Apple.

The first of many highlights of the trip was hearing the clear, sweet voices of the chorus reach heavenly heights in New York's historic Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

We sampled the best of New York City by taking a guided hike across Central Park, lunching at Sbarro's Italian restaurant, touring the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, questioning a genuine Broadway actor during a seminar, riding the subway and dining at Mama Leone's. The finale of the adventure was attending the Broadway production of "Crazy for You" at the Shubert Theatre.

The unsung heroes of this trip and my other chaperoning experiences have been the teachers. It would be easier to stay at school -- to forget the hassles and the planning it takes to make a successful school trip -- but they do not.

Thanks to many dedicated educators -- such as South Carroll's chorus teacher, Kevin King -- students from kindergarten through 12th grade and their chaperons have the opportunity to travel to different places, share new experiences and create fond memories.

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Hats off to everyone who helped to make the Mount Airy Summer Blood Drive a successful event.

Sixty-one donors turned out to "give the gift of life" at St. James Episcopal Church last Friday, resulting in the collection of 59 units of blood.

Since the American Red Cross estimates three to four people are helped by the collection of just one unit of blood, at least 177 people in the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Region will benefit from this recent Mount Airy bloodmobile visit.

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The Mount Airy Recreation Council will offer area children ages 3 to 14 a week of gymnastics classes next month.

Coach Wendy Shilling will tailor the summer program to the skills and interests of registrants, but plans to offer instruction at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels.

The program will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. July 19-23 at Mount Airy Elementary School. Tumbling and vaulting will be offered to all participants. Boys will also work on the parallel bars and sidehorse. The focus of instruction for girls will be work on the uneven bars and balance beam.

Classes will be either 30 minutes or an hour, and advanced students may wish to register for a second hour. Class times will be determined by the instructor. The fees will be $11.25 for a 30-minute class and $22.50 for a one-hour class.

The registration deadline is July 9. To register, call (301) 831-5345.

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Congratulations to Scott Elliott, who is beginning his one-year term as president of the Mount Airy Jaycees.

Other officers of this active service club for 1993-1994 include Joe Jansen, Faith Bryan, Ruth Muller, and Terri Herko, vice presidents; Gary Hymiller, Sonny Hager, and Richard Muller, directors; Laurie Hager, treasurer; Merry Lynn Barrie, secretary; and John Herko, board chairman.

While many people may be aware of the Jaycees' focus on community service, they may be unaware that fun and fellowship are also very important to the group. Meetings are casual, and a year's calendar of events usually includes zoo trips, a swim party, a pig roast, a road rally, a progressive dinner, Christmas caroling and more.

The Jaycees' July membership meeting will be a covered-dish family picnic.

Prospective members are invited to attend. For information, call Terri Herko at (301) 831-0450.

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