Toadstool Coffeehouse to return in new guise as teen-age club


June 04, 1998|By Joni Guhne | Joni Guhne,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ASAFE, well-chaperoned place for high school students to meet on weekend nights besides the mall is becoming easier to find in Greater Severna Park.

The first center devoted to teen-agers on Friday nights opened in late February: Woods Community Center's Holy Grounds Coffeehouse on Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard.

On June 26, another Friday-night option for 13-to-18-year-olds will open with the resurrection of an old YWCA program popular in the 1960s and 1970s: the Toadstool Coffeehouse.

The original Toadstool on State Circle in Annapolis was for adults only. The new coffeehouse in the county YWCA's Arnold headquarters building on Ritchie Highway will be for teen-agers.

The Toadstool, supervised by YWCA board and staff members, will be open from 6: 30 p.m. to 10: 30 p.m. on opening night and every Friday.

"We feel there's such a need for a safe, chaperoned and legal place for teens to go in this area," said YWCA spokeswoman Debbie O'Banion. "Wood's Holy Grounds Coffeehouse is wonderful and is such a success that it's often packed on Friday nights, with a line to get in."

Toadstool will have a $5 admission, and preregistration is requested. Teens will be able to buy pizza, hot dogs and soda.

To highlight Toadstool's return, the Y plans a Teen Talent Showcase June 26. Auditions will begin at 6 p.m. Monday at the Y in Arnold. Singers, dancers, bands, musicians, poets, comics and novelty acts are invited.

The Holy Grounds Coffeehouse in Old Severna Park is open to high school students from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

"Our program is basically run by a committee of young people," said Woods Community Center director Barb Birkenheuer.

In addition to live music, it offers karaoke night and game nights featuring pool, ping-pong, air hockey and a 60-inch television.

Holy Grounds has a coffee machine for cappuccino and hot chocolate, a soda machine, and bagged snacks.

"The middle-schoolers who attend our daytime middle school program want to come at night," Birkenheuer said, "but the high school kids and the younger ones don't mix well. We are very anxious to be able to open Holy Grounds on Saturday nights for the middle-school kids."

But that takes money that Holy Grounds doesn't have right now. It also takes as many as 10 volunteers a night.

Boating safety

A three-part Maryland Basic Boating Safety Course is planned from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., June 15, June 19 and June 22 at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Tawes State Office Building in Annapolis.

Sponsored by the Friends of the B&A Trail Inc., the course offers the information required to earn the certificate needed by boaters born after July 1, 1972.

Participants must register in person at the B&A Trail Park office on Earleigh Heights Road. The fee is $15. Information: 410-222-6244.

Pub Date: 6/04/98

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