NEITHER RAIN nor wild beasts nor a scavenging cat could keep the Cub Scouts of Pack 618 from enjoying their fall family camp-out, held at Washington Monument State Park in Washington County this month.
Cubmaster Dan Foley led his group of 28 Scouts in weekend activities that included a hike along the Appalachian Trail.
Joining the pack for its first camp-out were Elwin Brown, Jimmy Geiser, Jared McAdoo, Evan Sturman, Kevin Caffrey, Harry Jessell and Brendan Smith.
The adventures began before the Friday night sing-along, when one of the adults noticed a strange shape moving through the brush.
It turned out to be a cat with its head stuck in a potato chip bag.
The adults tried to remove the bag using long sticks.
As Don Stout, the pack's committee chair, described it, "This resulted in an eerie field waltz, as the animal and adults would alternately jump and move across the field."
Bob Wills, grandfather of one of the Scouts, managed to grab a corner of the bag, ripping part of it off the cat.
"Thanks to Bob's cunning, somewhere on South Mountain is a cat with a very attractive potato chip bag necklace," Stout said.
Later that night, campers were awakened by the screeching of two animals on either side of the camp that communicated, Stout said, "in a tone not unlike that of the small, poison-spitting dinosaur from Jurassic Park."
Neither the Scouts nor their leaders could identify the animals.
Outdoor activities on Saturday were followed by evening rain and soggy "s'mores" around the campfire.
On Sunday, pack members visited the Antietam National Battlefield.
"All in all," Stout concluded, "it was a very entertaining and memorable time."
Cellist to perform
Clary's Forest cellist Benjamin Myers will join Ellicott City violinist Sheng-Tsung Wang to perform Brahms' "Double Concerto" during the Columbia Orchestra's season-opener next week.
The concert will be held at 8 p.m. Oct. 31 in the Jim Rouse Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Myers and Wang are part of the Gemini Piano Trio, which performs nationally.
The third member is pianist Hsiu-Hui Wang, Myers' wife and Wang's sister.
The group won the 1997 Baltimore Chamber Music Award and the 1997 Chamber Music Yellow Springs National Competition.
It recently released its first compact disc, featuring the music of Ives and Brahms.
The first person to earn a doctorate in cello performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston, Myers has appeared as principal cellist of many orchestras, including the Concert Artists of Baltimore and the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra.
The Oct. 31 concert will include "Symphonie Fantastique" by Berlioz and "Academic Festival Overture" by Brahms.
While the concert has not been designed for children, students who come in costume will be admitted free.
Tickets are $12 for adults, and $7 for seniors and students not in costume.
Information: 410-381-2004. Tickets will be available at the door.
Several seniors at west Columbia high schools have achieved honors in scholarship competitions sponsored by the National Merit Corp.
Wilde Lake High School has nine National Merit semifinalists, the largest number of any school in the county.
Honored were Matthew Bucknor, Heather Dvoskin, Naomi Feldman, Stephanie Horowitz, Katherine McNamara, Brendan Puls, Emily Timm, Nicole Turney and Karen Wallace.
Seven seniors at Atholton High School were also named National Merit semifinalists: Somendra De, Alexander Horrom, Emily Johnson, Christina Kennedy, Joseph Markson, Elizabeth Steinberg and Daniel Singer.
The National Merit Corp. also sponsors the National Achievement Scholarship Program for outstanding African-American students.
Wilde Lake again led the county with four semifinalists in that program: Matthew Bucknor, Cristin McDonald, Cyrus Lawyer and Nkemkweruka Ohia.
In addition, Atholton senior Marcus Herring is a semifinalist in the program.
Wilde Lake senior Fernando Mosquera is a finalist in the National Hispanic Recognition Program sponsored by the National Merit Corp.
Nationally, about 15,500 semifinalists were chosen based on students' scores on last year's PSAT. Only 7,600 finalists will be chosen.
They will be eligible for four-year scholarships sponsored by the National Merit Corp. and 200 colleges and 400 corporations.
All things must end
With this column, my time as west Columbia correspondent for the The Sun in Howard County comes to an end.
But in every end, there is also a beginning.
New columnist Heather Tepe is eager to step in.
Share your news about people and events in west Columbia by giving her a call at 410-992-4606.
Pub Date: 10/21/98