MANY YOUNG adults of Columbia are achieving goals and receiving honors for their accomplishments.
But not everyone realizes that they have spent years of their young lives in the pursuit of excellence.
Take, for example, the dedicated efforts of east Columbian David Buckler, who attends Oakland Mills High School.
David has been in Boy Scouts since he was a Cub and now belongs to Troop 555.
He has earned merit badges, attended local and national camps and is a member of the Order of the Arrow.
In September, 3,000 members of the Order of the Arrow, as well as Scouts, leaders and staff alumni, participated in a "camporall" at Broad Creek Memorial Scout Reservation in Maryland as part of the camp's 50th anniversary celebration.
Jason Bivens, Nentico Lodge chief, reports that Order of the Arrow members helped with crowd control, acted in a camp performance, were hosts for alumni and helped in the renovation of the camp's "Mystic Circle" amphitheater, by seeding the grass and building bench seats on the hill's slopes.
As a member of Baltimore's Nentico Lodge, David was selected to receive the "Vigil Honor" and named "Klamachpin Mikemosset" (quiet worker).
Vigil Honor was created in 1915 by Unami Lodge in recognition of its founder, E. Urner Goodman.
The honor recognizes Arrowmen who have been members for two years and have voluntarily served above and beyond their responsibilities.
As the camp was closing, the 1999 election of Nentico Lodge officers was held, and David was elected vice chief of inductions.
Season of luminarias
Be sure to schedule an after-dark drive through Kings Contrivance Village on Dec. 19.
Jay Cincotta and his committee of 105 street captains -- from about 100 streets -- have worked hard to organize the lighting of luminarias along the streets of the village.
The luminarias are candles, set in sand inside paper bags, that will be set every 10 feet on all the streets in the village.
The tops of the bags are folded down to keep them standing straight.
Many homeowners have made small donations to cover the cost of bags, sand and candles. On the day of the event, from noon to 6 p.m., street captains and their crews will pick up their supplies on the Hammond High School parking lot.
Cincotta estimates that there will be 25,000 luminarias lighted in the evening as an expression of peace and community spirit during the holiday season.
If your Kings Contrivance street has not registered to participate, you can join. Call 301-617-4110.
The committee needs help preparing the sand and bags and distributing them -- an ideal community service project for students, and a get-to-know-your-neighbor opportunity, too.
The young men and women of the Appalachia Service Project are making fresh, fragrant holiday wreaths.
The annual fund-raiser provides money for group members to travel to Appalachia each summer, where they renovate and repair homes.
The volunteers are trained in basic carpentry, painting and the safe use of tools.
They stop in Blacksburg, Va., for a briefing before going to an Appalachian community.
Members of the group belong to St. John the Evangelist and St. John United Methodist- Presbyterian churches in Columbia.
The wreaths, which cost $20, may be ordered at the Oakland Mills or Wilde Lake interfaith centers, after church services or by calling 410-730-8497.
Orders are mounting, and the number of available wreaths is limited.
The wreaths, decorated with bright bows and pine cones, are delivered to the interfaith center that is more convenient for the buyer.
rTC If you place an order with an Appalachian Service Project member, that member receives credit for the sale toward the costs of his or her summer trip.
The group's coordinator, Fred Riedell, reports that 72 members are participating this year -- a far cry from the original membership of 20.
Call today for a wreath that will be beautiful and fresh well into 1999.
A thank you from Oakland Mills High School to the 56 business and professional representatives who took time last month to speak to students on "Career Day."
Careers in computers, electronics, health, law, architecture, public relations, government, journalism, travel and the military were represented.
Receipts for equipment
Students and their families are reminded that the Metro Market grocery store in Oakland Mills is participating in a "receipts for educational equipment" program.
The store, which opened a few weeks ago, has become a part of the community.
If you shop on weekends, you may enjoy the piano playing of Jerry Burnes -- a nice holiday touch for an everyday routine.
Two east Columbia businesses were recognized by the Howard County Department of Citizen Services for their exceptional service to individuals with disabilities.
During an awards breakfast, Drew Sandberg of Colosseum Gym and Fitness, 9159-D Red Branch Road, received the Access Award.