HEAVY RAINS and dark skies contrasted with the lively atmosphere of orientation for camp counselors and volunteers Saturday morning at Piney Run Nature Center.
The 23 counselors and volunteers met to prepare for Piney Run Camp, scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. July 9 to Aug. 3. The camp is in its 25th year.
Naturalist Deanna Hofmann said many of the counselors and volunteers have participated in the program before.
Camp director Adam McCready, 21, led the orientation, which showed counselors and volunteers what will be expected of them. Strong emphasis was placed on the safety of staff and campers. McCready has been part of the camp environment since he was a 6-year-old camper. Since then, he has been a volunteer, junior counselor and senior counselor.
McCready began orientation with a game patterned on the television show "Weakest Link," which focused on facts about the park and the counselors. Contestants were asked how deep the lake is at its deepest point (56 feet) and which senior counselor had hiked more than 100 miles in New Mexico and Colorado. The answer: Erin Taylor.
Senior counselors, most of them college students, were reminded of their responsibilities, including supervising junior counselors and volunteers assigned to their group, overseeing activities and lesson plans, and ensuring the safety of campers and staff.
McCready stressed the importance of the volunteers, most of whom are 14 or 15 years old. Among them is Kevin Toenaboen, who will help keep fishing gear organized.
"Campers seem to bond quickly to volunteers because the age gap between them is smaller," McCready said.
The counselors performed skits about dealing with common situations encountered each summer, such as bee stings, heat exhaustion and controlling rowdy campers.
McCready emphasized that counselors should "be enthusiastic, and be a good role model to the campers."
Park's hawk dies
Piney Run Park's resident red-tailed hawk, Sadie Hawkins, died April 27. She was thought to be more than 30 years old.
According to park naturalist Deanna Hofmann, Sadie had been featured in school programs and "Hawk Talks" since her arrival at the park in the mid-1970s.
Sadie was taken to the park by a local veterinarian. The bird had an injured wing and could not be returned to the wild.
Business group meets
South Carroll Business Association will meet at noon tomorrow at Salernos Catering Hall in Eldersburg.
The meeting will feature networking, guest speakers and drawings.
The cost is $10 and $15 for nonmembers. Information or to RSVP: Rebecca Gootee, 410-356- 2046.
Debra Taylor Young's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.