Tag Archives: summer

Summer camp for RCHS club members

The author, 17-year old Danny Thirakul, cheers for competitors in the Mind Olympics   (photo by Gunnar Hatzenbiler, also age 17)

The author, 17-year old Danny Thirakul, cheers for competitors in the Mind Olympics
(photo by Gunnar Hatzenbiler, also age 17)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — SEPT 3, 2014 —

By Danny Thirakul
River City High School Interact Club

Five River City High School students start the new school year Aug. 20 having attended a different kind of summer camp – one that builds not only camaraderie, but character. The Camp RYLA campers are in the River City High School Interact Club, sponsored by West Sac’s two Rotary clubs: Centennial Rotary and Rotary Club of West Sacramento.

Camp RYLA – Rotary Youth Leadership Awards – proved to be a life changing experience for the five West Sacramento Interactors:  Jessica Ngo, 17, Danny Thirakul, 17, Jayne Chong, 17, Eric Arauza, 17 and JuliaMarie Quenga, 17.

Located at Grizzly Creek Ranch in Portola, Camp RYLA hosts “Interactors” from throughout Rotary District 5180. The high school juniors attend the week-long camp courtesy of full camp scholarships from their sponsoring local Rotary clubs. This year, Sacramento’s Pocket-Greenhaven Rotary Club also awarded a scholarship to River City Interactor Jayne Chong.

RCHS Interact Club President Jessica Ngo says the camp experience “makes you feel like you belong, pushes you to be open, to confront your fears, to be confident in yourself and your abilities, and above all be you!”

At the camp, students are sorted into different teams/groups, where they engage in different icebreakers. They also enjoy many outdoor activities such as archery, kayaking, mountain hiking, and swimming. The ropes course challenges campers both physically and mentally, Jayne says. Campers are encouraged to be open and face their fears with the help and support of their team. She said, “My favorite part was the ropes course because it was amazing how many were able to face their fears.”

Other self-esteem building activities include group games such as the Mind Olympics, Cross the Line, and Superhero. Campers also attend motivational speeches by special guest speakers, the camp directors, and camp counselors.

Throughout the week the teens learn a lot about themselves. Danny says, “They broke themselves down to the tiniest atom and rebuilt themselves bigger and better than ever.” While most of campers start out as strangers, by the end of camp, he says, they feel like family.

To learn more about the Interact Club at River City High School, go to:
http://rivercity.wusd.k12.ca.us/interact

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‘Christmas in July,’ from a land Down Under

BY DARYL FISHER, News-Ledger Features Editor

BY DARYL FISHER, News-Ledger Features Editor

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JULY 23, 2014 —

Many years ago I wrote a column I called “Christmas in July” which was about how we should all try a little harder to keep the Christmas spirit alive and well throughout the year, not just during the Christmas season. Although the column went on for 750 words or more, it was actually just an excuse to share the following little poem, penned by Howard Thurman, an African-American author, theologian and Civil Rights leader:

  When the song of the angels is stilled,
  When the star in the sky is gone,
  When the kings and princes are home,
  When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
  The real work of Christmas begins:
  To find the lost,
  To heal the broken,
  To feed the hungry,
  To rebuild the nations,
  To bring peace among brothers,
  To make music in the heart.

Well, if one has had the courage lately to read the front page of any newspaper, the news is certainly not about rebuilding nations and bringing peace to our brothers. Instead the headlines are about civilian airplanes being blown out of the sky, old wars still raging in places like Iraq, Syria, Africa and Afghanistan, a new one starting up yet again in the Middle East where Palestinian and Israeli civilian casualties and deaths never seem to matter, not to mention the ugly scenes on our own Southern borders where too many Americans seem to have the need to express their dislike with our country’s immigration policies by screaming epitaphs at young kids in school buses.

Be that as it may, it does turn out that in quite a few places in the world, Christmas really is celebrated in July, and I was recently reminded of that by the following conversation I had with an Australian friend of mine:

“Australians and New Zealanders haven’t rejected December 25th as being Christmas,” explained my friend, “but many of us simply have two of them, with Christmas in July being called Yuletide or Yulefest. And it is especially popular in our colder areas like the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, where it was apparently started up long ago by immigrating Europeans who associated Christmas with winter. It seems that folks in the Southern Hemisphere are divided between loving Christmas in summer and feeling ripped off that Christmas is typically hot and sticky here and mocks having a traditional white Christmas. You see, even though Christmas in Australia is usually celebrated under air conditioning or by the poolside or at the beach, there is still the notion that a real Christmas should be a winter thing. Nonetheless every year when our hot December rolls around Australian stores are overflowing with Christmas cards and wrapping papers depicting snow scenes with some poor Santa standing around in his heavy Santa suit about ready to collapse from heat stroke. I can’t tell you how many news stories we have every Christmas about some hard-working Santa who has fainted and been transported by ambulance to an emergency room in an effort to get his body temperature back down to normal.”

As our conversation continued I also learned that although Australians still think of turkey and ham as traditional Christmas foods, Australian women don’t particularly enjoy slaving away on hot days in hot kitchens so such things as prawns, lobster, simple salads and cold beer have become quite acceptable Christmas foods in that part of the world.

“Christmas in July has also come to be enjoyed by many Australians because there’s less hoo ha at that time of year,” continued my friend. “The nuttiness of buying lots of gifts which are not really wanted and often end up being `re-gifted’ is not such a problem in July, not to mention not having to deal with all those in-your-face Christmas lights and trimmings and having to listen endlessly to those often torturous Christmas songs on the radio and in stores and malls. So our Christmas in July is minus all the fluff and bubbles and makes that time more meaningful and enjoyable, with no worries about shopping, cooking, washing dishes or sending out cards. I guess I should also admit that having more than one Christmas each year also allows Australians the opportunity to party and pull out the grog, which of course is something we love to do. So I’m no longer so sure that the Aussies and the Kiwis drew the short straw when it comes to Christmas and who knows, maybe you Californians will give Christmas in July a chance someday, too. Believe me, there’s worse ways to spend Christmas than out at the pool or spa, wearing flip flops, eating prawns and drinking a cold beer. Just make sure you don’t volunteer to be Santa.”

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Shop for cheap books & more at ‘Friends of Library’ sale

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER –

The West Sacramento Friends of the Library will hold a summer book sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sat., July 19, and from 10-3 on Sunday, July 20, at the library, 1212 Merkley Avenue.

Hardback books for $1, paperbacks for 50 cents, kids’ books for 10-25 cents, along with special-priced books, CDs, movies and puzzles. On Sunday, prices drop to $3 per bag.

For information or to volunteer, call 375-6465 ext. 4 or email wsfol99@yahoo.com.

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  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Cheap books! Friends of the library host summer book sale July 19-20

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

The West Sacramento Friends of the Library will hold a summer book sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sat., July 19, and from 10-3 on Sunday, July 20, at the library, 1212 Merkley Avenue.

Hardback books for $1, paperbacks for 50 cents, kids’ books for 10-25 cents, along with special-priced books, CDs, movies and puzzles. On Sunday, prices drop to $3 per bag.

For information or to volunteer, call 375-6465 ext. 4 or email wsfol99@yahoo.com.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014