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Ending summer in style

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A hint of fall was in the air.

About 40 youngsters were at Woodridge Park all last week for Summer Slam, the last week of the Cottage Grove Summer Recreation Program.

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Most of the kids have been at various park program sites throughout the summer and attended Safety Camp, Adventure Camp and other events.

But last week was a time for the kids to kick back and enjoy one of the last weeks before school starts.

There were the usual park games, with kickball being one of the favorites, and activities including making snacks such as Jello parfaits.

On Wednesday one of the plastic wading pools used on "water" days this summer was used for another purpose rather than cooling off. When a large bottle of dish detergent is dumped into a pool, and water and sugar added, the result is big vat of bubble stuff.

Armed with wire coat hangers twisted into loops, the youngsters made very large soap bubbles.

Another wading pool became the venue for sailboat racing. Well, they weren't exactly sailboats. The kids made sails out of construction paper, attached them to sticks and secured them to paper plates with homemade Playdoh.

When placed in the water, the kids blew through straws to move the boats. Winners were the first to get their boats to the other side.

The youngsters, from age six to fifth-grade, seem to enjoy being in the parks this summer.

"I like playing with the other kids," said Dalton Allen. "If I weren't here, I'd be home playing video games all day."

"I had fun with the bubbles," said Emily Kronschnable. "I like all the games."

Many of the program counselors participated in park programs as they were growing up.

"It's not boring," said Matt Briggs, whose birthday was celebrated by the youngsters. "It's not the same thing every day and I enjoy the kids."

"I'd rather be with the kids than push French fries," said Kelsey Jorissen. "The co-workers and the kids make it worthwhile."

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Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
(651) 459-7600
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