Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Annual Easter Events Planned at Callaway Gardends

Saturday’s Easter Eggstravaganza; Sunday’s Easter Sunrise Service and Brunch offer something for everyone

Easter traditions will continue at Callaway Gardens® this year during the weekend of April 11 and 12, 2009.

Daytime Activities
All ages are invited to participate in the Easter Eggstravaganza Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 11, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT around Robin Lake Beach. Finding thousands of candy eggs, along with some very special prize eggs, will be the goal of guests of every age. The Easter Bunny will visit from noon to 5:00 p.m. for boys and girls to have their Easter photo taken. Bring your own basket or buy one once you arrive. Egg hunts are free with admission to Callaway Gardens.

The annual Easter Sunrise Service will be April 12, at 7:00 a.m. at the Robin Lake Ski Pavilion. This year’s service will be led by Mark Outlaw, senior minister of the First United Methodist Church of Pine Mountain, and will feature an inspirational choir. The natural beauty of Callaway Gardens during the early morning hours serves as a fitting backdrop to this memorable event. Admission is free prior to 8:00 a.m. Guests should enter through the beach gate on U. S. Hwy. 27.

Stay for Brunch
Make this Easter “eggstra” special when you bring your loved ones to Callaway’s popular Easter Brunch for dozens of delicious selections. Callaway chefs will have something to please every palate with choices from scrambled eggs and bacon to Atlantic salmon and roasted prime rib. Guests may indulge themselves with desserts featuring shortbread with peaches as well as other scrumptious cakes, pies and pastries.

Easter Brunch with a special children’s buffet will be served 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in both the Mountain Creek® Inn Ballrooms (reservations required) and Plant Room Restaurant (reservations not accepted). Both will be $28 for adults. For ballroom reservations please call, 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292) ext. 6832 or 706-663-6832.

In addition to this delectable brunch, the Gardens Restaurant and the Piedmont Dining Room will feature special Easter meals. The Gardens Restaurant will offer a limited a la carte menu from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for $30. To make reservations for the Gardens Restaurant, call 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292) ext. 5198 or 706-663-5198. The Piedmont Dining Room in the Lodge and Spa at Callaway Gardens will offer an Easter Prix Fixe menu from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for $31. To make reservations for the Piedmont Dining Room, call 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292) ext. 6857 or 706-663-6857.

For all Easter dining options, children age four to 12 dine for approximately half-price; ages three and under dine for free. Easter menus are posted at Callaway Gardens’ website at www.callawaygardens.com. Taxes and gratuities are additional.

Spend the Weekend
Enjoy Easter Weekend at Callaway Gardens on a Spring Celebration overnight package in the cozy Mountain Creek Inn, relaxing Southern Pine Cottages, secluded Mountain Creek Villas or the luxurious Lodge and Spa. For package information, please visit www.callawaygardens.com.

Callaway Gardens is owned by the non-profit Ida Cason Callaway Foundation. Its 13,000 acres include the Gardens as well as a resort, preserve and residential community. Highlights of the Gardens include a butterfly conservatory, horticultural center, chapel, inland beach, nature trails and special events throughout the year. Resort amenities include nearly 100,000 square feet of meeting space, 931 guest rooms, restaurants, full-service spa, shops, golf, tennis, fishing and more. There is something for guests of all ages to enjoy. For almost 60 years Callaway Gardens has provided “a place of relaxation, inspiration and a better understanding of the living world” for millions of visitors. Callaway Gardens’ mission is environmental education and land stewardship for the benefit of future generations.

Callaway Gardens®, is in Pine Mountain, Ga., 60 minutes southwest of Atlanta and 30 minutes north of Columbus. For additional information, visit www.callawaygardens.com or call 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292).
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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rock Ranch Events: Free Easter Eggstravaganza, R.U.S.H. Weekend

The Rock Ranch "Easter Eggstravaganza" April 4 - 11am to 2pm

It is springtime again and The Rock Ranch is becoming green and beautiful. We'd like to invite your family and friends out to the ranch to enjoy the spring weather on the Cathy family's 1250-acre ranch dedicated to wholesome family fun. The Rock Ranch "Easter Eggstravaganza" will be held Saturday April 4 from 11am to 2pm. Admission is free!

For this special event, you may bring a picnic lunch, or you may choose to purchase lunch at The Chuck Wagon Cafe' (concessions area). We'll be serving hot dog meals and Chick-fil-A Ice Dream.

Over 16,000 Easter Eggs will be hidden and there will be egg hunts for 5 age divisions: Under 2, Age 2 and 3, age 4 to 6, age 7 to 12 and age 13 and up (adults are welcome to hunt eggs).

Be sure to bring your camera to take family photos with The Easter Bunny. Children's Book author and story teller Harvey Wilson will be providing entertainment as he shares "bunny tales" (Easter themed stories). The Rock Country Store (gift shop) will be open and, in addition to toys and gifts, it now features a year 'round Christmas store.

We hope your family will be able to visit The Rock Ranch and Celebrate this most important holiday.

R.U.S.H. Weekend

Another exciting event for 2009 is R.U.S.H Weekend; a 2-day conferance for youth groups. This event will be held on Friday May 22 and Saturday May 23 at The Rock Ranch and it will feature keynote speaker Mark Hall of the band Casting Crowns.

R.U.S.H. stands for Reaching Unchurched Students for Him and one of the purposes of this event is to allow students involved in church activities to reach out to their freinds who are not plugged in to a church family to show them the fun and enrichment a church family can provide. The event is not sponsored by a particular church but its goal is to encourage youth to become excited about the concept of a "church family" and seek involvment in youth activities in their community.

This event will provide informative break out sessions with motivational and inspirational speakers, 3 sessions of praise and worship music led by the band "Fee" and fun activities including a rock climbing wall, paintball, flag football, 3 on 3 basketball and more. A registration cost of $29 per student includes the 3 sessions over 2 days, meals, musical performances, all activities and a t-shirt. Youth groups interested in registering for this event should contact 1-866-991-RUSH. Additional information is available at rushministries.com.

Click Here to view a flyer about R.U.S.H. Weekend at The Rock Ranch

For individual families that are not interested in attending all 3 sessions of the 2-day conferance, tickets may be purchased for the final (musical performance)session for $10 at The Rock Ranch gate. Gates will open for the final session at 6pm on Saturday May 23. This session includes professional sound and lighting and praise music led by the band "Fee". Mark Hall of Casting Crowns will speak, and the musical performance will conclude with a professional fireworks display. For details on this and other 2009 events at The Rock Ranch (such as Celebrate America - June 27) visit http://www.therockranch.com/.

Please click the link below to view a printable .pdf file of The Rock Ranch
2009 schedule of events.
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dive in for a Day of Sea-Themed Activities Celebrating the New IMAX® Adventure, Under the Sea.

It will be Oceans of Fun for All Ages!

Splash into summer and help Fernbank Museum celebrate its newest IMAX® film, Under the Sea. Join Fernbank Museum for an Under the Sea Family Fun Day on Saturday April 4, 2009 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and learn all about sea creatures many people may never see anywhere else.

The Under the Sea Family Fun Day will offer:

Free Souvenir Photos
10 a.m. to noon
Take home your very own free souvenir photo courtesy of our friends at Specialty Imaging International.

Weekend Wonders Ocean Craft
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Create your own coral reef using paper, paint and sponges.

Feelin’ Fishy Temporary Tattoos
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Flaunt your fins with free temporary fish tattoos. (Don’t worry they’re washable!)

Habitat Toss Game
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Surf or turf? Test your habitat skills in this playful game.

Fish Prints
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Create your own fish print to take home using Gyotaku—the Japanese art of fish printing.

Ocean Mural Coloring Station
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Watch an ocean oasis come to life in a coloring craft perfect for little hands.

Shell Search Scavenger Hunt
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Go fishing for answers to shell-related questions and enter to win an Under the Sea Prize Pack.

Georgia Aquarium
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Meet our friends and a special surprise guest from the world’s largest aquarium.

Under the Sea IMAX® Film
11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., Fernbank’s IMAX® Theatre
Explore some of the ocean’s most exotic and isolated undersea locations and experience face-to-face encounters with the mysterious and unusual creatures found under the sea.

Under the Sea Family Fun Day activities are included with Value Pass tickets at Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Value Pass tickets, which include Museum and IMAX admission, are $23 for adults, $21 for students and seniors, $19 for children ages 3-12, $8 for members, and free for children 2 and younger.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History is located at 767 Clifton Road NE in Atlanta. Tickets are available at fernbankmuseum.org or by calling 404.929.6400.
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Atlanta History Center's Sheep to Shawl Offers Fun for All Ages

Springtime has arrived at the Atlanta History Center! Activities are heating up all over the thirty-three acre campus as the gardens and trails come alive with the full bloom of the season.

As the weather continues to heat up, the sheep at the History Center’s 1860s Tullie Smith Farm become eager to shed their woolly winter coats. These furry coats served them well during the chilling winter months, but have now grown too warm for comfort. It is time for their annual celebratory shearing.

Discover “shear fun” at the Atlanta History Center on Saturday, April 11, 2009 from 10:30 am – 4:30 pm during Sheep to Shawl. Visitors of all ages enjoy a day full of exploration as they take a journey back in time to experience antebellum homesteading at the farm and learn the traditional practices for shearing sheep’s wool.

The journey from Sheep to Shawl begins with sheep shearing demonstrations at 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm. Children delight in the receipt of a handful of wool for keepsake before traveling on to other entertaining hands-on activities and demonstrations as the wool is washed, sorted, carded, spun, dyed, and woven into a beautiful shawl.

Sheep to Shawl offerings also include guided tours of the Tullie Smith Farm house. Explore the farm and experience the customary lifestyle and activities of a nineteenth-century Georgia farm. Interact with costumed living history interpreters as they present authentic demonstrations of wool cleaning and carding, wool dying, weaving, spinning, woodworking, blacksmithing, basket weaving, candle dipping, and open-hearth cooking.

Take in the sounds of old-time fiddle and banjo music provided by the Georgia Potlickers while you tour the farm. Listen to Southern folktales spun for the young and old at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm while traditional games including graces, hoops, and egg races are sure to keep the little ones busy. And, don’t forget to make a special visit to the barnyard to meet, Belle, our newest addition to the Gulf Coast sheep family.

Four years ago, the Atlanta History Center’s Tullie Smith Farm became home to three adult Gulf Coast sheep; two ewes (Poppy and Peaches), and one ram (Napoleon). Gulf Coast sheep are one of the oldest types of sheep in the United States and have existed for several centuries. They were brought to the United States by the Spanish, who began to settle Florida in the 1500s. Later importations of other breeds of sheep mixed with the original population, all evolving under the strong natural selection of the native range conditions of Florida and the other Gulf Coast states. Today a small remnant of this sheep population survives. Gulf Coast breed is today on the critical list, according to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. There are fewer than 200 annual

registrations of Gulf Coasts in the United States and estimated global population less than 2,000. The Atlanta History Center is helping to bring the breed back. Gulf Coast sheep are characterized by their refined bone structure a non-wooly face, small body, clean legs and their underlines and are white to dark brown in color. This breed was a favorite of Southern farmers because they have a natural resistance to internal parasites and are adapted to the hot and humid conditions of the Southeast.

After a visit to the farm, guests also enjoy excursions to the tranquil Quarry Garden to discover beautiful spring blooms. Guided garden tours are offered at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. Inside the museum, delve into one or several of the Atlanta History Center’s signature exhibitions. And, in the Garden Overlook at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM, take in the distinctive sounds of the dulcimer as played in traditional music style by In Town Down Home and Sweet and Lows.

Sheep to Shawl is sponsored by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council and supported by the Poppy Garden Club.

This special program is included with the price of general Atlanta History Center admission. For more information, please call 404.814.4000 or visit www.AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/S2S. Girl Scouts can purchase a special Sheep to Shawl patch for participating in the day’s activities. A special group rate for Girl Scouts is available; call 404.814.4062.
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Monday, March 23, 2009

Georgia Youth Shares Epilepsy Message on Capitol Hill

/PRNewswire/ -- Spencer Wyatt of Dacula, GA, will travel to Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 29 through Tuesday, March 31, 2009 to meet with congressional leaders and gain their support for epilepsy public health programs and more research toward a cure for epilepsy.

Wyatt, 8, is one of 37 young people from across the country participating in Kids Speak Up!, a national program coordinated by the Epilepsy Foundation and funded by Abbott Laboratories. The program rallies young ambassadors with epilepsy between the ages of 7 and 16 to personally petition congressional leaders for aid in assuring better access to care, improved public education and more research toward a cure for epilepsy.

"Spencer was selected to participate in Kids Speak Up! to represent the approximately 350,000 children under the age of 15 who are affected by the condition," said Eric Hargis, president and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation. "He is an ideal candidate because of his willingness to speak openly about his experiences with epilepsy despite the many challenges he's had to overcome. His courage is an inspiration to us all."

Epilepsy is the most common neurological condition in children and the third most common in adults after stroke and Alzheimer's disease. Despite modern therapy, about one million people in the U.S. continue to experience seizures or significant side effects from treatment for their epilepsy.

Epilepsy imposes an annual economic burden of $15.5 billion on the nation in associated health care costs and losses in employment, wages and productivity.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Girl Scouts celebrates its 97th birthday

Girl Scouts was founded on March 12, 1912, by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah Ga. and this momentous occasion, which began 97 years ago, has recently been honored by the state of Georgia. On the 97th birthday of Girl Scouts, the Georgia House of Representatives officially proclaimed March 12 as Girl Scout Day across the nation.

Over 100 Girl Scouts from Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Inc. and Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia, Inc. witnessed Rep. Elly Dobbs, who is a Girl Scout alumna and was a Girl Scout troop leader for both of her daughters, presenting and sponsoring the resolution recognizing March 12 as Girl Scout Day. Rep. Dobbs isn’t the only Girl Scout serving in a prominent position within our government; two-thirds of women serving in the U.S. Congress are Girl Scout alumnae.
In addition to meeting Rep. Dobbs and learning more about Georgia’s government, girls had the opportunity to meet Governor Sonny Perdue and to bring him some of his favorite Girl Scout Cookies.

About the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Inc.
Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Inc. serves approximately 40,000 girls and over 16,000 adult members in 34 counties in the Greater Metropolitan Atlanta area, northwest Georgia and Polk County, TN. Girl Scouting’s mission is to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. For more information on how to join, volunteer or donate to the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Inc. call 1-800-771-4046, or visit
www.girlscoutsofgreateratlanta.org. For information on the national organization visit the Girl Scouts of the USA Web site at www.girlscouts.org.
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Thursday, March 19, 2009

UGA to offer wide array of summer camps, activities

From learning graphic design to dancing en pointe, summer camps at the University of Georgia have something for everyone from toddlers to teens in the summer of 2009. Programs range from a few hours in class to several days on campus with the option to stay overnight in the residence halls. Subject matters vary from Newton’s laws of physics to puppet shows about the environment.

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will offer pre-college programs for high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors interested in science, engineering, business, communication and the environment. Information is available at www.caes.uga.edu/academics/precollege/.

The camps, participant grade levels, dates, costs, and deadlines include:

• Avian Adventures, high school juniors and seniors interested in learning about poultry science, June 17–19. $50. Registration deadline is May 15.
• Georgia Plant Science Scholars Program, high school students, June 22–26. $100. Registration deadline is April 17.
• Animal Science in Action, high school juniors and seniors, June 2–3. $75. Registration deadline is May 15.

The college will also offer 4-H camps at Rock Eagle 4-H Center, Jekyll Island 4-H Center, Fortson 4-H Center, Burton 4-H Center of Tybee Island and Wahsega 4-H Center. Information on those programs is available online at http://georgia4horg.caes.uga.edu/camp/.

Community Music School

The Community Music School will be offering private lessons on instruments all summer. They also will hold Kindermusik Early Childhood classes for children from newborn through age 7. Information is available online at www.uga.edu/ugacms for private lessons, or www.ugakindermusik.com for Kindermusik classes. Kristin Jutras is director of the Community Music School, and she can be reached at 706/542-2894 or ugacms@uga.edu.

Department of Dance

The department of dance will host Festival Dance Camp at UGA for dancers age 11 and older. Intended for serious dancers, the intensive dance program will feature ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, hip-hop and character dance styles. Instruction will include classes, lectures and other activities. Campers can attend for either one or two weeks. The two-week sessions run June 14–27 and cost $1,250 to stay in the residence halls or $325 per week for day campers. A single week in the residence hall costs $800. A non-refundable deposit of $100 is due by May 31. For additional information, contact Mitchell Flanders at 770/228-1306.

Fanning Institute

The Fanning Institute will hold a Latino Youth Leadership Program to develop leadership skills in high school-aged students and to encourage the pursuit of a higher education. Leadership Sin Limites! will be held July 25–30 for students of Hispanic heritage age 15–19. A second session in January 2010 is also required for participants.

Additional information, including an application form with required essays, community service and recommendations, is available at www.fanning.uga.edu/program/LYLP or by calling 706/542-1108. Applications are due April 15.

Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel

The Summer Academy at the University of Georgia will offer a series of academically focused summer day camps designed to keep the minds of 11–17-year-olds active during summer break. For camps that last from 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., there is an option to go to Legion Pool until 5 p.m. for an additional $25. There is no Legion Pool option for half-day programs. Some program discounts are available for children of UGA students or employees, parents registering more than one child and anyone registering by April 24. For additional information, contact Jen Schumann at 706/542-7255 or Jen.Schumann@georgiacenter.uga.edu .

A complete schedule of classes is available online at www.georgiacenter.uga.edu/ppd/summer_academy/programs.phtml. The camps, participant age ranges, dates, times and costs include:

• Animation and Graphics, ages 12-17, June 22-26, 8:30 a.m.-noon, $199.
• The Art of Photography, ages 12-17, June 15-19, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., $319.
• Aviation Camp, ages 12-17, June 22-26, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., $339.
• Comic Book, Manga and Cartoon Art, ages 11-17, June 1-5, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., $289.
• CSI Academy, ages 11-15, July 27-31, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., $349.
• Beginning Film School, ages 11-17, July 13-17, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., $369.
• Advanced Film School, ages 12-17, July 6-10, July 13-17, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., $679. • Game Camp! Athens, ages 12-17, July 20-24, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., $369,
• Graphic Design, ages 12-17, July 27-31, 8:30 a.m.-noon, $199.
• Performance, Music Concentration, ages 12-17, July 20-24, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., $299.
• Performance, Theater Concentration, ages 12-17, July 20-24, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., $299.
•Mini Medical School (two sessions), ages 11-15, June 8-12 or July 6-10, 8:30a.m.-3:30pm, $349.
•Robotics and 3D Animation, ages 14-17, June 22-26, 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., $149.
• Robots and Animation, ages 11-15, July 6-10, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., $299.
•Secret Agent Camp, ages 11-15, June 29-July 2, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., $309.
• Technology and Art, ages 11-15, June 15-19, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., $299.
•Website Design, ages 12-17, June 1-5, 8:30 a.m.-noon, $199.

The Georgia Center will also offer the Summer Institute of Reading Development, as one of eight sites across the state. The program is designed to boost reading skills. Additional information is available by phone, 800/964-8888, or at www.georgiacenter.uga.edu/ppd/courses/reading.phtml.

Georgia Museum of Art

The Georgia Museum of Art will host its third annual community-wide outreach program, Art Adventures: Folk Art June 15 - July 17. One-hour workshops will be held at community organizations in and around Athens-Clarke County for organized groups and will be based on folk art from the museum’s collection. Participants will learn about the subjects, techniques and materials folk artists use and create their own art. Registration will begin on May 11. Additional information is available at www.uga.edu/gamuseum/calendar or by phone 706/542-4662.

Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication

For high school students aspiring to work as journalists, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication is offering Journalism Rockstar, weeklong summer camp to be held June 7–13. Attendees will help to produce a newspaper or a broadcast show. They will learn about TV news broadcasting, journalistic writing, graphic design and photojournalism. Seminars will be offered in advertising, public relations, staff leadership, media rights and criteria for applying to UGA and Grady. The program cost is $525 until April 24 and $575 after April 24. Registration deadline is May 16. Registration fee includes tuition, housing in residence halls, meals at the dining halls and supplies. A limited number of scholarships are available. For more information, contact Joe Dennis at jodennis@uga.edu or 706/542-5022. Camp information is also available at www.grady.uga.edu/gspa/Academy.php.

Hugh Hodgson School of Music

The Hugh Hodgson School of Music will hold several summer camps for middle and high school musicians and marching band participants. The camps offer rehearsals, performances, private instruction and classes with UGA faculty. The camps offer the option of staying in the residence halls. Additional information is available by contacting Katherine Isbill at 706/542-2061 or smcamp@uga.edu or at www.music.uga.edu/outreach/camps.php.

The camps, participant criteria, dates, costs and deadlines include:

• Saxophone Performance Workshop, ages high school through college, June 21–26, $495 (to stay in residence halls), $395 (day camp). Registration deadline is May 29.
• Summer Marching Band Camp: (for high school students in twirling, dance, color guard, drum major, marching percussion, band leadership and auxiliary beginner camp) June 14–18, $480 (to stay in residence halls), $380 (day camp). Application deadline is June 5.
• Step Off, day camp for marching band basics for students beginning marching band, June 14–18, $125. Application deadline is June 5.
• Summer Music Camp, for students with at least one year of experience on their instrument, for band, orchestra and chorus: grades 6–12; guitar: grades 6–12; piano: grades 9–12; jazz band: grades 9–12. June 7–11, $495 (to stay in residence halls), $395 (day camp). Application deadline is May 29.
• Summer Music Institute, for rising high school sophomores through seniors by audition only, June 7–11, $495 (to stay in residence halls), $395 (day camp). Registration deadline is May 29.

Marine Science Extension

The Marine Extension Service’s Education Center and Aquarium will present Summer Marine Science Camps in Savannah this summer for participants ages 4–15. The camps will teach participants about science and explore the Georgia coast. The registration deadline for all camps is April 1, and enrollments for camps for children ages 4–12 will be determined by lottery on April 1. The Island Scientist camp is an academically advanced program. Applications are available by contacting Anne Lindsay Frick at lindsaya@uga.edu or 912/598-2355. All forms should be mailed. Faxed and e-mailed forms will not be accepted. Additional information about the camps is available at www.marex.uga.edu/aquarium/summerCamps.html.

The camps, participant age range, dates, times and costs include:

• Fish Fry, age 4, July 21–23, morning session, 8:30–11:30 a.m., or afternoon session, 1–4 p.m. $75 per session.
• Sea Squirts, ages 5–6, July 13–July 17, 9 a.m.–2 p.m., $205.
• Sea Camp, ages 7–8, session 1: June 8–12, session 2: July 27–31, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., $230 per session.
• Salty Dawgs, ages 9–10, June 15–19, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., $275.
• Estuary Explorers, ages 11–12, June 22–26, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., $275.
• Island Scientist, ages 13–15, July 6–10, 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m., $370, application, essays, previous camp experience and letters of recommendation required.

McPhaul Center

The Child Development Lab at the McPhaul Child and Family Development Center has a few spots left in its summer camp program for children who will enter kindergarten and first grade in the fall. The program will have two sessions: May 26–June 19 and June 22–July 24. After a $50 registration fee (or $80 fee for both sessions), the sessions cost $160 a week. The camp will include field trips and activities like bowling and reptile and amphibian outreach. Additional information is available by phone at 706/542-4929.

Sports camps

Several athletic camps will be offered on campus this summer, including basketball, cheerleading, football, golf, gymnastics, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field and volleyball. More complete information is available online at http://www.georgiadogs.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=8800&ATCLID=299636.

State Botanical Garden

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia will host several summer camps for children ages 3–8. Campers will learn about earthworms, streams and rivers and several other nature-related topics. Each camp will include crafts, puppet shows and indoor and outdoor activities including garden explorations. The botanical garden also offers summer camp junior counselor positions for children ages 13–17. Additional information is available by phone, 706/542-1244, or at www.uga.edu/botgarden/educationalevents.html by clicking on “Summer Camps.”

The camps, participant age ranges, dates, times and costs include:

• Garden Earth I, ages 5–8, June 8–12, June 15–19, 9 a.m.–noon, $95 ($85 for garden members).
• Garden Earth II, ages 5–8, July 6–10, July 13–17, 9 a.m.–noon, $95 ($85 for garden members).
• Sweet Pea Club, ages 3–4 plus parent or grandparent helper, June 22–26, 9–11 a.m., $110 ($100 for garden members), additional children: $60 ($55 for garden members).

Torrance Center

The College of Education’s Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development will host Camp Invention for children entering grades 1-6. Campers will learn about Newton’s three laws of physics and participate in inventive modules, including creating miniature amusement park rides. The camp will be June 1–5 from 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m. in Aderhold Hall. Camp is limited to 110 children and the registration fee is $185 ($110 before March 31). For more information, contact Elizabeth Connell at connelle@uga.edu, or call 800/968-4332 or go to www.campinvention.org.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

CPSC Warns that 9 Out of 10 Unintentional Child Poisonings Occur in the Home

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Each year, unintentional poisonings from consumer products commonly found in the home kill about 30 children and prompt more than 2 million calls to the nation's poison control centers. More than 90% of these calls involve poisonings in the home. On average, each year an estimated 80,000 children are treated in hospital emergency departments for unintentional poisonings.

This year's 48th observance of National Poison Prevention Week, which is March 15-21, aims to help prevent those childhood poisonings. As one of the longest running public health campaigns, National Poison Prevention Week has contributed to the more than 80% reduction in the number of deaths related to poisonings (down from 216 in 1972). While there has been a significant decrease in deaths, studies show that unintentional child poisonings still remain a serious concern.

Children younger than age 5 account for the majority of the non-fatal poisonings. A recent review conducted by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission staff found that 70% of poisonings involve children 1 to 2 years of age. Oral prescription drugs, non prescription drugs and supplements were involved in more than half of the incidents.

"Awareness and action are the keys to preventing unintentional poisonings," said CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord. "Children act fast. So do poisons. That's why we urge parents, grandparents and caregivers to have layers of poison prevention protection in the home."

CPSC recommends that parents and caregivers immediately take these three steps. First, keep medicines and household chemicals in their original, child-resistant containers. Second, store the potentially hazardous substances up and out of a child's sight and reach. And lastly, keep the National toll-free poison control center telephone number, 800-222-1222, handy in case of a poison emergency.

Additional poison prevention tips to check during National Poison Prevention Week:

-- When hazardous products are in use, never let young children out of
your sight, even if you must take them along when answering the phone
or doorbell.
-- Keep items closed and in their original containers.
-- Leave the original labels on all products, and read the label before
-- Always leave the light on when giving or taking medicine so that you
can see what you are taking. Check the dosage every time.
-- Avoid taking medicine in front of children. Refer to medicine as
"medicine," not "candy."
-- Clean out the medicine cabinet periodically and safely dispose of
unneeded and outdated medicines.
-- Do not put decorative lamps and candles that contain lamp oil where
children can reach them. Lamp oil can be very toxic if ingested by
young children.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Teaching Preschoolers To Love The Earth

(NAPSI)-It can be easy to help preschoolers love the Earth and learn to "be green." Since young children are naturally drawn to living things, try some of the following ideas to support their curiosity and wonderment about nature and the environment.

What It Means To "Be Green"

Explain to your child that "being green" can mean doing things that are friendly to living things in nature such as plants and animals.

Keep A Nature Journal

Provide a journal so your child can spend time playing outside and drawing pictures of all the interesting and beautiful things in nature.

Take A Closer Look

Go on a nature investigation and look closely at different kinds of insects, plants or rocks at a local park or right in your own neighborhood. Are there things your child notices that weren't noticed before? Talk about what it looks like, feels like and moves like and why they think it's there.

Learn From Friends

Check out a DVD such as "Being Green" from Genius Products and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind "Sesame Street." It features actor Paul Rudd as he plays Mr. Earth and teaches Elmo and Abby Cadabby how to feel connected to the Earth by conserving water and energy and enjoying the wonderment of nature. Young viewers get a special thrill when, in her desire to help Elmo to be more "green," Abby accidentally turns Elmo the color green-and can't remember how to change him back. Lots of fun ensues as Abby is eventually able to poof Elmo red again and Cookie Monster, Rosita, and Telly Monster pitch in, pledging to be eco friendly with ways that help the planet.

Choose to reuse!

Encourage your child to think of fun and creative ways to reuse materials such as paper bags, plastic containers, magazines or cereal boxes.

Thank You, Tree

Find a tree in your neighborhood and examine the different parts of the tree, including the leaves, branches and roots. Talk together about how trees help us and how we can help trees.

How Do Foods Grow?

With your child, plant fruit and vegetable seeds in your backyard or in a few flower pots inside your own kitchen. Encourage your child to take care of the plant and watch it grow until it's ripe enough to eat.

Keep Our Neighborhood Clean

Have a conversation about why it's important to not litter and to put trash where it belongs. For example, a park or sidewalk can be home to many insects, plants and animals. We can all show that we care for them by doing our part to keep our neighborhoods clean and beautiful.

For more information, visit www.sesameworkshop.org.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Tommy Lau Earns Eagle Scout Rank

Tommy Lau and Scoutmaster Danny McCranie

Congratulations To Troop 175's 112th Eagle Scout!

Last Tuesday evening, March 10, Tommy Lau appeared before the District Eagle Board of Review and was successful in his final step to the Eagle Summit!

Congratulations also go out to Tommy’s proud parents, Tommy and Tracey Lau!


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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Children's Bath Products Contaminated With Formaldehyde, 1,4-Dioxane

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Despite marketing claims like "gentle" and "pure," dozens of top-selling children's bath products are contaminated with the cancer-causing chemicals formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, according to product test results released today by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. The chemicals were not disclosed on product labels because contaminants are exempt from labeling laws.

This study is the first to document the widespread presence of both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane in children's bath products. Many products contained both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, including Johnson's Baby Shampoo and Sesame Street Bubble Bath.

Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane are known to cause cancer in animals and are listed as probable human carcinogens by the EPA. Formaldehyde can also trigger skin rashes in some children.

"Given the recent data showing that formaldehyde and the formaldehyde-releasing preservative, quaternium-15, are significant sensitizers and causal agents of contact dermatitis in children, it would be prudent to have these removed from children's products," said Sharon Jacob, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of California San Diego and contact dermatitis specialist at Rady Children's Hospital.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that "the presence of 1,4-dioxane, even as a trace contaminant, is cause for concern."

Contrary to industry statements, no regulatory standards limit formaldehyde or 1,4-dioxane in personal care products sold in the U.S. Formaldehyde is banned from personal care products in Japan and Sweden. The EU bans 1,4-dioxane from personal care products and has recalled products found to contain the chemical.

There are signs the U.S. is gearing to catch up. Key Congressional leaders point to the findings of this report as further evidence of the need for action. "When products for babies are labeled 'gentle' and 'pure,' parents expect that they are just that," said Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.). "To think that cancer-causing chemicals are contaminating baby shampoos and lotions is horrifying. I intend to soon introduce legislation requiring greater oversight of our cosmetics industry. We need to ensure that the chemicals that are used in our everyday products are safe."

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said, "The fact that we are bathing our kids in products contaminated with carcinogens shows how woefully out of date our cosmetics laws are and how urgently they need to be updated. The science has moved forward, now the FDA needs to catch up and be given the authority to protect the health of Americans."

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) commented that "Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane are better suited for the chem lab, not a child's bathtub. This important report shows that 'No More Tears' can trigger toxic fears, and it provides another reason why these and other cosmetic products must be further regulated. "

For the study, the Campaign commissioned an independent laboratory to test 48 top-selling children's products for 1,4-dioxane; 28 of those products were also tested for formaldehyde. Findings include:

-- 61 percent of products contained both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane,
including Johnson's Baby Shampoo, Sesame Street Bubble Bath, Grins &
Giggles Milk & Honey Baby Wash and Huggies Naturally Refreshing
Cucumber & Green Tea Baby Wash.
-- 82 percent contained formaldehyde at levels from 54 to 610 parts per
million. Baby Magic Baby Lotion had the highest levels.
-- 67 percent contained 1,4-dioxane at levels from 0.27 to 35 ppm.
American Girl shower products had the highest levels.

"There no reason why manufacturers can't remove hazardous chemicals from products being applied to babies' bodies daily," said Jeanne Rizzo, R.N., president of the Breast Cancer Fund. "We need to protect children from these repeated, unnecessary exposures."

"Products made in the U.S. and marketed for children should not contain chemicals linked to cancer," said Jane Houlihan, vice president for research at Environmental Working Group and creator of the Skin Deep cosmetic safety database (www.cosmeticsdatabase.com). "Congress needs to protect the most vulnerable members of our society by ensuring that the personal care products we use every day are free from harmful chemicals."

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Monday, March 9, 2009

A Lesson for Parents: Arguing in Front of Your Teens Has Lasting Impact, Researchers Find

/PRNewswire/ -- Exposure to family arguments during adolescence has a lasting impact on an individual's mental health and functioning as an adult, according to a study published in the March edition of The Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

The longitudinal study, led by Simmons School of Social Work Professor Helen Reinherz, shows adolescents who reported increased arguments at age 15, compared with their peers, had an elevated risk of major depression, alcohol abuse/dependence, drug dependence, and adult antisocial behaviors at age 30. These participants also had a twofold risk for being unemployed as adults.

The study, lead-authored by co-investigator Dr. Angela Paradis of the Simmons Longitudinal Study, also shows that adolescents who reported exposure to family violence by age 18 are significantly more likely than their peers to have a mental disorder, including alcohol and drug abuse/dependence, lower self-esteem, and lower overall life satisfaction at age 30. Additionally, the study indicates that overall physical health was compromised by earlier exposure to family physical violence.

"It was no surprise that we found long-term effects of exposure to physical violence, but the documentation of the potential lasting influence of verbal conflict is significant," said Reinherz. "We believe that exposure to increased family arguments in adolescence served as an important marker for impaired functioning into adulthood."

For 32 years, Reinherz has served as principal investigator of the Simmons Longitudinal Study, the nation's longest-running study of predictors of good or poor mental health from early childhood onward. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Health Resources and Services Administration, the study tracked nearly 400 residents of Quincy, Mass., from the time they entered kindergarten in 1977 until their mid-30s today.

The research interviewed the children and their parents and teachers at key points in the youths' lives, looking for major risk factors that are likely to lead to mental health problems in adulthood, and for protective factors to serve as buffers from life's rough spots. The study was designed to help parents, teachers, mental health professionals, policy makers and others improve early identification and treatment of mental health issues.

The study authors were Paradis, Reinherz, Dr. Rose Giaconia, and Kirsten Ward of the Simmons Longitudinal Study, and Dr. William Beardslee of Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Garrett Fitzmaurice of the Harvard School of Public Health.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Parents Building Foundation for Success by Reading Daily to Their Children

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Eighty-two percent of parents with children 8 years old and younger say they read a book out loud to them daily, according to a study commissioned by Hooked on Phonics(R).

"The research shows that parents understand that their involvement is critical to establishing a love of reading in children early in life so they're ready and willing to learn," said Judy L. Harris, CEO of Smarterville, the company that owns, creates, manufactures and distributes Hooked on Phonics(R).

The telephone survey of 694 parents nationwide was conducted to coincide with the National Education Association's annual Read Across America day. Now in its twelfth year, the program focuses on motivating children to read, in addition to helping them master basic skills. The nationwide reading program is held on or near March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss.

The study also found that parents with children 8 years old and younger read more than eight books per week to their children. Fifty-five percent of those respondents said the mother is the primary reader and 24 percent said both parents are the primary readers.

"This is indisputable evidence that parents are the most important and influential people in a child's life, and they are in the best possible position to help children learn to read and love it," Harris said.

Among the parents who have children at least 5 years old, 66 percent say their child knew how to read when she or he started kindergarten; 75 percent of these parents say they or their spouse were the primary influence in helping their child learn to read.

Among all parents, 69 percent rate their level of pride when their oldest child learned to read at 8 or higher on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 means no feelings of pride to 10 means the proudest moment of their life).

"The ability to read well is the foundation for learning and for succeeding later on, whether in the workplace, in the home and in life," said Harris. "We are delighted in the tremendous difference these parents are making in their children's reading and their education."

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