One Stitch At a Time

Teens Crochet for the Bay to aid Patuxent Riverkeeper and American Chestnut Land Trust
Crocheting for the Bay are Sylvie Leroy, Julie McConnel, Suzanne Fox, Jenny Moore and Angela Arnold.
      Think today’s teens always have their hands busy texting or playing video games? Not Angela Arnold and her pals at Huntingtown High School in Calvert County.
      Arnold, a senior, is vice president of a club of teens who keep their hands busy with crochet hooks and yarn. Crochet for the Bay, now an official nonprofit student group, crafts handmade products to raise money for Bay conservation.
      “We were founded in 2014 by a student, Dia Brown, who was very concerned about the Chesapeake Bay,” says Arnold. “We work tirelessly with many local groups to help raise awareness and create handmade toys, blankets, hats and other water- or Bay-related trinkets.”
     Arnold estimates the group has raised about $1,000 so far this year, donating all to the Patuxent Riverkeeper and the American Chestnut Land Trust.
     “Everything that we’ve sold or donated is turned right back to those organizations, because we believe in them and we enjoy such a great partnership with them,” she says.
     Why would teens choose to crochet?
     “It was the only handiwork our founder knew how to do,” says Arnold. “Dia watched a lot of videos and then taught others how to do it,” Arnold says. “I learned how to do just basic patterns in one color. Our group president can make almost anything under the sun, while there are others in our group who don’t even try to crochet but are there as logistical support, giving their talents in other ways.
      The Huntingtown High School group hopes to expand to other high schools and middle schools.
      Where do busy teens find the time to crochet?
     “Honestly, I have no clue. We are all crazy busy. A lot of us are working on the school musical right now, and we all put in like 60 hours a week on school and extracurriculars. It’s insane, but we love it,” Arnold says.
     “It’s a passion, and when you’re passionate for something you don’t tire of it or get frustrated with it. We love what we do for the environment and the health of the Bay. The Bay is our friend, and we can’t treat it like this.”
     Crocheters for the Bay join other environmentally friendly vendors and a guest speaker from Fish Feel at their annual Big Bay Bash, Saturday, March 17 at the North Beach Boardwalk. 
      The hot ticket items at the last Big Bay Bash were four-inch plush bees, created to help support bee conservation efforts.
    “This year,” Arnold says, “it will be our dinosaurs.”
 
 
Saturday March 17: Big Bay Bash, 10am-2pm, North Beach Boardwalk, free, Facebook: Crochet for the Bay; Twitter @crochet4thebay.