Not Just for Kids

Vol. 8, No. 26
June 29-July 5, 2000
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Flags, Fireworks and Fun...a FANTASTIC Fourth!
by Sharon Brewer

It stands behind the President,
flies high upon the moon and is over 200 years old.

Have you guessed it?

That's right. It's the Star Spangled Banner, our American Flag.

Two hundred twenty-four years ago, George Washington needed a favor. He wanted a new flag for the continental army and knew just who to ask. Betsy Ross and her family sat next to George and Martha Washington at church and were friends. Betsy had an upholstery business; she did sewing for people. She had often embroidered ruffles on George’s shirts.

In May of 1776, Washington and two other members of the Continental Congress paid her a visit. He showed her a pencil sketch of how he wanted the flag to look. It showed 13 white stars, one for each colony, in a circle on a background of blue. He wanted the circle of stars to stand for a new constellation in the heavens, no colony viewed above another. The stripes would be white for purity and honesty. Red came from the British flag. George's sketch showed a six-point star. Betsy suggested a five-point star and showed the men how to make one with a single snip of the scissors. This impressed them so much that they instantly gave her the job.

She finished the flag in June 1776, just in time for the reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Her flag was adopted as the national flag on June 14, 1777, our Flag Day. The flag today has 13 stripes for each of the original colonies and 50 stars for each state.

Today we see our flag flying freely in our country, around the world … even OUT of this world.

Answer Me This:

'Shipwreck’ Kelly was famous for sitting for long periods of time. What did he do?

He was a flagpole sitter. He once sat 49 days on one flagpole. Flagpole sitting was a craze started in Baltimore in 1929.

When is it okay to fly the flag upside down?

Only in an emergency. It means HELP! I'm in trouble.

West River Camp Makes New Friends for the Bay
by Amy Mulligan

A Junior Ecologist is a person who understands that the actions of people affect the health of plants, wildlife, aquatic animals and water in our Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Junior Ecologists get an early start on learning to protect the Bay and its natural resources.

Every summer, their ranks grow thanks to the Junior Ecologist Program at the West River Camp. For one week, children learn about life in the Chesapeake — boating, canoeing, crabbing, fishing and swimming. They also stay overnight for the fun of storytelling around a campfire, games, crafts and movies.

Frederick Rupp, 8; Ashley Flynn, 8; Kari Dandley, 7; and Curtis Powell, 10 are scholarship campers sent by South Arundel Citizens for Responsible Development to assure Southern Anne Arundel County’s new generation grows up Bay friendly. By the last day of camp, the kids all agreed that they had learned to better appreciate and protect the Bay.

Summer is long. There’s still time for you to make better friends with the Bay.

    Here’s what four campers learned from the West River Camp this June:

  • How a horseshoe crab is like a spider
  • How to swim
  • How to catch a killifish
  • How to recognize an osprey’s nest

Fruity Fireworks

Here's a cool treat that's colorful, delicious and fun to make.

You'll need:
1 good size watermelon
Handfuls of fresh berries: blue, straw, rasp
Sweet cherries
Honeydew melon
Any other fresh summer fruit you like


1. Cut watermelon in half lengthwise, with adult help.
2. Scoop out the inside with a spoon.
3. Remove as many seeds as you can; cut into bites.
4. Rinse all berries, grapes and cherries well.
5. Cut other melons into bite-size pieces.
6. In a large bowl, stir together all the fruit.
7. Pile these fruity fireworks into the empty watermelon.

Now, impress your family and friends as you jazz up your July 4th picnic.

Copyright 2000
Bay Weekly