State Sen. Allan Kittleman, center, was a guest speaker at the April 12 meeting of the Greater Highland Crossroads Association. Present at the meeting were, from left, John Lehman, Paul Collison, Susan Scheidt, Dan O'Leary, Kittleman, Mike Fennessy, Charlotte Williams and Hilda Matthieu. (Submitted photo / April 24, 2012)

Dan O'Leary, the president of Greater Highland Crossroads Association, asked state Sen. Allan Kittleman to come and speak with the local residents concerning the 2012 legislative session that just ended. Sen. Kittleman, who represents the Highland area in Annapolis, spent an hour with the folks who attended the GHCA's April meeting.

I had a brief opportunity to speak with the senator prior to his presentation. I thanked him for taking time out of his busy schedule to be there with us. In response, Sen. Kittleman stated that "I always come to functions such as this when I am invited."

Sen. Kittleman spoke for more than an hour, touching on topics such as the just-completed legislative session, the proposed table games bill, the budget process and the "doomsday" budget, among others. He spoke with an insider's knowledge of the ways and workings of Annapolis. He regaled the assembled citizens with an almost minute-by-minute account of the final hour of the session.

"At the stroke of midnight, even if someone is in mid-sentence, Senate President Mike Miller would gavel the session closed, balloons and confetti would fall from the ceiling and Senate pages would romp around the room, tossing confetti and hitting the balloons. Not this year, though," Kittleman said.


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The Senator said that everyone in the chamber knew that they hadn't done their job. Anyway, all in all, it was an extremely informative time with Sen. Kittleman.

Back in January, I wrote a few sentences about Julianne Knoblett, a member of Girl Scout Troop 2527. She was working on her Silver Award project, a blanket-making workshop to benefit the House of Ruth. Her mother, Carole Knoblett, sent an email to me and in it she stated that the workshop was a huge success. The troop had assistance from the local boy scouts and together they were able to help 31 participants make the blankets. When the workshop was over, the completed blankets were donated to the House of Ruth, a domestic violence center that helps abused women and children find safety and security. The staff at the House of Ruth was extremely appreciative.

The members of Girl Scout Troop 2527 are: Julianne, Karyn Kittrell, Courtney Parsons, Caroline Riordan and Jessica Zhang. The girls from Troop 2527 have been awarded their Silver Awards from Girl Scouts of Central Maryland. Next up: their Gold Award project, the highest award in Girl Scouting.

It's never too early to start planning the summer activities for your kids. One such activity is vacation bible school. Emmanuel United Methodist Church, on Old Scaggsville Road, is having their VBS June 18-22 from 9 a.m. to noon. The theme for this year is "Operation Overboard: Dare to Go Deep with God!" and is open to children from 4 years old up to fifth grade.

Donna Meoli, the youth minister at the church, said this program offers children the opportunity to go on a deep sea adventure and meet people of deep faith from both the Old and New Testament. These exciting and engaging stories will inspire your divers to develop life-changing habits as they grow and become followers of God.

The fee for the week is $25 for church members, $35 for everyone else. Registration forms can be downloaded from the church's website: http://www.eumclaurel.org. For more information, give Donna a call at 301-725-5200 or drop her an email at eumcyouth@comcast.net.

I was looking at the weekly newsletter that the Howard County Public School System puts out and found some other summer camps that might be interesting for your kids. Here are a few that will be held at the Applications and Research Lab, 10920 Clarksville Pike, in Ellicott City:

STEM Camp — Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics; Mon.-Fri., Jun. 18-29, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.; Course no. S010.H1; Students entering Grades 9-12 will learn to apply basic security concepts through gaming, modeling and simulation development while investigating exciting careers that interconnect the fields of science, math, technology and computer security. Cost is $150.

Career Academies Camp — Mon.-Fri., Jun. 18-22; Session I (CA40.M1): 8-11:30 a.m.; Session II (CA40.M2): 12:30-4 p.m.; Students entering Grades 8-9 can participate in activities in science, technology, engineering, health, business and other fields to help them understand how their interests relate to career areas offered through the high school Career Academies. Different interest areas will be covered in each session; register for either or both. Cost is $75 for each session. Let's Get Cooking: Chefs' Institute Class; Mon.-Fri., Jun. 18-22; Session I (CA50.M1): 8-11:30 a.m.; Session II (CA50.M2): 12:30-4 p.m.; Students entering Grades 8-9 who love to cook can sharpen their culinary skills while preparing full meals from appetizer to dessert. Knife skills, nutrition, and food and kitchen safety will be emphasized. Different projects will be offered in each session; register for either or both. Cost is $75 for each session.

Automotive Technology Camp — Mon.-Fri., Jun. 18-22, 8-11:30 a.m.; Course no. CA40.M3; Students entering Grades 9-11 can explore automotive careers through hands-on activities involving automotive components, troubleshooting, maintenance, engine performance and more. A visit to a local automotive facility is included. Cost is $75. More information about all of these sessions and others can be found at http://www.hcpss.org/summer and in the summer catalog at http://www.hcpss.org/summer/summerschool2012.pdf.

A lot has been happening at Reservoir High School that it's hard to keep up with all the goings-on, but let's try.

Reservoir Student Government Associaton President Kristin Axtell, SGA Secretary Marilyn Roth, Senior Class President Jalen Thomas, Senior Class Vice President Aspen Shackleford and Sophomore Class Vice President Eric Higgins attended the Maryland Association of Student Councils Convention March 28-30 in Ocean City. They were joined by students and advisors from across the state to strengthen their leadership skills, share ideas, and vote in the new 2012-2013 MASC Board Officers. Beth Demers, SGA co-sponsor, also attended with the team.

The Reservoir girls varsity lacrosse team was victorious over Wilde Lake in the Karl Wolf Memorial Tournament. Katie Westermeyer was selected as Reservoir's recipient of the Karl Wolf Award for her leadership, courage, and fair play on and off the field. The coaching staff — Katie Lee, Sean Jones and Stephanie Grutzmacher — have done an outstanding job with the team.

The Gators varsity baseball team had an outstanding spring break, beating Paint Branch High School and winning the Mount St. Joseph Tournament, beating Mount St. Joe and St. Albans. Kudos to the team members and their coaches Adam Leader, Josh Sullivan, Steve Pipe and Zach Nunn. The team is now ranked No. 12 in area papers.

The boys varsity lacrosse team also had a great spring break, beating Towson in the Franklin Tournament. Coming off their tourney win, the team followed up with triple overtime win over River Hill with Cole Evans scoring the winning goal. Congratulations to the team and to their coaches, Bryan Cole, Erik Foust and Dennis Cole.

And finally, the varsity softball team had a wonderful performance in the East-West Classic Tournament. The team won both games in the tourney, beating Winters Mill, 14-2, and Manchester Valley, 14-4. The softball team is ranked ninth in the local area rankings and is currently undefeated with a record of 8-0. Congratulations to the team and to their coaches Julie Frisvold and David Burke.

Well, that's all for this week. Commit a random act of kindness. Look in on your neighbors. Say a prayer for our troops who are serving in harm's way and remember their families, too.