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Our summer weather has been unusually cool and pleasant. I love watching and saying hello to all the many neighbors taking strolls, walking their dogs or jogging along our quiet streets in the evening. They are certainly taking advantage of the lovely weather.

One of the signs that the summer will be coming to a close is the pool will close after Labor Day. Also the 2014-2015 school year has begun. The stores are now bustling with people buying new clothes for school and school supplies. Back to school nights for Bond Mill Elementary are scheduled. Kindergarten, first and second grades will meet Tuesday, Sept. 2, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.; and third, fourth and fifth grades will meet Thursday, Sept. 4 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School's Back to School Night is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m.

Bond Mill Elementary is collecting new school supplies for students who are in need. Many families just can't afford all the supplies. If your family would like to help out a needy family, Bond Mill is collecting new back packs, crayons, composition books, computer paper, pencils, etc. You can drop off your donation at the school any time between 7:15 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Leah Mudd and Emily Tuttle are best friends who grew up together in West Laurel, beginning their academic journey at Bond Mill Elementary School. The two young women spent their summer studying abroad at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. Leah is a computer information systems major at Towson University and took classes in sociology and Korean culture. Emily is an English literature major at the University of Maryland in College Park and took her summer classes in Korean language and Korean literature. They shared many new adventures but they were particularly interested in the DMZ, the Demilitarized Zone, which is the buffer zone between North and South Korea.

The DMZ is a heavily guarded border. The two friends were on the USO tour, which allowed them to go into the Joint Security Area, where other tours are not allowed to visit. Their tour guide was an American soldier. He took them through the Freedom House and to the MDL (Military Demarcation Line), which is the border where you can see Panmungak and North Korean soldiers. They were allowed to walk to the north side of the building so they can say they have actually been to North Korea. The experience was very intense for these young scholars as the soldiers on both sides were on high alert.

If you would like to share any special summer adventures with your community, contact me using the information above. Birthdays, anniversaries, births or great stories; email me, cbfolkswl@aol.com. I want to know!

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