IT ALWAYS seems a pity that Halloween costumes are worn only once a year. Sometimes they get recycled to reluctant younger siblings, but that's rare.
This year, Halloween falls on a Sunday -- presenting an opportunity for a weekend of activities to which costumes may be worn, before the Great Pumpkin arrives on Halloween.
Here are some venues your children can enjoy while wearing their disquieting disguises.
On Oct. 30, the Savage Community Association invites preschool and elementary school-age children with a parent to enjoy a scary good time.
Come to Carroll Baldwin Hall, at Foundry and Baltimore streets, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in costume. It will be difficult to miss. Look for a big stone building with eerie lights and a haunted house inside. Games and a costume contest are planned at 6 p.m.
Bring a bit of cash to buy refreshments and get your face painted. (Where else could you buy artwork for 50 cents?)
Admission is a bag of individually wrapped candies to share.
Information or to help clean up: Elaine Johanson, 301-776-8514 or Mary Ann Gardes, 301-953-1309.
Courage in Carolina
Living in the Carolinas seems to require more courage than living in some other states. North and South Carolina have been flooded by Hurricanes Floyd and Irene this year.
Jacqueline Torbit, Bollman Bridge Elementary School guidance counselor, heard about an organization that is sending supplies to hard-pressed areas in North Carolina and decided to help out.
Like many school staffers, Torbit has more than one job to do. With special education assistant Kym Young, she organizes the school's safety patrol.
The safety patrol is staffed by fifth-graders who help direct traffic in and around the school at opening and closing times. It is a big responsibility. Only about half of the 40 or so children who apply for the jobs are chosen.
Torbit described the problems of North Carolina residents to the patrol two weeks ago. She suggested that the patrol organize a supply run.
Patrol members Peter Petrusic and Stephen Shapiro said the patrol met in the fifth-grade pod, and agreed to collect supplies for the residents of Princeville, N.C.
Ten volunteers went in pairs to each Bollman Bridge classroom to ask for help. Among the presenters from the patrol were Emily Young, Kristin Degan, Kyle Healy, David Simpkin, Kelly Dixon, Jasmine Washington, Shawda Ngere, Ria Parker, Stephen Chisefsky, Tame Collins and Courtney Walker.
Each grade was to collect specified items from the list of needed goods.
"That way we'd get a variety of items," said Young, who feared that they would get a lot of diapers and no cleaning supplies without a list.
Members of the safety patrol made collection boxes and put one in each classroom Tuesday.
"We made eight boxes," Tame said. One was put in the lobby, and another in the prekindergarten, in addition to the six in kindergarten through fifth-grade classrooms.
Enough supplies have been collected to fill Torbit's office.
Princeville residents need bottled water because water supplies have been contaminated by flooding.
David Simpkin noted that the hurricanes brought lots of water, but it was the wrong kind.
"That's dirty water," he said.
"We had to bring in other stuff," Steven Klement said. "We have to bring in stuff like they lost."
"We're not supposed to bring in clothes or food," John Sparks said.
Billy Webbert, David Hager and Kurt Porter reiterated the need for clean drinking water. Toiletries and cleaning supplies also are badly needed.
Their enthusiasm for the project seemed to surprise the patrol members.
"We haven't really done anything like this," Erica Szalkowski said.
"I'm surprised that we'd get this kind of opportunity," Peter Owens said.
"We all get to work together," John Hilton added.
The response from the rest of the school was gratifying.
"Kids just did it the first day," said Sean Langan, referring to how quickly the boxes were filled.
Shawda Ngere and Andy Harding said they believe third-graders contributed the most supplies.
Sean doesn't want any volunteer left out of the final accounting.
"We couldn't have done this without Mrs. [Marie] Tester, who got us the boxes," he said. "She's our fifth-grade assistant. I didn't want to leave her out and take all the credit."
Allison Rose and Jonathan Nuss summed up their feelings about trying to help.
"I was surprised how the floods damaged so much that we have to help them from here," Allison said.
"I didn't think people would care so much about people in Carolina so that they can return to their normal lives," Jonathan said.
Donations will be accepted through Nov. 4, said patrol member Josh Sullivan. Neighbors can drop off toiletries, water, disposable diapers and cleaning supplies in the school's lobby until then.
On Sunday, you can travel 200 years back to the earliest days of the nation when two military encampments meet at Montpelier Mansion in Laurel.
One encampment consists of members of His Majesty's Army, the other, of rough-hewn American colonists. Nine groups are participating in the two encampments.
A battle is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Among the groups, are the Second Dragoons, Loyal Scots Greys, Brook's Company, Calvert County Militia, Longhunters and Scouts, Maryland Company Wayne's Light Infantry, Maryland Loyalist Battalion, Spanish Louisiana Regiment, Third Maryland and Shelby Volunteers.
On this day, feel free to question the military personnel about their purpose and weaponry. They are anxious to please.
If military matters pall, seek out some of the mercantiles and craftsmen on the grounds.
You can make paper, examine woodworking tools or use quills to write a missive to a dear one. If you feel a mite "peckish" (hungry), you can grind corn for supper.
The mercantiles will show fashions from the 1770s, or hand-forged items such as tomahawks and knives. Boots, baskets and silhouettes (for those who like remembrances) also will be available.
For visitors seeking other diversions, hayrides begin at 11: 30 a.m. A magician has been hired, as well as storytellers and puppeteers.
The time port opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. Then all fades away, leaving Montpelier Mansion majestic and alone in the 20th century.