SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD Erin Miller will be spending a week in Washington next month -- chosen along with 103 other students from across the nation and abroad as a delegate in the 38th annual U.S. Senate Youth Program.
The Chesapeake High School senior will take part in an intensive week of studying American government up close, seeing Congress in action and getting the opportunity to hear and talk with its leaders. Visits to the Supreme Court, State Department, Library of Congress, Pentagon and the White House are included.
But the real marvel is that Erin can find the time in her busy schedule.
Erin, daughter of Craig Miller and Sandra Miller, has top grades and is taking advanced placement courses this semester in English, calculus and psychology.
She is president of the Student Government Association; involved in soccer, indoor track and softball; vice president of the Varsity Club; a National Honor Society member; and, for cookie-craving students and teachers, one of the early morning bakers of Otis Spunkemeyer cookies sold at the school store.
Erin also is involved in the Chesapeake Regional Association of Student Councils and the Maryland Association of Student Councils. She works occasionally as a hostess at the Cheshire Crab restaurant, is a member of the St. Jane Frances Roman Catholic Church youth group and volunteers at the Red Cross in Glen Burnie.
The Washington program, enacted by a resolution of the Senate in 1962, is dedicated to inspiring future leaders. Two students from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Dependents Schools overseas are chosen annually. These top students must be involved in their student government to qualify, and are selected by their chief state school officer.
The pace of their Washington visit, March 4-11, will be hectic, with meetings, visits and talks. But that's what Erin enjoys -- being busy, involved in a wide spectrum of learning experiences both inside and outside the classroom.
"She's a super kid, just the best," said Ron Wagner, school guidance counselor.
Erin said she started getting involved in extracurricular activities in her middle school years.
"It has given me a different perspective. I have met so many people, and learned so many new things; I wanted to get involved at school, as opposed to just getting an education," she said. "I would encourage younger students to get involved at school."
Erin is excited by the opportunities awaiting in the Senate Youth Program, walking the halls of Congress and getting to mingle with top leaders as well as her peers from around the country.
It also may give a boost for her college plans. She expects to major in political science, and is considering Yale or George Washington University.
Jenkins Memorial Church will hold an adult coffeehouse from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow, featuring as guest performers Mount Zion Rupert Hall Men's Choir from Mount Zion United Methodist Church, Joyful Noyze, and CD & Company.
Admission is free, and coffee and snacks will be on sale for 25 cents each. The proceeds will go to the building fund of the church, at 133 Riviera Drive in Riviera Beach.
Jenkins Memorial is looking for other performers to take the stage in cameo appearances tomorrow and at future coffeehouse sessions. Performers can call Bill Williamson at 410-636-0334 for details.
Anglers and boaters of all ages will be traveling to the Orchard Beach fire hall on Solley Road this weekend for the Pasadena Sportfishing Group's eighth annual fishing and boating flea market and show.
More than 100 tables stocked with new, nearly new and otherwise used items for fresh and saltwater fishing and boating will be featured.
Visitors can find out about booking a charter with local captains, get up-to-date information from the state Department of Natural Resources, buy a fishing-themed craft, have a filet knife honed to perfection or get a rope spliced.
A selection of new and used boats for sale will also be on display.
Show hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday. Admission is $2 each day.
A raffle for boating and fishing equipment will be held. Pit beef and refreshments will be sold by fire company volunteers.
Information: 410-HEY-FISH, or on the Web at www.heyfish.com.
Fox book drive
The Reading/Book Club at George Fox Middle School is sponsoring a book drive this month in preparation for its participation in the annual Read Across America program March 2 -- birthday of beloved children's author Theodor Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss).
"Last year, more than 20 million people participated in Read Across America Day," said Carol Maid, school reading teacher.
The club is sponsoring a friendly competition among classes for the most books collected. The winning class will be treated to a "Green Eggs and Ham" breakfast.
"We are looking for middle school-level books, in good condition," Maid said.
"We are looking for guest readers from the community to come and participate in the day's events," Maid said. Participants can read a story to one class, or read to a variety of classes during the day -- and not necessarily a Seuss story, she said.
Because of scheduled testing in the early morning hours March 2, the reading day activities will begin at 10: 10 a.m.
"This invitation is open to parents, guardians, older brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors -- basically people who enjoy reading to students," Maid said.
Bingo and politics
Stoney Creek Democratic Club will hold its monthly bingo dinner Sunday in its clubhouse at 8123 Fort Smallwood Road.
The doors will open at noon, with early bird games starting at 1 p.m. A hot platter will be served after the early games, and then regular bingo games will begin. Tickets are $20 and include food, and 20 games of regular bingo.
Wednesday evening, the club plans an open house for the community. Guest speakers will be two Democratic congressional candidates: Del. Bennett Bozman of the Eastern Shore, who is seeking the 1st District nomination, and Del. Jacob J. Mohorovic Jr. of Baltimore County, running in the 2nd District.
Refreshments will be served.
Information: 410-255-7739 or 410-255-4611.