Children at Laurel Woods Elementary School, Murray Hill Middle School and Patuxent Valley Middle School will benefit from extracurricular activities and support that are to be available through a new partnership with the Southeastern Howard/Laurel Chapter of Continental Societies Inc., an international public service organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth.
The organization plans to sponsor student projects and activities relating to health, education, employment, recreation and the arts.
Society members will work with children who need academic support in math and reading, and will participate in career days and other events at the schools. The organization has also agreed to sponsor after-school debate programs at the middle schools.
Flower power : The Savage branch library, 9525 Durness Lane, will offer a class in "Flower Pounding and Transfer," for those interested in transferring the patterns and colors of leaves and flower petals to cloth or paper, at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The program is being offered by Master Gardeners.
* Master Gardeners will conduct a plant clinic, when residents can bring samples of diseased or infested plants or ask questions, from 10 a.m. to noon July 26 at the library. 410-880-5980.
Electric music : As part of the 30th anniversary of the Montpelier Summer Concert Series, the South Laurel Recreation Council will sponsor the Electric Brigade, a U.S. Naval Academy band, at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Montpelier Mansion grounds, 9652 Muirkirk Road, Laurel. Bring a friend, a picnic, and a blanket or chair to the free two-hour concert. Free public and handicapped parking is available through the Montpelier Drive and Muirkirk Road entrances. In the event of heavy rain at the time of the concert, the performance will be canceled. Call 301-953-7882 after 5 p.m. on the day of the concert.
Birding : The Patuxent Research Refuge will offer "Birding for the Blind," a program for visually impaired people and their families and friends, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the refuge's North Tract entrance. The program for children ages 8 and older and adults will introduce participants to birding through hands-on activities and exploration of outdoor habitats; participants will learn to identify birds by sound. Admission is free but registration is required. The refuge's North Tract is off Route 198 between the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 32, east of Laurel. Information: http://patuxent.fws.gov.
Minicamps : The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Patuxent Research Refuge will offer summer minicamps for children at its North Tract.
*"Animal Planet," a program for ages 5-7 on the diversity of animals and how they survive in their environment, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 16, 17 and 18.
*"Nature Detectives," for ages 8 to 10, teaches ways to track refuge animals through meadows, forests and wetlands, and how to identify bird calls, animal tracks and trees.
The camp will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 23, 24 and 25.
*"Refuge Ranger," also for ages 8 to 10, will explore, hands-on, how wildlife survives in a refuge and how to protect the animals. The camp will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 30 and 31.
*"Nature's Kingdoms," for ages 11 to 13, will focus on wildlife adaptations, and classifying nature's kingdoms. Participants will explore the refuge from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 6 and 7.
*"Awesome Animal Adaptations," for ages 5-7, will focus on how mammals, fish and birds can survive successfully. The camp will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 13, 14 and 15.
*Admission is free; donations are welcome. Registration, which is required, is on a first-come basis.
Participants should dress for the weather, wear sunscreen and insect repellent, and bring water and a sack lunch. 301-497-5887.