Thursday, June 27, 2019

Summer (Finally!)

Summer's been a funny thing this year.  Some say it starts on Memorial Day Weekend.  Meteorologists actually consider the 1st of June "meteorological summer".  The calendar says it commences with Summer solstice on June 21.  And many kids (and adults) consider it to be the last day of school (June 12 for us).  As for me, I'm not sure it really happened until this past week when we (finally) got some real summer like weather for more than a few hours at once!

With the advent of summer break, like many parents, I've been thinking about how to help my kids do something other than lay around the house and play video games.  It's a challenge as old as public schooling itself. 

Thankfully, we live in a region where we have LOTS of great options to exercise to help us in both mind and body.  Plus, there are just some unique options to provide family fun and bonding.  So if you're looking for some easy and fun ways to get your kids up and moving, consider the following...

- Sign up for the Summer Reading Program at Benzonia Public Library.  They, along with our other great regional libraries, have great collections of children's and young adult books.

- Take your family on a walk / hike on one of our amazing trails at Arcadia Bluffs, Sleeping Bear Dunes, the Betsie Valley Trail, or the Art Walk at Crystal Mountain (just to name a few).

- Have a Beach day.  There's too many great options to list!

- Take the kids up to one of our playgrounds or parks - lots of options there as well!

- Try out our own local science and discovery center, Cognition, at it's new location on US31 in Beulah.

- Take in our local Benzie Symphony Orchestra or our Benzie Community Chorus concerts, or check out the Concert in the Park series downtown Beulah on Thursday evenings.

- Take in a double feature at the Cherry Bowl Drive In (Kids under 13 are free!)

I wish all of you a wonderful summer break and hope you are able to take some time to enjoy some of what makes us one of the most visited and loved places in Michigan, and indeed, in the entire country! 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Graduation Day!!!

It's the best day of the year!

Seriously - for educators, there may be no more poignant and meaningful day then graduation day.  We are part of a profession that rarely gets to see the full fruits of our labors.  On a day to day basis, lessons are being learned and knowledge is being imparted.  Yet we often have to take a deferral on being able to see those lessons in action from our students.  We may have to wait until a day, many years later, when we run into a former student somewhere random and find out what they're up to and how much they appreciated the work that we put into helping them succeed.  Those are great days, but they tend to be relatively few and far between compared to the numbers of students we serve!

Graduation day puts many of those rewards right in the forefront.  Our community gets to celebrate the accomplishments of our kids in a big way.  There's a reason that we use "Pomp and Circumstance" as part of the musical tribute, as that's what the ceremony is about.  Whether we had them in kindergarten or AP Calculus, everyone in the educational system plays a role in getting those kids to the stage where they get handed a diploma and have their moment in the spotlight.  It's not the end, but boy is it a great moment along the journey we call life. 

On June 2nd, we had dozens of graduates clad in red approach the stage at Benzie Central for their moment in the spotlight in a very full gymnasium.  I can hardly describe the feeling of pride, seeing these amazing young people taking their literal first steps into a much bigger world.  Watching the varied reactions to the moment is a joy and a privilege.  Some strut across the stage with confidence, while others are more clearly nervous.  Whatever the individual reaction though, they all are taking literal and figurative steps that are leading them into new and uncharted personal territory.  That's part of what makes it so magical.  It's a shared experience, a ceremony, a ritual by which our society defines itself. 

So congrats to our Benzie Central Class of 2019.  And equally as important, thank you to the amazing community who supported them in this endeavor.  The outpouring of support, the thousands of pictures, and the tens of thousands of hugs, handshakes, high fives, and fist bumps that were occurring all over campus Sunday afternoon were a testament to the love and support that we enjoy as part of the Husky family.  We are #OneBenzie, and it shows every day, but probably never more so than on graduation day.  After all...

It is the best day of the year!