MYRTLE BEACH — Bands, reptile shows and all manner of outdoor activities will be open to the public on Nov. 3 at the 26th annual SwampFest at Playcard Environmental Education Center in Loris.
Ben Abercrombie, teacher and manager at the center, said everything except food will be free, including carnival items, barbecue and lemonade. Attendees are welcome to bring their own picnics and enjoy the music, which will be playing somewhere on the property at all times the event happens from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The center is at 10729 Highway 19 West.
The featured band will be the Red White Band, sponsored by the W. Holliday family, along with several bluegrass bands and other singers. Abercrombie said there also will be a reptile extravaganza, with shows alternating throughout the day with performers on the main stage.
There will be about 35 activities available, ranging from horseback riding, kayaking in the swamp and hayrides to archery, fishing, arts and crafts and survival lessons. Abercrombie said the event averages between 3,000 and 5,000 visitors, depending on the weather, and many of the event volunteers are Horry County high school students.
“We have just about any kind of outdoor skill, and everybody shares in the community spirit,” Abercrombie said. “It’s a great, hands-on learning experience and a whole lot of fun.”
The Playcard center allows students and teachers to study the natural sciences on site, and provides day field trips, overnight campouts and special events. For more information about SwampFest or the center, call 756-1277.
Unrest overseas keeps essay winner at home
Lily Hutchens, an eighth-grader at Forestbrook Middle School, won last year’s middle school essay contest, sponsored by the S.C. Dialogue Foundation, but world events will prevent her from collecting her big prize – a trip to Turkey.
Lily was one of the students in Stephanie Necessary’s creative writing class who wrote on the topic “1 Billion Hungry in the World, What’s Your Role?” Lily found out earlier this year that she had won the trip at the state level and $50 at the regional level. She said her family deferred her travels until this summer so her mother could accompany her, but now they have decided not to go based on federal warnings of violent attacks in Turkey and the threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests there.
Necessary also received a trip from the foundation, a nonprofit group established to promote understanding between cultures, including Turkish-American and American communities in South Carolina. She said she also has declined the trip but wrote to the foundation to inquire about alternate prizes. Foundation president Akif Aydin responded that while the group understands the concern over recent tension between Turkey and Syria, “Turkey is one of the safest places in the world despite of [ sic] the recent tensions.”
Lily, a budding journalist, said she agreed with the decision to put safety first, but the country’s current troubles haven’t dampened her desire to one day travel there.
“After I won, I looked around for things about it, and I hear people say it’s really nice,” she said.
Middle schools compete in Mock Trial
Student teams from seven Horry County middle schools – Black Water, Forestbrook, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Ocean Bay, St. James and Whittemore Park – are among 13 from the Coastal region that will compete in the S.C. Bar Regional Middle School Mock Trial Competition Nov. 3 at the Conway Courthouse, 1301 Second Ave., Conway.
Students will present the prosecution and defendant sides of a fictitious civil case before a panel of local volunteer lawyers and judges. They will fill the roles of attorneys, witnesses, bailiffs and timekeepers, and each team will be judged on its presentation skills rather than the legal merits of the case.
This year’s fictitious case is Jess McGee v. Kasey Moore. McGee, the owner of a prized bull, is suing Moore for negligence after the bull escaped from his pasture and was killed in an accident. Moore denies negligence, claiming the accident was unavoidable, and is suing McGee for the damage caused to her car.
A total of 12 teams from three regions – Coastal, Midlands and Piedmont – will advance to the state competition Dec. 7-8 at the Marc H. Westbrook Lexington County Judicial Center, 205 E. Main St., Lexington. The Mock Trial program is sponsored by the S.C. Bar’s Law Related Education Division.
Conway High holds community meet and greet
Teachers, administrators and the school resource officer from Conway High School will have a meet and greet in the community Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon to promote attendance for parent-teacher conferences being held Tuesday.
The event will feature free ice cream and pictures with school mascot Tigger. The group will be at the community center in Darden Terrace around 9 a.m., in Huckabee Heights around 10 a.m. and in Bucksport around 11 a.m.
Those attending parent-teacher conferences will have a free spaghetti supper from 5-6 p.m., and door prizes will be given.
Homewood Elementary holds health and safety event
Homewood Elementary School will hold its fifth annual Community Health and Safety Day on Nov. 3 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The school is at 108 N. Clemson Circle in Conway, and the family event is free and open to the public.
The event is designed to give children a chance to become familiar with police, fire and other safety departments. Parents also will be able to talk with officials from various agencies.
The event will include door prizes, face and hair painting, games, tattoos and a magician/balloon artist. Also on hand will be the Conway Police Department, Conway Fire Department Safe House, S.C. Highway Department Driving Simulator and patrol vehicles, Horry County Police’s Mobile Command Center, a bomb-detection robot, Horry County Literacy Council, Help 4 Kids, Life Flight helicopter (weather permitting) and many more.
For more information, call Karen Parker, 369-6246.
Academy students take awards at State Fair art show
The Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology took four awards out of about 5,000 entries in the S.C. State Fair Juried Art Show. Best in Show 2D went to art major Caitlin Sparks, who won an $85 check, and she was the second AAST winner for Best in Show in the last three years. Third Place 2D went to art major Devynn Williams, while Photography Honorable Mentions went to Valarie Patterson, digital communications major/AP Art, and Savannah Kennedy, digital communications major.
Other AAST students whose work was featured in the art show were digital communications majors Cameron Bartlett, Steth Dailey, Kendall Davis, Tyler Osiecki and Samantha Ruiz; and art majors Casey Bell, Megan Bograt, Nathan Griffith, Anna Lark, Mikaela McNutt, Charlene Nguyen, Erin Ryan, Caroline Silverman, Kylie Thomas, Krissa Uhrain and Ellen Underwood.
Superintendent nominated for national award
Horry County Schools Superintendent Cindy Elsberry is one of 25 women from across the country nominated for the American School Boards Association’s (AASA) Women in School Leadership Award, co-sponsored by Farmers Insurance. The award is designed to recognize exceptional leadership of active, front-line female administrators and to pay tribute to outstanding women educational administrators in public schools.
The final award recipients will be announced during the AASA 2013 National Conference on Education, to be held Feb. 21-23 in Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.
Learn about student options for high school
Horry County Schools will host informational meetings for rising ninth-grade students and their parents to learn about the options available to them as high school students, beginning in August 2013.
Programs to be discussed include the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, program at the Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology; the International Baccalaureate program at Aynor and Socastee high schools; the Scholars Academy at Coastal Carolina University; the HCS Early College High School at Horry Georgetown Technical College; the Horry County Virtual School; career and technology majors at the Academy for Technology and Academics and AAST; and the offerings at the nine base high schools anchoring each attendance area.
Parent and student informational meetings all begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Green Sea Floyds High School, Nov. 8 at Myrtle Beach High School, Nov. 13 at Carolina Forest High School, Nov. 15 at Aynor High School and Nov. 19 at St. James High School.
Myrtle Beach student wins foundation scholarship
Richard Floyd Jr. of Myrtle Beach, a junior at Coastal Carolina University, is one of 56 students from across the nation to be awarded up to $10,000 in scholarship money from the II-VI Foundation to pursue a postsecondary degree in the areas of engineering, mathematics or science for the 2012-13 school year. Floyd is studying physics/engineering and is one of eight awardees to have maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
The II-VI Foundation Scholarship Program was established to encourage and enable student scholars to pursue an engineering-, mathematics- or science-related degree at a postsecondary educational institution while maintaining a standard of excellence in that pursuit. Scholarships must be used for tuition, books and fees required for the enrollment or attendance of the student at a qualifying institution. Recent high school graduates and current college students are eligible.
Contact VICKI GROOMS at 443-2401 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_VickiGrooms.