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Summer at last. Not quite official until June 21, but for me, summer begins when school lets out, which will be June 11. Facebook is filled with prom photos and happy graduates in caps and gowns. The elementary schools are having field days as parents look for ways to keep the kiddies occupied during time off.

When I was a kid, we didn’t plan much. The boys had Little League, but mostly we just went out to play. As soon as we woke up and dressed, we made the rounds of houses, calling, “Hello for Angela,” or “Hello for Noel.” We played make believe — house, army, or school. Everything was from our imaginations. We built tents and forts from any junk we found around the yard. Yards had more junk back then.

In the evening, we organized a game of kick the can, red rover, or tag. As we grew tired, the games slowed down. We sat on porch steps and played movie stars — someone gave us initials and we had to guess who the movie star was. There was a game called pies. I don’t remember exactly but it had something to do with guessing what flavor pie someone was and then trying to catch the pie as he ran away. Life was simple.

By middle school, we were able to take ourselves to the Butler Sreet Park where we could swim or play board games kept in a shed manned by high school kids working there for the summer. The high school gyms were usually open and also employed teenagers to make sure we didn’t act up. As we got older, some kids got summer jobs like picking beans on Carpenter’s farm, or sewing in the dress factory.

Things are a little different today. Parents have more options to offer their kids and I guess I have to admit that children are more sophisticated than we were. We didn’t have computers and television had only three channels. It was boring in our homes and if we stuck around our moms were likely to hand us a dust rag and put us to work. Parents today sometimes have to find ways to get their kids to exercise and learn social skills. It’s a challenge and I give them a lot of credit for raising good kids in the era of social media.

I also commend the adults who organize summer activities in our communities. Many are instructive, like sports camps. There are soccer and baseball camps at Wyoming Area, and the Panthers are getting ready for mini football and cheerleading. The Wyoming Library will have activities all summer, including a summer reading club for children. The Wyoming Recreation Board has regrouped and is getting ready to bring some fun to the community and the Kiwanis outdoor movie night is a great way for families to spend an evening.

One word of caution. The Butler Street Park is filled with kids, some quite young, who dart out into the street without looking to see if a car is coming. Living near the park, I often see cars speed by. Please tell your teenage kids and grandkids to drive carefully near parks and playgrounds.

I hope all WA children and their teachers have a happy, safe summer.

Finally, congratulations to all our graduates — high school and college — and to the parents who guided them through.

Well done!

Baseball camp

Wyoming Area Baseball Camp is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday, July 22, to Thursday, July 25, at the Atlas Field in Exeter.

The camp is for ages 6 to 14. Cost is $99 and the deadline for registration is Friday, July 19.

For information, email

Library news

Wyoming Free Library is planning a summer reading club. Registration will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, June 17. This year’s theme is A Universe of Stories.

The library will have a Scholastic Book Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, July 15, through Thursday, July 18.

Enjoy an evening of baseball and support the Wyoming Free Library at the RailRiders game Friday, July 19, at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are $12 and all proceeds go to library fundraising. Order forms are available at the front desk.

A children’s produce market will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, June 29. The Commission on Economic Opportunity will distribute canned goods, non-perishables, fruits and vegetables to any Luzerne County family with children. After the children receive their food, leftovers are boxed for senior citizens to pick up later in the day. Registration must be submitted by 10 a.m. Monday, June 24. Proof of income is not required. Applications are available at the library. Call 570-693-1364.

Legion meeting,

flag disposal ceremony

West Wyoming American Legion Morning Star Post 904 will hold its monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at West Wyoming Hose Company No. 1.

Following the meeting, the post and Boy Scouts will conduct the flag disposal.

All members are asked to attend in uniform for the ceremony.

Community flea market

Wyoming Recreation Board is planning a flea market to be held at Flack Field from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, June 23.

Cost is $20 for a 10-by-10 space. All proceeds benefit future community activities.

Call Roseann or Jim at 570-693-0291.

Kiwanis movie night

Wyoming Area Kiwanis will hold another free movie night at 8 p.m. Friday, June 28, in Daley Park, West Wyoming. Popcorn and water will be provided. Just bring a chair or blanket.

WWWE Panthers registration

WWWE Panthers mini football/cheerleading will hold registration at the Panther field, behind St. Cecilia’s Church in Exeter, from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, June 10, and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 22. Cost is $75 for the first child and $10 for each additional child. After June 30, cost will be $85 for the first child and $10 for each additional child.

Cheerleading is open to children 4 to 12 years old. Football players must be 5 to 12 years old to register. Birth certificate, two proofs of residency and a current photo of the child are required.

Each family is required to sell a packet of raffle tickets worth $50 to help fund the organization.

Trash fee notices

• The 2019 Wyoming garbage fee is in penalty phase. Please mail checks or money orders for $250 to Wyoming Borough Sanitation, 277 Wyoming Ave, Wyoming, PA 18644. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. A secure payment box is located outside the entrance. Any questions, please call 570-693-0291.

• West Wyoming reminds residents sanitation fees are now past due and the penalty fee of $300 is in effect.

• Exeter refuse stickers for 2019 are now available. The penalty phase is now in effect and the price is $250. Stickers can be purchased at the Exeter Borough Building from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday or by mail by sending a self addressed, stamped envelope to Exeter Borough Refuse Department, 1101 Wyoming Ave., Exeter, PA 18643. Please use a long business size envelope. For information, call Lynda at 570-654-3001, ext. 2.

All residents are reminded to rinse jars, bottles and cans for recycling. Greasy cardboard like pizza boxes cannot be recycled. Please only put out clean, flat cardboard.

State office hours

State Rep. Aaron Kaufer’s Exeter office, 1101 Wyoming Ave., is open noon to 2 p.m. the third Friday of the month.

Barbara Bullions writes about Exeter, Wyoming and West Wyoming every week. To include an item in her column, email barbarabullions@gmai­ or call 570-301-2185 by Monday.