Washington column for Feb. 22

Scouting and skiing

According to Roger Pierson, Boy Scout Troops 36 and 316 and Venture Crew 36 will host the annual Friends of Scouting Breakfast at Washington Baptist Church beginning 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 17. The speaker this year will be John McCaslin, editor of the newspaper you are currently reading. McCaslin will speak about journalism then and now. Donations for the benefit of area boy scouting will be graciously accepted. An RSVP sent to Roger Pierson, committee chairman at piersons@erols.com, is not required, but would be greatly appreciated.

Several of the newer Boy Scout and Venture Crew skiers readying themselves for their initial lesson before heading to the lifts for an excellent day and evening on the slopes. By Roger Pierson

Also, Boy Scout Troop 36 and Venture Crew 36 (both sponsored by Trinity Episcopal Church) and Boy Scout Troop 316 (sponsored by Reynolds Memorial Baptist Church) enjoyed their 18th annual ski trip to Roundtop, near Harrisburg, Pa., during the weekend of January 26-28 .

In all, 28 Scouts, Venturers and adult leaders enjoyed meals and lodging in cabins at nearby Gifford Pinchot State Park. After initial lessons, either ski or snowboard, the group had a full day descending in near perfect conditions. The traditional spaghetti dinner was enjoyed back at the cabins before all those still willing returned for night skiing — and jumping competition of local and non-local snowboarders.

A very tired, but content group prepared breakfast Sunday morning before a trip through the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside on the way back to beautiful and historic Rappahannock County.

Tea Time

Rappahannock Girl Scouts (clockwise from left) Claire Keyser, Lexy Abdullah, Mena Giles and McKenna Torosian enjoy tea at the Inn in Little Washington. By Pat Giles

According to Scout Leader Tracy Abdullah, a few girls from the 4th grade Rappahannock Girl Scout Troop enjoyed tea at the Inn at Little Washington with their moms to earn their Social Butterfly patches.

“Cheez Whiz” Cameron Smith gave the girls etiquette pointers along with their tea (use your napkin, take small bites so you can converse, gently stir and place the teaspoon on the saucer, when sipping the tea look into the cup instead of over it) and they finished by taking a kitchen tour with chef Patrick O’Connell. Everyone enjoyed the tour.

Birthday wishes

Birthday wishes go out to one special lady, Lillian Corbin, who will be turning 90 years old on Friday, Feb. 23. I have known Lillian for years and years. Such a sweet person. For those who know Lillian, give her a call and wish her a happy birthday. Also birthday wishes go out to Mary McFarland who will celebrate her big day on Feb. 25.

Burning law

The 4 p.m. Burning Law states that from Feb. 15 through April 30 of each year, no burning before 4 p.m. is permitted if the fire is within 300 feet of woodland, brushland or fields containing dry grass or other flammable material.

Since forest fuels cure during the winter months, the danger of fire is higher in early spring than in summer when the forest and grasses are green with new growth. The 4 p.m. Burning Law is an effective tool in the prevention of forest fires. Localities may have more restrictive outdoor burning laws.

To learn more about the law and how to protect yourself and your property, visit dof.virginia.gov.

A violation of the 4 p.m. Burning Law is a Class 3 misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine. In addition to the criminal violation, those who allow a fire to escape are liable for the cost of suppressing the fire as well as any damage caused to others’ property.

Kite flying

February is nearly behind us, which means kite flying is just around the corner as March arrives next Thursday. March, if you didn’t gather, is the month for kite flying.

A wind that’s too strong or too light is difficult to fly in. A flag or windsock is handy to help you gauge the wind. Flying is most fun when the wind is moderate so you can make your kite dance across the sky by pulling in and letting out the line.

Make sure you are in an area that is open and free of trees, electrical and telephone lines, buildings, and automobile traffic. Let the wind lift the kite and as it does feed out the line to the height you desire. Always walk in the direction of the wind as you feed out the line. If the kite won’t climb you can reduce the bridle angle. To land the kite, walk toward it winding the line on the reel as you walk.

I’m looking forward to flying a kite this year with my grandchildren. Kite flying is great fun and it’s easy. So grab your kite and join in the fun. The big blue sky is big enough for all of us who love to fly them.

Have a wonderful week!