For a Better Commute. For a Better Prince William County.

Promoted Posts

Boys & Girls Club to host basketball jamboree in Dumfries July 18

On July 18, the General Heiser Boy
s & Girls Club in Dumfries will be hosting their third annual 3-on-3 Basketball Jamboree.

The jamboree will be at the Dumfries club location on Old Stagecoach Road from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There is still space for those that want to register and participate.

More on the registration details:
Maximum 4 players per team
Every team guaranteed 3 games
Categories – Males, Females, Seniors (over 35)
Entry fee – $50 per team

There is also still space for sponsorships.

For more information contact Ken Dunn at dunnkd@comcast.net or by phone at 540-657-9006.

All proceeds will benefit the General Heiser Boys & Girls Club.

*This post was sponsored by Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire.

Northern Virginia families needed for visiting French teens

Waiting for lift-off in the Virginia countryside. In three short weeks, American families and their French students can become lifelong friends.
Donatien, 16, of Versailles, enjoys swimming, tennis, reading, and video games. He has lived in India, and also studies Chinese, and is in a scientific specialization in school.
Joris, a lively and sociable-14 year old, enjoys swimming, canoeing, sailing, camping, mechanics, animals, history and plays the electric guitar.
Hugues and Sebastian prepare for a watermelon seed-spitting contest at a host family picnic last year.
LEC student Paul, left, enjoys his first American hamburger at a Virginia Red Robin restaurant.

Early July is that exciting time of year when French teenagers sponsored by LEC (Loisirs Culturels a L’Etranger, founded in 1972 and based in Paris, France) will be arriving into Dulles Airport for a fun-filled three weeks in the Northern Virginia area.

But to do so they need local families willing to open their hearts and homes now.

LEC has five students, ages 14-19, who still need welcoming homes from July 7–27. They all speak English, are fully insured, bring ample spending money, and would like to participate as a member of an American family – your family!

But what does that entail?

Our families provide room and board, of course, but even more importantly friendship and the desire to include the student in their daily activities, thus giving the student a wonderful introduction to American life.

Families will receive a weekly stipend of $125 to help cover typical hosting costs. For more information or to apply, please contact Karen Sweer, LEC General Coordinator, at 717-795-7089 or ksweer@aol.com TODAY. We need Host families immediately to ensure that every student can visit the US. For more information, please see LEC-USA.com.

It is always fun to observe the group of teens searching for their host families in the airport crowd. Some of the students have corresponded and ‘met’ their families in advance. They have received pictures, and have heard about some of the upcoming plans for the 20 days that they will be in the Northern Virginia area. Others will shyly meet their American families for the first time once they leave the International Arrivals area.

Either way, excitement is in store for both students and families as both share in the daily activities and traditions of the family and have fun learning about each others’ cultures.

Trips to the local swimming pool, bowling alleys, family reunions, and food stores may be just as much fun as trips to amusement parks, museums, the White House and baseball games. Even introducing your student to corn on the cob, American barbecue, or the joys of s’mores can be fun. All are new and exciting to our students! Let your imagination guide you!

Aurelie, a student from Paris who was housed in Chantilly last year, formed a strong bond with her host family who admitted that they had known little about France and had been nervous about opening their home to a student they had never met.

“We decided to go for it,” host mother Joan stated, “ and the 20 days just flew by. In the end, we wished Aurelie could have stayed much longer!”

Again, please contact Karen Sweer, LEC General Coordinator, at 717-795-7089 or ksweer@aol.com TODAY. Please help so we don’t disappoint a single student! See you at Dulles on July 7!

 

Boy Scouts start summer day camp at Leesylvania

[ngg_images gallery_ids=”439″ display_type=”ds-nextgen_royalslider”]

 

As the sun rose this hot Monday morning, over 200 scouts gathered in a green clearing near the Potomac River at Leesylvania State Park prepared for one thing: fun! 

The Occoquan District of the Boy Scouts of America is holding their annual Summer Day Camp this week and the boys couldn’t be more excited.

For young men in scouting, Day Camp, and the excitement it offers, is the promise that many boys receive when they first join scouting in the fall. As the culmination of the scouting year, this is a great opportunity for the boys to work on skills and activities. 

At Leesylvania, boys have the opportunity to experience activities from BB Guns and archery to crafts and theatre, exploring these activities and finding new passions and hobbies in the process.

When scout, Michael DiNorma, was asked what he was looking forward to the most, he said “The Rope Bridge, I love crossing over it.” This bear scout or rising third grader says he’s “excited for all of our activities, but the rope bridge is his favorite.” 

Michael was also asked about the heat and he said, “it will probably get to me, but I do have a water bottle in my backpack.”

This week, the heat is a concern for the Day Camp staff. With day time highs in the mid-90s, and heat indexes over 100 degrees from Monday through Wednesday, the staff is preparing for the worst. 

With water coolers set-up through camp, the staff has instructed every parent at the camp to be keeping a close eye on all the boys, watching for heat related illness. Every boy is also being distributed a reusable water bottle, so they can stay hydrated.

Activities, like our day camp, wouldn’t be possible without the great volunteers that work on day camp planning year round to provide our participants with a great experience. The efforts of the day camp staff would also be difficult without the help of our community sSponsors, including Hometowne Auto and Tire, MTCI and Lake Ridge Rotary. 

These three organizations have made generous contributions to the Community Friends of Scouting campaign to ensure the sustainability of programs like this in the Prince William Community.

This post is brought to you by Hometowne Auto Repair and Tire.

 

 

Hylton student learns the auto biz during internship at Steve’s

As part of their work with C.D. Hylton High School, Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire helped 18-year old high school student Katie Tatum gain the skills and experience she needed to start out her automotive career.

Tatum, who graduated from Hylton last week, spent the year interning with Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire. She will be leaving for Ohio Technical College in July.

When looking to begin working in the field, Tatum had a hard time finding a auto repair shop that would work with her.

“Last summer, I started looking for a job in the automotive field – not only to help me with auto tech – but to also to save up money for college. A lot of places turned me down because I wasn’t eighteen yet (even though I would turn eighteen in a couple of months),” said Tatum.

According to Tatum, she learned several skills when working at Steve’s that she will use as she continues her education and work in the automotive industry.

“I have learned and will continue to learn to stand up for myself in every situation that it will be needed. Throughout life people will push you around if you have the chance of being better than they are…[I also learned] the automotive industry is way different from working in a restaurant…if you mess up a customer’s order in a restaurant, that’s okay they just make a new plate. In the shop if you mess up someone’s car, it is expensive and depending on what went wrong it can be life threatening. You need to know what you are doing so you don’t put anyone’s life or wallet at risk,” Tatum commented.

For Tatum, her time working at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire has given her the confidence she needs to move forward.

“As a woman in a male dominated industry I now have confidence in myself and my abilities to compete and work on the same level as everyone else thanks to Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire,” said Tatum.

*This is a promoted post from Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire.

Manassas awarded for Civil War Sesquicentennial celebration

The City of Manassas, along with Prince William County, were the recipients of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission’s Leadership Award for the area’s efforts in commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War during the past seven years.

The City of Manassas partnered with Prince William County, the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division and many area museums, parks, and historic sites to coordinate dozens of local events that brought history to life for thousands of residents and visitors from across the country. The Prince William County/Manassas Committee began meeting in 2007, and helped plan and promote the signature 2011 Sesquicentennial commemoration at multiple sites across the city and county.

The local committee also fostered a strong partnership with the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission. The Manassas Museum hosted both the Commission’s traveling exhibit, An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia, and the Legacy Project, an effort to scan and archive the Civil War-era documents of local residents. The city also twice hosted another of the Commission’s traveling exhibits, the award-winning Civil War 150 HistoryMobile.

On average, more than 11,000 visitors a day attended events in the city during the four-day July 2011 Sesquicentennial commemoration despite an average heat index of 103 to 105 degrees. The city saw a 14% increase in meals taxes and a 55% increase in sales taxes during the month of the event, and garnered significant national media attention for its expansive free programs.

The annual Manassas Civil War Weekend, scheduled for August 21-23 this year, was created as a result of the popularity of the 2011 and 2012 Sesquicentennial commemorations held throughout the City of Manassas. The Weekend’s program tells the story not just of Civil War battles, but of the War’s impact on civilians and African-Americans.

The Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission was created by the General Assembly to plan and commemorate Civil War events in the Commonwealth. The Commission officially ended its work this year with a Memorial Day award ceremony and concert on the Capitol steps in Richmond. Virginia House Speaker William J. Howell served as Chairman, and State Senator Charles J. Colgan, Sr., served as Vice-Chairman of the Commission.

Woodbridge Rotary – “It will give you back more than you will ever give”

Woodbridge, Rotary

For those not involved with a Rotary group, they may not understand the group’s mission or why they should be involved.

But for members of groups like the Woodbridge Rotary, there are no shortage of reasons to join.

“It’s a service above self organization that will give you back more than you will ever give, just because it’s so rewarding. And you’ll meet people in the community that you would have never met, and also some familiar faces. It’s a great way to give back and have fun at the same time,” said Jo-Ellen Benson, who has been a member of the Woodbridge Rotary since 2006.

Benson joined as a way to give back to her community, after hearing about it from a friend.

“I was in banking and looking for ways to give back to the community, and I was involved in the Boy Scouts at the time…I was with a friend at lunch and he said ‘You’ll really like it, it’s a great group of people and they do wonderful things in the community,” Benson commented.

Throughout the year, the Woodbridge Rotary Club interacts and works with several area organizations – whether it’s through fundraisers, events, or scholarships. And while they make sure to work with a variety of groups, members definitely have their favorites.

“We work with Project Mend-A-House, which I’m passionate about. My husband’s business is caring for seniors in the community – so it ties in really well with my business and our mission [at the Rotary],” said Benson.

For some, their longtime involvement with organizations and their Rotary work collide.

“I’ve been involved with the Boys & Girls Club for 30-years. Over the years, the Rotary club has annually made financial contributions. They’ve sponsored a children’s party over at Westminster,” said John Walvius, a member of the club since 1998.

While everyone in the Woodbridge Rotary Club has their own reasons for joining, for the members, it all goes back to their message of community service.

“You go back to the fact that it is a service organization and it’s an opportunity for people to be involved and provide financial assistance for various groups. And several people have gone beyond that to help out,” said Walvius.

An upcoming event the group is hosting is the 11th annual Joe Devaney Memorial Golf Tournament. It’s being held on June 19 at the Old Hickory Golf Club.

According to Benson, the group is still looking for sponsors, participants and donors for door prizes.

*This promoted post was sponsored by Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire.

How to do a tasting at Manassas Olive Oil Company

[ngg_images gallery_ids=”434″ display_type=”ds-nextgen_royalslider”]

 

Find perfect pairings for salads, chicken, even ice cream

At Manassas Olive Oil Company, you have the opportunity to sample over 45 flavors of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

From mild to robust, these oils fill up metal fusties that are placed throughout the room. Empty bottles are lined up beneath them, and tasting cups are waiting to be filled with fresh oils and vinegar.

A tasting experience can vary.

You may end up spending an hour with friends sampling a large variety, or you might just be looking for something to create a perfect marinade for tonight’s chicken entree.

“We encourage people to spend as much time as they want finding what they love in here,” says store manager Cameron Thomson. “If you don’t want to spend an hour and change in here tasting everything, I can ask you what you’re looking to use it for and then help you find what you’re looking for.”

Thomson says it’s an experience that most people aren’t expecting. “Typically most people, what they’ve had their whole life is nothing like this, so they’re going to be caught very off guard by what they’re about to taste,” Thomson says.

To sample any of the olive oils or balsamic vinegar, you just have to fill up a small plastic ramekin of the flavor you want. Thomson says it’s important to smell it before taking a swig. He also suggests slurping the oils in order to really discern their tastes.

For people that might be put off by drinking the oils on their own, there are jars of bread available for tastings. You can dunk the small pieces of bread into the various flavors in order to get a sense of their taste.

“Sometimes it’s good to break up the taste of it,” said Thomson. “Some of the oils have very strong flavor by themselves, so sometimes its good to have something neutral to taste it with.” 

After sampling a variety of flavors, you may end up with a French Walnut olive oil and Black Cherry vinegar pairing that will make a perfect dressing for your salad, a Mushroom Sage as marinade for tomorrow night’s pork dinner, and a raspberry vinegar to drizzle on that vanilla ice cream in your freezer.

After narrowing down your choices, employees will help you fill the empty glass bottles with the fresh balsamic vinegar and olive oils.

Thomson says this is something fun and new that everyone will love trying out.

“Open up your mind to the new possibility of tasting very fresh olive oil,”he said.

Manassas Olive Oil Company opened its doors in May. Hours are Monday thru Thursday 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wild edible plant classes teach people to find free food in their own backyard

[ngg_images gallery_ids=”433″ display_type=”ds-nextgen_royalslider”]

 

It may come as a surprise, but in many backyards free, local, nutritious food is growing!

Many plants that people consider weeds are edible, and with a little bit of knowledge, those weeds can become delicious sustenance. For instance, Autumn Olive is an invasive shrub that has become very common in Northern Virginia. But did you know that in the fall it produces loads of edible berries that can be used to make jams and fruit leather?

Or consider the dandelion. Not many people realize it, but every part of the plant is edible. You can add the flowers and leaves to your salads, and the roots can be processed into a coffee-like drink.

Of course, before you start pulling up weeds and eating them, it’s important to know what you’re doing. It is essential to identify plants correctly, harvest them safely and ethically, and prepare them properly. There are many plant identification books on the market; however, the best way to learn about wild edibles is from an experienced forager.

In the coming weeks, Earth Village Education, a nonprofit nature education center located near Marshall, Virginia, will conduct two classes about wild edible plants.

The first class on Saturday, June 20, will be a great introduction to the subject. Students will learn plant identification and safety principles, then go for a plant walk, visiting fields, forests, and wetlands to find and harvest a variety of plants that are in season.

The second class from Saturday, July 11 through Sunday, July 12, will cover the same basics in greater depth, and will also feature information about the medicinal uses of wild plants. No prior experience is necessary for either class, and the fee for each class is on a sliding scale.

For more information and to register, visit EarthVillageEducation.org, and transform a stroll in your backyard into a foraging adventure!

What new sports will children be able to try at Freedom Center Summer Camp?

freedom, fitness, aquatic, manassas

Freedom Center’s camp encourage children to love sports  

Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center offers basic sports summer camps, such as football, soccer, baseball, and tennis. Cheerleading, Jiu Jitsu, Self Defense for girls, and Land and Sea Volleyball are only some of the unique programs offered during the summer.

In particular, land and sea volleyball is a great choice because campers get to practice their skills both in the gymnasium and in the pool using a volleyball net.  

Equestrian summer camp continues to be a popular choice for children.

If a child doesn’t want to ride horses, there is skateboarding, In-line Skating using roller blades, as well as a Learn to Ride a Bike camp. Children often use the “Learn to Ride a Bike” camp as a great way to not only get outside, but to also try different types of sports such as BMX. 

How do camp counselors get children to try new sports?

It is the passion that counselors have for the sport they’re teaching that motivates children to try something different and exciting. Children thrive off of their counselors’ passion and get excited seeing their counselors play their favorite sports each day.

Even if the children never score a hoop or get a goal, the counselors build them up so much that the experience is all that matters. If a child is unwilling to try a new sport, a counselor talks to him or her about the importance and how fun it can be to learn a new skill.

The child may not want to be a basketball or soccer player when he or she grows up but they learn important skills such as hand and eye coordination and working in small teams. Freedom’s counselors keep encouraging children throughout the days and weeks and hopefully get them to love a sport.  

You’ll be surprised at the local artifacts featured in the ‘Hometown Tourist’ exhibit in Manassas

Manassas Museum ‘Hometown Tourist” exhibit coming to Bull Run Regional Library 

Trade your suitcase for some walking shoes and be a Manassas hometown tourist this summer. If walking shoes aren’t an option, take a virtual tour.

The new Manassas Historical Sites Map Tour lets you click on a map to find in-depth information about the city’s eight historic properties. The tour includes photographs, little-known stories about people and places associated with the site, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and information about visiting in person. Visit manassasmuseum.org/tour to access the tour.

The Manassas Museum is taking to the road for a new summer travelling exhibit, Hometown Tourist, at the Bull Run Regional Library. The exhibit features artifacts, old post cards, and archaeology from nine area historic sites: The Southern Railway Depot, the Hopkins Candy Factory, Liberia Plantation, the Stone House, the Manassas City Cemetery, the Manassas Museum (built on land where Eastern College once stood), the Manassas Industrial School, the former Grace United Methodist Church (now Bull Run Unitarian), and the Albert Speiden House.

Most of the City’s nationally significant historic sites are open free every day and offer interpretive signage that tells their story. Take along the mobile version of the Manassas Historical Sites Map Tour as you visit the Manassas Museum, the Southern Railway Depot, the Hopkins Candy Factory, Liberia Plantation, Mayfield and Cannon Branch Earthwork Forts, and the Manassas Industrial School/Jennie Dean Memorial to enhance your experience.

If you would like to learn even more about the sites, guided walking tours of Historic Downtown Manassas are offered every Thursday and Friday at Noon, and Liberia House tours are offered Sundays at Noon through the summer. Meet at the Manassas Museum, 9101 Prince William Street, for the Downtown tours, and at Liberia, 8601 Portner Avenue, for the Sunday tours.

Call 703-268-1873 or visit manassasmuseum.org for more information.

Potomac Local first to call 29th district senate race

There’s an old saying: If you don’t toot your own horn, nobody will do it for you.

So here goes.

PotomacLocal.com was the first to report Jeremy McPike would be the Democratic nominee for the 29th district Virginia Senate Seat. We reported it before the Associated Press.

 

The race for the 29th district seat has been, and will continue to be one of the most-watched state senate races in Virginia. Either Jeremy McPike, or Republican Hal Parrish II, who is also seeking the seat that includes nearly all of Prince William County, will replace the retiring Chuck Colgan, the longest siting state senator in the General Assembly. 

Given the size and scope of our operation versus other news organizations, we’re pretty darn proud to bring you local news first.

And we thank you, our readers and advertisers, each and every day for trusting us and allowing us to do the job!

‘Service above self’ – why to join the Woodbridge Rotary

Service above self

There are many Rotary club organizations around the world, but according to members of the Woodbridge Rotary, there are several reasons why their group stands out.

According to Mark Worrilow – a long time Woodbridge Rotary member – one needs to really understand the Rotary’s “service above self” motto, in order to understand the value of the group.

“A lot of people look at Rotary, and the first thing they think of is – business – will I get business out of it. And that’s completely 180 degrees around on why you join Rotary. You join Rotary because you want to be a constructive and contributing member to the betterment of society,” said Worrilow.

Worrilow also stated that the friendships he’s made during his time in Rotary have been invaluable.

“The reason to join Rotary is to have the comradery – at least with our club – I have just an infinite number of people here, and to do something to make our environment – as far as the community is concerned – better,” Worrilow commented.

In addition to the service projects that the group does year-round, the Woodbridge Rotary is hosting two big fundraisers in the coming months.

The first is their 11th annual Joe Devaney Memorial Golf Tournament at the Old Hickory Golf Club on June 19.

“This our 11th year…in the last 10 years we’ve raised over $80,000 and pretty much every cent of it has been given away to charity,” said Worrilow.

While the event is meant to be a fundraiser, Worrilow also said that overall it’s just a great community outing.

“It’s a great fundraiser, but it’s also a fun-raiser – we have a lot of fun more than anything. We get a great deal of participation from our club members, and a lot of participation from the community,” commented Worrilow.

The other upcoming fundraiser for the Woodbridge Rotary is the Chips for Charity event. It is an annual casino-night fundraiser that takes place each fall.

And the group will be hosting a special anniversary celebration this year.

“We’re actually coming up on our 50th anniversary of the club – that’s going to be in October. So we’re not only going to do something to celebrate and fun for us, but we’re also going to do a service project or two,” said Worrilow.

*This post was sponsored by Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire.

What new adventures will my child experience at Freedom Center Summer Camp?

freedom, fitness, aquatic, manassas

Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center offers exciting off-site summer camps for children of all ages.

Just a few of the options available for older children are rock climbing, kayak fishing, mountain biking and natural adventures camps.

On the first day of rock climbing camp, campers spend their time on The Edge, a team development course, that teaches them how to get comfortable with wearing a harness, belaying, and acting together as one unit.

Once activities begin, some campers may be hiking while another group is climbing. This strategy keeps the children moving and prevents idleness and boredom throughout the day.

On the rare rainy or hot days that prevents climbing outside, Freedom Center takes children to Vertical Rock, where children can climb.

In the kayak fishing camp, campers travel all around the area to kayak fish at Bull Run, Fountainhead, and the Shenandoah, Rappahannock, and Rapidan rivers. Freedom Center works with the Virginia Outside and Fishing Company to lead the ship and teach the children valuable fishing skills.

Camp counselors will still accompany campers to these locations. Many campers come with no previous fishing experience and develop an excitement and a passion for being outdoors and learning how to fish. Plus, they can learn how to safely kayak.

Rock climbing and paintball are the most popular outdoor camps that the Freedom Center offers. This year, Freedom added a camp for their younger “peewee paintballers.”

Different material is used to prevent injury and the painful sting normally common with paintballing. It’s an excellent program to get children familiar with paintball and to get them excited. Even if a camper only does it once a year with his or her family, Freedom’s paintball camp is a great starter.

As with on-site camps, Freedom Center employs the best-certified instructors off-site. When participating in these camps, children can be in environments they wouldn’t normally have access to on a regular basis. The campers are normally outside all day and during their first week, those five days of adventure are spent learning skills that they would otherwise gain once they were older.

Also, campers are in smaller groups of between 12-15 children quickly form close and valuable relationships with each other. They practice leadership skills and working in a team while camp counselors make sure they act and bond as one unit successfully.

Early on at the beginning of the camp, counselors ensure that older children are learning how to trust and respect one another. Developing these skills is especially important for rock climbing.

How does Freedom Center Summer Camp help children make new friends?

freedom, fitness, aquatic, manassas

Your child can make new friends this summer.

At Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center, all counselors are trained to help children make new friends and form relationships at summer camp.

All of Freedom Center’s counselors are taught how to manage the interaction between children who have never met before and who may have different backgrounds or ages. Early on in the week, counselors can see how the children interact with each other and handle making new friends.

Counselors can see some children gradually jumping into conversations while other children immediately immerse themselves.

By the end of the first week, children at Freedom’s summer camps have already met multiple new friends. The children begin to invite each other to birthday parties, camping groups, and vacations with their families.

Many children who participate in camp go to different schools on opposite sides Prince William County, however the bond made at summer camp keeps children together throughout the school year.

Plus, it’s not uncommon for parents to send Freedom Center counselors pictures of the activities that children do with their camp friends. Even parents themselves benefit from this by forming friendships with other parents.

Camp counselors work very hard to look at how best to bring children together so they can have a fun time at camp. Counselors deal with various scenarios, read research-based articles, and collaborate with different counselors in the area that will visit and speak with them. In preparation, counselors spend much of their time just talking to each other on how to develop skills to truly motivate children to step out of their comfort zone.

For example, counselors will help children become comfortable with playing games with other children and giving them the confidence children need to play soccer when they’re not the best player.

Children can take these skills and apply them to other areas in their life and as they get older.

What new hobbies will my child learn at Freedom Center Summer Camp?

freedom, fitness, aquatic, manassas

There’s lots of new activities for children at Freedom Center summer camp

Regardless of their age, summer campers at Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center return every year to learn and excel at their favorite hobbies.

Many sports campers begin their journey at Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center in a beginner level soccer camp. As the summers progress, many campers’ skills improve so much that they find success at their local elementary, middle and high schools, as well as local club teams.

Horse lovers 

For horse lovers, Freedom offers an equestrian summer camp. The campers begin taking lessons and enjoy and learn it enough always to make the choice to return every summer. In fact, the equestrian summer camp is one of the first camps to fill up the quickest. One of the reasons being is that throughout their lessons, campers develop a long-lasting passion for horses and riding. Horses don’t come to Freedom Center, but campers travel to a local stable called Clover Brooke Stables for their lessons.

Swimming 

For budding swimmers, parents see a difference in their child’s abilities and see them succeed at passing their individual swim tests. From then on, many children decide to pursue swimming through other avenues during the school year.

Why do children continue to come back to Freedom Center? The answer lies in their passionate camp counselors and instructors. Freedom goes to great lengths to hire counselors and instructors that are passionate about their favorite sports and hobbies.

These counselors and instructors are so passionate that they want to share this passion with children and help them develop the right skills to succeed at any sport or hobby they have. Children will not have to worry about sitting out of a game or being put off the team if they’re unable to master the skills quickly because Freedom’s counselors and instructors work with the children to keep them motivated and always progressing.

Counselors keep children motivated 

Most of Freedom’s counselors and instructors continue to educate outside of the fitness center. Some are teachers, and some are enrolled in teaching programs, coach, or teach Bible study at their churches. The one common trait that all the counselors and instructors have is that they have a passion for not only their sports and hobbies, but children as well.

Children who sign up and commit themselves to Freedom Center summer camps find themselves at an advantage going into their schools and local teams. For example, young beginner and intermediate soccer players may begin their soccer lessons with no previous experiences wearing shin guards or even touching soccer balls.

With just a week in at the summer camps, children can see great improvement and development. It also gives children the confidence that they need because they’re coming onto the field with great skills.

In a short amount of time, when children participate they learn all of the basic soccer skills they need to succeed outside of the Freedom Center. They will know which way to run to chase the ball, playing with no hands, and much more to keep them prepared and ahead of their less experienced peers.

Keep Prince William Beautiful protects, maintains natural beauty

[ngg_images gallery_ids=”422″ display_type=”ds-nextgen_royalslider”]

 

Keep Prince William Beautiful is an area non-profit that works with businesses, individuals and organizations to help keep the county pristine, and to maintain the environmental beauty of the area.

Potomac Local spoke with board president Dave Byrne about the organization and what they do.

PL: Who does your organization serve?

KPWB:

” data-sheets-userformat=”[null,null,513,[null,0],null,null,null,null,null,null,null,null,0]”>Keep Prince William Beautiful’s services and programs are available to all residents, businesses, and organizations in Prince William County. Last year we worked with over 1700 volunteers and educated more than 8600 citizens on the topics of litter, recycling, and water quality.

PL: Why is your organization important to the community?

KPWB: For over 30 years Keep Prince William Beautiful’s programs and services have aided in abating litter, increasing recycling rates, and most recently, protecting our storm drains.

Supporting and developing community cleanups within Prince William County allows for litter to be removed before it can harm land, wildlife or our waterways. A litter-free community improves community appearance and quality of life while discouraging crime and vandalism. The safer citizens feel the more they will patronize the businesses in their community, leading to economic benefits.

Educating the public about recycling decreases the space needed for landfills by reducing the quantity of items disposed of at the landfill. This decrease is area needed for waste disposal allows Prince William County to maintain a green spaces for both environmental and community benefit. With over 430,000 residents, Prince William County creates a lot of waste. Keep Prince William Beautiful program’s provide education and opportunity for residents to manager their waste in sustainable ways.

A clean community is essential to the safety, economic development and well-being of our communities. Keep Prince William Beautiful provides services, programs and education for a clean Prince William County.

PL: What is the history of the organization?

KPWB: Founded in 1982, KPWB resulted from citizen concern for environmental issues in Prince William County. Beginning with Spring Cleanups, the group grew to be called the Litter Control Council by 1986 and their vision expanded to long-term environmental cleanliness. Adding graffiti abatement and recycling education to the program list a few years later led to the name change of Prince William Clean Community Council.

In 1998 the Council passed the rigorous certification process with Keep American Beautiful and became an affiliate, providing the organization access to current research, educational tools and a national support network of like-minded organizations. While celebrating their 30th birthday in 2012, the organization rebranded to Keep Prince William Beautiful (KPWB), allowing for an increase in program offerings; including beautification and storm drain labeling. Keep Prince William Beautiful is proud of its heritage and looks forward to continuing the tradition of empowering our community to become self-sufficient stewards of our local environment.

PL: Why is your organization located?

KPWB: Keep Prince William Beautiful, 4391 Ridgewood Center Drive, Suite F Prince William, VA 22192

PL: What is your annual budget?

KPWB: $151,974.00

PL: How can residents help your cause?

KPWB: 1. Donate/Sponsor
2. Request an Educational Outreach Presentation at group meetings, schools, expos, etc.
3. Volunteer! Volunteers lead community cleanup projects, participate in beautification activities, support booths and games as community events, assist in the office, and much more! Whether you’re an individual, an organization, or a corporate group, we have the perfect volunteer opportunity for you! KPWB has both one-time and ongoing opportunities available year-round.

PL: What makes your organization different/unique?

KPWB: Keep Prince William Beautiful is an organization that effects every single resident in Prince William County. Not only is a clean environment essential to everyone currently in our community, but our present actions directly affect our future residents and community’s success. Through our programs and services, we provide opportunities for community members to take responsibility for their own environment so they can have a direct impact on the future of where they work/play/live.

*This post is sponsored by Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire.

Wildlife group hosts family shoot fundraiser June 13

family shoot, rod and gun

On June 13, the Quail & Upland Wildlife Federation’s Chapter 16 will host their Father, Son, Daughter Family Shoot at the Fredericksburg Rod and Gun Club in Fredericksburg.

The event, which has been a fundraiser for the organization for more than 5 years, will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We do it every year to help the youth out. The whole idea was community outreach, for adults and youth. Our organization is a sportmen’s organization not only for habitat restoration work, but it’s also for getting people out into the shooting sports, and giving them the opportunity to be able to do that kind of stuff. There’s nobody else in the area that really does stuff like this,” said Jerry Saggers, an organizer for the Federation.

There will be skeet and trap shooting for adults and youth, as well as an opportunity for Boy Scouts to earn their .22 Rifle Merit shooting badge.

According to Saggers, the Federation wanted to give the Boy Scouts the opportunity during the fundraiser, to help the scouts earn their badge.

“I saw an opportunity, several years ago…in our area, and with the Boy Scouts, that a Scout will start the [shooting] merit badge, and never have the opportunity to finish,” said Saggers.

Additionally, certified instructors will be present, giving participants information about hatchets, shooting and traumatic injury care, stated Saggers.

It is $65 for individuals to participate, and includes a round of skeet and trap shooting, shells, lunch and drinks. It is $15 for Boy Scouts to shoot for their merit badge, and includes lunch and drinks.

Sign up here.

*This post is sponsored by Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire.

History thundering toward Manassas Railway Festival

 

Norfolk Southern is bringing Steam Engine 611 to the City of Manassas during the 21st Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival on Saturday, June 6. The “611” belongs to the Virginia Museum of Transportation, but Norfolk Southern will have it out for 11 round-trip single day excursions beginning with the Railway Festival on Saturday.

Along with excursion rides on 611, there will be VRE rides for the younger set. Also featured at the Railway Festival are model trains, train memorabilia, live entertainment and great food. This is an event not to be missed!

So, what does it take to “Fire Up 611?” Other than 10,000 hours of volunteer labor, it takes about 25,000 gallons of water for each trip of about 100 miles. This Steam Engine rolled off the line on May 29, 1950 and traveled nearly three million miles before its retirement in 1957 when diesel became the more price-conscious option. 611 was in such great condition, she was selected to pull the company’s “farewell to steam” excursions in October 1959.

[ngg_images gallery_ids=”421″ display_type=”ds-nextgen_royalslider”]

 

In 1981, Norfolk Southern president Robert Claytor sent 611 to the Norris Steam Shop in Birmingham, Alabama. The 611 became the star of the Norfolk Southern steam program pulling excursions throughout the eastern U.S.

While previously limited to the N&W’s system, 611 was able to travel as far south as Florida, as far north as New York, and as far west as Chicago. For 22 years she traversed the mainlines recreating the golden age of American railroading and inspiring a new generation of steam fans. Norfolk Southern decided to end the program in 1994. The 611 returned to her hometown of Roanoke, Va. to once again serve as a static display.

If you prefer not to take a ride, 611 will be available for picture opportunities at the 21st Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival at about 1 p.m. For more information on 611, visit fireup611.org.

On Friday, June 5, from 5 to 9 p.m. come to First Friday in Historic Downtown. The June First Friday features corn hole playing and corn hole tournaments throughout downtown, plus, great food and wonderful shops.

On Sunday, June 7, get ready for the Taste of Historic Manassas from noon to 4:30 p.m. This annual event transforms Historic Downtown Manassas into a lively festival with local entertainment and lots of great food.

For more information on these and other events in the City of Manassas, visit visitmanassas.org.

Why should you get involved with the Woodbridge Rotary?

Woodbridge Rotary

When people hear about the Rotary organization, many know the name – but many may not know about what the group does.

Rotary International is a national service organization, with chapters across the United States. One of the active chapters in the area is the Woodbridge Rotary Club.

Members of the club meet each week at Westminster at Lake Ridge, to share stories and plan fundraisers, events, and think of other ways to help the community and organizations in need.

“One of the things that impressed me was that not only were they doing things locally – supporting the local charities like ACTS – the main thing that interested me was the program that they had to eradicate polio throughout the world…the [national] Rotary has provided a significant amount of money to eradicate polio in other parts of the world,” said Stuart Mitchell – a 30-year member of the group.

For other members, the Woodbridge Rotary has been a major source of support.

“My reason for staying in the [Woodbridge] Rotary all this time is that it’s been a great support group. If you join the Rotary because you want to get money out of it, or sales or something – forget it. That’s not what it’s all about,” said Bill Evans, who has been with the group for 50-years.

Joining the Rotary has also been a way for some to meet new people and get more engaged in the community.

“I joined Rotary because somebody asked me to. And the reason that I was interested was that my career up to that point had been in the Army for 20 years…and I didn’t know anything about what was going on in the community. And I figured if I joined something like Rotary, I’d meet new people from all walks of life,” said Mitchell.

At their most recent meeting, the Woodbridge Rotary presented the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society with a $1,000 check, but they have helped several organizations over the years.

The next project for the Woodbridge Rotary is their 11th annual golf tournament on June 19 at Old Hickory Golf Club in Woodbridge. The group – who are still looking for sponsors and participants – will be using the event to raise funds for the Boys & Girls Club, Project Mend-A-House and other local groups.

This post is sponsored by Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire.

Snorkeling, diving, swimming: Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center Summer campers make great use of the pool

freedom, fitness, aquatic, manassas
Freedom aquatic and fitness center, swimming, summer

Looking for a way to keep your kids busy this summer? The Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center has a massive indoor swimming pool and is hosting its annual Summer Camp.

A majority of Freedom’s summer campers will go swimming each day. The times are scheduled, and camping groups are rotated to keep the pool from getting overcrowded.

While in the pool, children can enjoy the swimming slide, diving boards, and an inflatable obstacle course called the “wibit” on Fridays. All campers are supervised by Freedom’s camp counselors who are in the pool or walking the pool deck. All of Freedom’s counselors are trained on swim time procedures. The kids will have supervision when walking to the restroom and when they switch pools.

The new swimming pool can still be enjoyed by children who do not have great swimming skills. These children will be able to stand in good-sized portions of the pool and are also supervised by counselors.

Each counselor ensures the well-being of each child and makes sure they’re having a good time. Children are not able to spend their entire day swimming at the pool, but can get in more swim time when they come back to the Freedom Aquatics and Fitness Center with their parents.

Freedom offers two camps for older children called the “Aquatics Camp” and “Learn to be a Lifeguard Camp.” These older children will spend more time in the pool, however not the entire day.

In the basic summer camps that Freedom offers, such as soccer or “Camp Freedom,” children will spend up to an hour of free play in the pools. Children have freedom to do as they please with the approval and communication from their counselors.

With Freedom’s structured camps around the pools, such as the Aquatics Camp, children must take a prerequisite skills test to ensure their swimming skills are adequate for the program.. With this specific program, children will learn how to excel in different swimming styles and techniques through fun games and lessons.

Freedom has also partnered with a local scuba company that can teach kids how to scuba and snorkel for the day, all under supervision in Freedom’s pool. It’s a very neat experience for all of the children. This year, Freedom also has a new diving camp where a local dive coach will lead a beginner program on basic diving techniques.

During swim time, parents can only swim with their kids once their child has been signed out by them. The pool will still be open to guests and members while summer campers are there. Swimming lessons are available in the afternoon, which are built into the program and are separate from normal swimming lessons. These swimming lessons can be added on for an additional fee.

Manassas City businesses rise and shine at appreciation breakfast

Close to 100 people gathered at the Center for the Arts for the inaugural Manassas Business Appreciation Breakfast where they celebrated the City’s entrepreneurial spirit and thriving business community. The City of Manassas and the Prince William Chamber of Commerce hosted the event to recognize local businesses.

In his opening remarks, Mayor Harry J. Parrish II thanked the audience for choosing Manassas and “for all that you bring to the community.” Beyond creating jobs and boosting the local economy, he acknowledged the many business leaders who serve on boards and commissions and participate in the robust calendar of events.

See photos from the event

Those in the room took a moment to welcome the newcomers to downtown, which include Amy’s Bridal, Totally Vintage Designs, and Scatter Seeds as well as the soon-to-open Cut Rate Barbershop and Jitterbug ice cream shop. H Mart and Firehouse Subs, which recently opened on Liberia Avenue, were recognized as well. Dalena Kanouse, the CEO of MTCI Management and Training Consultants, Inc., and incoming chair of the Prince William Chamber, pointed out that her well-established company was once a newcomer to the City of Manassas. She told the tight-knit business community that MTCI moved from Dumfries to take advantage of the opportunities in Manassas and are happy to be here.

Existing businesses in the City are flourishing, too. Fauquier Bank relocated within the City to accommodate its anticipated expansion. Malone’s opened a second floor to accommodate their growing business. Another expansion in the City is Aurora Flight Science who are sub-leasing the airport’s FlightWorks hanger and envision creating 50 new jobs over the next several years. B. Hayes Framme, advisor for infrastructure and development for the Commonwealth of Virginia, acknowledged that most businesses have “Chief ‘Everything’ Officers.” He also identified high-growth opportunities in Virginia like cyber security and biotechnology and discussed incentives and policies that support job creation.

The City strives to create a business-friendly environment and is always interested in speaking to prospective business owners who wish to join this supportive community. For more information, call the economic development department at 703-257-8881.

Page 20 of 26« First...10...1819202122...Last »