EDITORIAL – KIDS SHOW US HOW TO HAVE FUN

And this is the season when we see them having fun all around the islands – learning, skating, dancing, exhibiting, singing, performing and not least of all, hunting magical Easter eggs outdoors.

From the Easter egg hunts at Moran State Park and Deer Harbor last weekend (brought to life through the efforts of the Lions Club and the Deer Harbor Women’s Auxiliary and the Deer Harbor Inn) through next months’ production of “Beauty and the Beast” at the Orcas Center, we can see kids active and involved and happy.

Wordsworth said, “The child is father to the man,” and we stressed-out, paper-pushing, chair-borne adults can take a lesson from the youngest of our kids – who enter with unquestioning expectation into the Easter Bunny story – to move more, dance like nobody’s watching, see where curiosity leads us, follow our hearts, make believe, smell the daisies, wear purple and tell it like we see it. Cynicism and expertise will put us in the old folks’ home sooner than anything else.

This week, the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival brings Monique Mead to the Orcas Island School District as its Musician-in-Residence. Mead will spend three full days playing music with students and teachers as they learn the fun of refining musical performance. On Wednesday evening, she’ll help adults polish their performances, and, for $10, the audience is welcome to view the Master Class.

On Saturday, the Funhouse will stage the seventh annual Science Fair, where students from island schools will exhibit projects that show their curiosity of both mundane and esoteric scientific subjects. Last year, the Funhouse was packed with kids and adults on Science Fair Day, as Science Wizards judged the entries and awarded scholarships to high-school entrants.

Waldron School always brings a strong presence to the Fair, and this year should be no different.

If you want to see the future, go to the Science Fair, and be prepared to jostle with and grin at kids learning with passion and open minds. The Science Fair is made possible by the support of Doug and Nancy Boyden and Camp Orkila.

The active Orcas Island School District Parent-Teacher-Student-Association (PTSA) recently was awarded a grant to enable them to further a very good thing – male role modeling at the PTSA’s rollerskating Fridays – through a four-week rollerdancing class offered on Saturday nights. The class will admit all dads for free, to encourage their continuing presence in this fun and active event, while at the same time, showing the kids how to do more than just skate. Taught by Anthony Manuel, the rollerdancing class will teach kids how to skate backwards and partner skate.

The classes start this Saturday night – maybe the PTSA should consider charging admission so the rest of us can watch the fun of those who aren’t afraid to fall.

The Orcas Center with its cast of thousands (well, dozens) of Orcas kids will soon mount “Beauty and the Beast,” from April 10 to 26. In staging this play, the Center has responded to the call for another community musical, and singing and dancing are occupying the young actors’ attention, rather than video or computer games. But the cost of this big production requires special “Beauty and the Beast” sponsors, and donors big and small are asked to consider sponsorship.

Kids just want to have fun, and grownups do a world of good for kids in bringing fun pastimes and physical activity into their lives. Grownups can also consider that they’re not too old to learn new ways of having fun.

Hats off to the Lions, the Chamber Music Festival, the Funhouse, the PTSA, the Center, as well as to community clubs and businesses and all the others who stay young at heart by helping the young in years.