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Summer 2017 • Volume 2, Issue 3

NEPA Family Times 149 Penn Avenue Scranton, PA 18503 Editorial: 570-348-9185 Advertising: 570-348-9100

MANAgiNg EdiTor Tom Graham x3492

SAlES MANAgEr Alice Manley x9285

AdvErTiSiNg ExEcuTivES

dad Time


Make His First Father’s Day Special

Hit the road Day Trips/Staycation Hot Spots

it’s a Keeper


Hacks & Snacks to make your Road Trip Fun

The great outdoors


Family Camping in NEPA

get outside


Explore Hidden Outdoor Gems

Judy Gregg x5425

Tick, Tick boom

Codey Holdren x3005

On the Lookout for Lyme

Josette Rzeszewski x3027


Tips from Jenna

9 12

coNTribuTiNg WriTErS

Things to do with Your Kids this Summer

Jennifer Butler

Today’s grandparent

Dave DeCosmo Phil Yacuboski

EdiToriAl PAgE dESigNEr Angela Powell x5145


Let Go of the Remote Control

School break


Keep Kids Engaged this Summer

For the love of books


Avoid the “Summer Slide” Your news is always welcome! Email or click Mailed editorial and photo submissions will not be returned. Opinions of the independent columnists do not necessarily reflect those of the editorial staff.

Sun Safety


Save Your Skin this Summer

beach Fun


Fun Days at the Beach

Save the day


Establish a Household Budget

/NEPAFamilyTimes @NEPAFamilyTimes


NEPA Family Times is published bi-monthly by Times Shamrock Communications.




Make his First Father’s day Special


ads are often the first heros in their young children’s lives. Dads chase away ghosts in the closet, let their daughters dance on their toes and teach their sons how to win the heart of their first crush. The first Father’s Day a new dad spends with his growing family can be quite memorable, as celebrating one’s fatherhood for the first time is a unique and special time. Spouses and other family members can go the extra mile to make this year that much more special for first-time fathers.

that dad may be left playing second fiddle. Make it clear that fathers are key to their children’s development and happiness, too. n Make a baby keepsake. Use washable ink so that baby can sign a Father’s Day card with a hand or footprint. The tradition can be repeated year after year until the child is old enough to write.

n Go overboard on gifts. The idea isn’t to buy dad’s love, but dad’s first Father’s Day is a truly unique time. On behalf of his firstborn, purchase a n Let dad sleep in. Chances few different gifts those items that he are dad is enamored with his little bundle of joy, but it’s well-known that has been interested in buying but has resisted in favor of saving money for being a new father often means sacnew onesies and burp cloths. Or invest rificing sleep time especially for the in one special event gift, such as tickfirst several months to a year of that child’s life. Enlist the help of a family ets to a game to see his favorite team or a concert to catch a favorite band. member who can be on baby watch while dad gets to sleep in on the n Boost his ego. Get matching weekend of his big day. With some T-shirts for baby and dad with cute extra sleep, dad can enjoy Father’s memes and sayings, such as Couch Day that much more. Potato and Tater Tot. n Create a first-year memory Father’s Day comes once a year. book. Take the time to put together a scrapbook of the photos and moments However, a father’s very first Father’s Day occurs just once. Use the opporbaby and dad have gotten to spend together. So much focus is often placed tunity to pamper dad so he can savor this truly special experience. on a new baby and his or her mother





Day Trips/ Staycation Hot Spots By Phil Yacuboski


taycationing this summer? There are always a few spots to visit within our region that you may have missed.

World of Little League: Peter J. McGovern Museum and Official Store While the Little League World Series is played every August in South Williamsport, visitors to its museum will find baseball relics from the past. The museum always has rotating exhibits and this summer, one is dedicated to Donn Goodwin of Shavertown, who pitched what’s known as a perfect, ‘perfect’ game. In the Back Mountain Little League in 1954. “In his case, nobody hit anything,” said Lance Van Auken, vice-president of communications, Little League International. “He struck out all 18 batters.” He said they are rare, but Van Auken said Goodwin’s game is the first documented in Little League history. The family donated the ball to the museum. The museum, which features interactive exhibits, is a must stop for any baseball fan. “On any given day, you’ll see license plates in our parking lot from all over the country,” he said. “People will know by driving through because they are close to I-80 and U.S. 15, they are close to Williamsport. A lot of people are surprised at what we have here.” The museum, dedicated to the history of Little League, recently underwent a $4.5 million dollar renovation several years ago. “It’s a world class museum,” he said. During the month of July, Van Auken said residents of Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties receive free admission. General admission is $5, with children ages 5-12, $2.


Above: Jake Scheaffer, left, and Leonard Shamus, both of Middleport, look for raptors at the North Lookout at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton. Photo by Jacqueline Dormer. Below: Visit the World of Little League — Peter J. McGovern Museum and Official Store in South Williamsport. Photo courtesy of Little League Baseball. Asa Packer Mansion Nestled high atop Jim Thorpe, visitors to the Asa Packer Mansion will find Victorian splendor in a home that looks almost exactly what it looked like when the it was built in 1861. “It’s pretty much a time capsule that is the crown jewel of Carbon County,” said Ronald Sheehan, the mansion’s executive director. “Everything is original to the family and nothing has been brought in to decorate the home.” The mansion was built for Asa Packer, a railroad pioneer, philanthropist and founder of Lehigh University. In 1912, Packer’s daughter willed it to the Borough of Mauch Chunk to honor her late father. The home sat empty from 1912 to 1954 and then the Jim Thorpe Lions Club opened it to public. The ornate detail handcrafted by Italian craftsmen and even its crystal chandeliers are considered highlights, according to Sheehan. “It’s 18 rooms of original furnishings so it’s like walking back in time,” he said. “Even the hair brushes and combs are still on the dresser.” The mansion is open 7 days a week during the summer months. Admis-




sion is $10 for adults, $9 for senior citizens and students (ages 6-18) are $6. Hawk Mountain On a ridge along the Blue Mountain chain in Kempton, Berks County, sits the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, where visitors can see raptors, hawks, eagles and a lot of other birds in a pristine environment. “During the summer, there are some resident birds that don’t migrate past our area,” said Gigi Romano, a spokeswoman for Hawk Mountain. The summer months also feature hikes to spot mushrooms and songbirds. Hawk Mountain’s education programs allow visitors get up close and personal with owls and raptors. You can also hike at Hawk Mountain where there are more than eight miles of trails.

“Our most popular trail is our Lookout Trail,” said Romano, “where you can see a lot of wildlife and get a wide view of the valley below.” The River Rock Trail is about a four hour hike, which features boulders and something more for the advanced hiker. The cost is $9 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12 and children under the age of 5 are free.

tainers or bags. This way there is no fighting over who’s holding the bag or who’s eating all of the green M&Ms. • Toss some disposable wipes in your snack bag to clean sticky fingers. You can make your own by storing damp paper towels in a zip top bag. • Make your own cold pack by freezing a damp kitchen sponge. Place the frozen sponge in a zip top bag and use it to keep your snacks cool. • Bring along a spare empty bag to collect trash. • Fill large zip top bags with activities for the kiddos to create busy bags for the road.

Hacks and Snacks to Make Your Next Road Trip Fun


ow that summer is upon us, many will be packing up the kids and car and hitting the road in search of fun, adventure and good times. Every summer, we head to the shore for our family vacation. It’s about a three hour drive from our house. Anyone who has ever traveled with kids knows that the key to a happy and stress-free road trip is to be prepared,

have plenty of activities and, definitely have plenty of snacks. Tips to Make Your Next Road Trip Stress-Free With a little preparation you can ensure that you have a stress-free road trip. Here are some of my favorite tips for ensuring smooth travels: • Package snacks in individual con-

Road Trip Games Everyone Can Play One way to keep road trips fun is to play games. Here are some ideas make your next road trip fun! • The ABC Game Start with a category like food, names, animals, etc. Starting with A, name something in the chosen category. Take turns moving through the alphabet. • The Geography Game The first person picks a place (city, state, country, etc.). The next person has to choose a place that starts with the letter that the previous placed ended with. • Cows on My Side When you see a cow on your side of the road, yell, “Cows on my side!” and earn a point. If you see cows on the opposite side you say, “Cows on your side!” If you call, “Cows on your side,” before the person sees them, you steal a point. If anyone sees a cemetery they scream, “Ghost cow,” and steal all the other side’s points. • Don’t Say It Choose five common words that are

off limits during the trip. Whenever a person says one of the five words they get a point. The player with the least amount of points wins. Road Trip Snacks Everyone Loves A road trip isn’t complete with out fun snacks. Before leaving the house, I always pack a bag filled with all kinds of goodies. Some of my favorite snacks to take on a road trip include: • Fruit, such as grapes or strawberries. • Veggies, like carrots and celery • Muddy Buddies (recipe on • Chocolate Pretzel Goldfish Snacks (recipe on • Homemade Granola (recipe on • S’mores Snack Mix (recipe below)

S’MoRES SNACk MIx INGREDIENTS • 1 cup whole grain Chocolate O’s cereal or chocolate rice squares • 1 cup chocolate baking chunks or chocolate morsels • 1 cup bite-sized graham crackers • 1 cup miniature marshmallows INSTRUCTIoNS Combine all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Store in an air-tight container.

Christina Hitchcock Christina Hitchcock scours cookbooks, recipe boxes and the internet to bring you only the BEST recipes that have her seal of approval.

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The next night we went looking around and a couple days later I found the one I loved,” she laughed. After some serious stocking of the camper the couple and their two children booked their first trip to Secluded Acres in Hamlin. Their first season was a huge success and included trips to Lackawanna State Park, Pine Cradle, Otter Lake, Watkins Glen KOA and Knoebels. This year will take them further from home and their first beach trip to Oceanview Resort in New Jersey, where they will spend an entire week. “We love to camp for the relaxation and alone time with the kids. They have a blast swimming and making s’mores, riding their bikes and playing on the playground. We go for walks all the time and just enjoy each other. If you ask my daughter, her favorite thing about camping is bringing people with us. She loves when our family or friends come and stay with us. It is a great bonding experience for us. I wish everyone could get to do this with their family. If you are thinking about it, just do it. When I say By Jennifer Butler over their head. Or just really like to live you will feel that it is the best thing you in luxury in your own home on wheels. ever did, that is what I say to my husFill up that RV and head out. Most camp- band every time we set up our camper It is time to turn your thoughts to grounds are able to accommodate all of for the weekend. We sit by the fire every that special family vacation again this night and look at our camper and both summer. What will we do? Shall we fish, these modes of camping. For Amanda Serge of Vandling, campsay this was the best thing we ever did boat, swim, on this year’s trip? Well, ing has been such an important part of and the best investment we could have why not join one of America’s favorite ever made,” said Serge. recreational pastimes since the late 19th her life she just cannot imagine a sumSome of their experiences have been century — camping! Tired of demanding mer without it. Having begun camping as a small child, both in a tent and an RV , interesting to say the least, filled with a work conditions? Want to get away from she loved them both. lot of great, great memories and some the crowded streets in your neighbor“Some of my fondest memories were not so good, but regardless the couple hood? Camping may be for you with so going camping with the family and feelturns those bad ones into good ones and many options to choose from and has the ing free and on vacation all the time. I are always the most talked about later. fixins’ for a memorable family vacation. “In the end, I would not trade anySince 1902, when the U.S. government thought it was the greatest thing to ride thing in the world for camping with my began its protection of lands as national my bike around the camp ground all family. My children will have the experiforests for campers to use, camping vaca- day and make s’mores at night sitting around a campfire,” she explains. ence of a lifetime and memories to last tions have only increased in numbers As a wife and mom of two, Serge them forever. Some day when they are who visit yearly by millions of people decided it was time to make those same older and have their own families, they per year. awesome memories with her children will probably be doing the same thing Are you a simple person who wants and began researching tents and campwith them because it will be in their to get out there and enjoy the real thing? ing gear online. blood. They will want their kids to have Pack that tent and supplies and enjoy “I always said when I was older that if the memories they have. Then at that one of many national or state forest I ever had kids I would want to go camp- point my husband and I can go visit and camp grounds across the U.S. The U.S. ing all the time with them so they could stay with them,” she concludes. Forest Service now recognizes three experience what I did,” she admitted. With the help of Fox News Travel types of camping experiences — backThinking her husband would never and, some mustcountry (dispersed) for backpackers, want to get a camper, he surprised her see camping destinations include the campground (improved) for tent campand bypassed the tent phase straight to following: ing, and full service (developed) for an RV purchase. n Want peace and quiet in the tranrecreational vehicles and trailers. “I was like a kid on Christmas mornquil mountains of Maine? How about Not a “camper” so to speak? Many ing. I started looking immediately. I camping in your tent, a cabin or RV at campgrounds now offer modest cabins stayed up all night looking them up. Baxter State Park near Moosehead Lake for campers who want a simple roof

Embrace the Great Outdoors: Family Camping in NEPA





in Kokodjko, Maine, within viewing of Mt. Katahdin. Swimming, boating and frequent wildlife sightings will make your trip memorable. Blackwood Campground in Acadia, Maine, will also let you enjoy the beautiful mountains and scenery of New England on 47,000 acres — the only national park in New England. n Also, on the east coast a popular camping sight has been Assateague Island National Seashore with tent and RV camping right on the ocean. Canoeing, swimming, surfing, shelling, crabbing and of course the island’s famous wild horses are a great draw. n How about taking a stroll across this big beautiful country and visiting the largest campground in Glacier National Park — Apgar Campground. Enjoy the fresh pine forests and the mountain peaks surrounding glacier-fed Lake McDonald. Families can boat, ride horses, our view some of the most incredible mountainside views on Goingto-the-Sun Road. n Mather Campground is a must see at the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona as most everyone can imagine and then slide over to Wawona Campground in Sierra Nevada, California in Yosemite National Park for another spectacular camping experience. It is one of 13 popular campgrounds in the area to enjoy the majesty of the park. Enjoy horseback riding, golf, hiking, trekking, skiing and rock climbing. n Want a truly unforgettable experience for your family camping trip? Try the Ingalls Homestead in DeSmet, South Dakota. Spend the night in a covered wagon and experience life on the prairie at the homestead made famous in the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Spend mornings helping with chores in the house or barn and your afternoon exploring the tall prairie grasses. RV hookups and tent camping are also available. n Set your sights on Crater of Diamonds State Park. If you’ve ever dreamed of buried treasure, Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas should be on your radar. It’s “finders keepers” at this park — any diamonds, semi-precious stones, rocks or minerals you find are yours to keep. No diamond hunting equipment? No worries! You can rent it on site. If digging for diamonds get too hot, take a break in the adjacent Diamond Springs water park. The tree shaded campsite in the park offers RV and tent camping for gem seekers.

Eats & Treats


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By Phil Yacuboski


Tioga and Tiadaghton state forests. It’s not uncommon to see bear, river otters and wild turkeys along the trail as well as canoeists and kayakers on the water. Visit online at

itch the smartphones, pack a lunch and get outside. Enjoying what our area has to offer doesn’t have to cost very much, other Worlds End State Park than some gas in the car and a sense of A trip to the Endless Mountains is adventure. Here are a few outdoor gems not complete without a visit to Worlds in northeastern and central PennsylEnd State Park. vania. “Most of our trails are pretty rugged and pretty steep,” said Ranger Al Tosi. Pine Creek Rail Trail Grab your bike (or your hiking shoes) “We’re really known for our overlooks and almost every one of our trails has a and head west to the Pine Creek Rail vista.” Trail, a 62 mile journey that winds its Those making the trek to Worlds End way through Lycoming and Tioga Counwon’t want to miss the Canyon Vista ties. It stretches from Jersey Shore to Trail, a 2.9 mile trek that Ranger Tosi Wellsboro. said is the highlight of the park. “The trail is fairly isolated, but is A small section of the Loyalsock incredibly scenic,” said Linda Stager, Trail also cuts through Worlds End, a who wrote a 206-page guidebook that is nearly 60 mile trail that is well known to chock-full of information about what to see and where to go on the trail, includ- hikers. “It’s a popular destination for backing where to find a bathroom. pack campers and hikers,” he said. The trail was converted from an The easiest thing for hikers to do for old railroad bed by the Department of a daytrip is to stop by the park office Conservation and Natural Resources near Forksville and pick up a map. and passes through the sleepy small “We recommend good footwear,” he towns of Ansonia and Cammall. Stager said. said the trail features some of the best If hiking isn’t your thing, but swimbirding areas in Pennsylvania. ming is, don’t miss out on the swimming “This is all part of Pennsylvania’s hole in the Loyalsock Creek. There’s Grand Canyon,” she said, which trail also a snack bar in case you didn’t pack goers can access through any one of the a lunch. more than 10 access points through the


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The park also features a campground and rustic cabins. Visit online at Mountain Creek Riding Stables If trails are your thing, but you don’t like hiking or biking, there are a number of riding stables in the Poconos where adventure seekers can learn the basics of horseback riding. “Anyone can do it,” said Emily Kelly, manager at Mountain Creek Riding Stables. “Our beginner ride is 45 minutes,” she said, “and you go out with a guide. There’s some trotting, too. A lot

of people who come here have never been on a horse before.” With locations in Cresco, White Haven and Pocono Manor, Kelly said there’s something for just about everyone. Kids less than 7-year-old can do pony rides and those with a bad back may want to stand and watch. The horseback riders go on a three mile trail, which also features a creek. “It’s very scenic,” she said. Prices start at $42 per person and reservations are highly recommended, especially on weekends. Visit online at











Tick, Tick, Boom: On the Lookout for LYME



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such as the deep woods, said Dr. Tina George, a family physician with Commonwealth Health in Avoca. Ticks are hen Dr. Harry Schmaltz grabbed a razor to begin shav- also found in backyards, gardens and ing on a spring morning before flowerbeds too. “The tick has to attach itself to the work two years ago, he noticed somebody for at least 24 hours,” said Dr. thing unusual. George. “If it’s less than that period of “There’s this classic bullseye target time, it’s usually no cause for concern.” lesion right in the front of my neck,” She said the tick has to burrow itself said Dr. Schmaltz, an orthopedic surin the skin for a longer period of time geon in Dickson City. “And I thought to to feed off the human body and infect a myself, I have Lyme disease.” person with Lyme disease. Dr. George He said he felt fine at first, but knew said for those who think they’ve had a in many cases, symptoms came days tick bites, it’s always a good idea to call later. Dr. Schmaltz immediately called their family doctor. She also said it’s a his family doctor, who started him on good idea to remove the tick. 10 days of antibiotics to begin treatAccording to the Pennsylvania Dement. He said the tick bite likely came partment of Health, the Commonwealth after working in the yard at his home in has led the nation in confirmed cases of Waverly. “Even with the treatment, I got sick,” Lyme disease for three straight years, with deer ticks found in all 67 counties. he said, adding that it felt like he had In June of 2014, there were 7,400 cases the flu. “I felt fatigued with horrible in Pennsylvania. muscle aches and the chills.” Left untreated, Dr. George said Lyme Lyme disease is a bacterial illness disease can cause a number of serious carried by deer ticks. Humans often health problems. become infected when they go places “Sometimes you can get a rash all

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over and the other problems can be a Bell’s Palsy or even a heart issue,” she said. “It can even affect the central nervous system, so that means things like confusion and even encephalitis.” The best way to protect yourself, said Dr. George is to take precautions before you head outside. “Wear long sleeves, long pants and socks,” she said. “Use insect repellant and something with DEET. Don’t use anything that contains more than 30% because it’s not any more effective.” She said also when you return from you outdoor activities, be sure to re-

move all clothes and check for ticks. Dr. George also advised to put those clothes in the dryer, especially if you’ve been hiking, which would kill the ticks. Dr. Schmaltz considers himself lucky. He only missed a half day of work and was back to normal in just a few days. DEET is now part of his outdoor routine. “I was probably fine because I was fortunate enough to know what it looks like and the rash appeared in a spot I could easily see,” said Dr. Schmaltz. “I got treated quickly, but I’m much more vigilant about it now.”




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Six Fun & Cheap Things to Do With Your Kids This Summer

$2 lawn tickets and $2 Tallboys every Tuesday during the 2017 season. Sunday Family Fundays are a great ummer is here and many parents deal offering kids 12 are trying to make a list of ideas and under a voucher to keep the kids busy without for a mini sub, breaking the bank. Here are 6 free and bag of chips and a inexpensive things to do with kids this small drink to be summer to avoid the dreaded words, redeemed at Jersey “I’m bored!” Mike’s Subs. You can also stick around 1. Kids Bowl Free after the game for Your kids can bowl two free games post-game Kids Run every day this summer from kidsbowlthe Bases. at participating locations, The Scranton/ including Valley Bowling Lanes in Wilkes-Barre YanCarbondale and Idle Hour Bowling in kees also offer Kids’ Scranton. Night Out program Once you register, you will have the that gives deserving opportunity to purchase the family kids and families pass. The family pass was created for that normally would adult family members to enjoy bowlnot be able to ating throughout the summer as well. tend a professional The family pass starts from $36.95 and baseball game the includes two games per person per day. opportunity to do so. The family pass covers up to four adult For many of the family members. You will receive an participants, not email each week with daily coupons, only is the opporbut you will have to pay a shoe rental tunity to attend a fee of $3. professional basePhoto by Jason Farmer ball game a unique 2. Watch $1 Family Movies treat, but it’s also Everyone enjoys a movie, especialthe chance to see the and a splash fountain. The splash pad 10:00 am. Each week both movies play ly just to cool off on a hot summer future New York Yankees and make a is a great place to cool off on a hot day. on both days. day. There are local theaters offerdream come true. Not only do all of the There is also a picnic pavilion; resering special discounts to select child kids and families who attend a Kids’ vations are not accepted. www.south3. Fun at the Park friendly movies. Night Out game receive a game ticket McDade Park offers something for Cinemark Theater Summer free of charge, but they will also reeveryone with free sports equipment Movie Clubhouse (www.cinemark. ceive a complimentary hat courtesy of 4. Earn Free tokens from Chuck rentals, children’s fishing pond, boundcom/summer-movie-clubhouse) is the Yankees. For further information less playground area, basketball, tennis E. Cheese’s offering 10 weeks of fun films for kids. on how your company or organization Pizza and Token Rewards Calenand bocce courts, outdoor picnic areas Admission is $1 per person, per movie, can be part of Kids’ Night Out, please with charcoal grills and so much more. dars reward your kids in a great way. at the theatre box office on the day of call 570-969-2255 or visit http://www. Download and print out Chuck E.’s Covington Park offers a nine-acre the movie, or see all 10 movies for $5. Rewards Calendars and mark the days lake for swimming or fishing, basketGet a 10-week series punch card at the ball and volleyball courts, a soccer and off with a pen or sticker as your child theatre box office or online for $5, while 6. Check Out County Fairs and baseball field, playground and pavilion. accomplishes their goals. If you bring supplies last, at participating theatres. Fireworks in a completed calendar to Chuck E. Merli-Sarnoski Park offers lake All movies begin at 10 am. Starting Visit for an Cheese’s, kids receive 10 free tokens swimming, play areas, fishing and June 13, featuring Happy Feet 2 (PG). extensive list of summer activities hapsports facilities and miles of mountain as a reward. ping in NEPA. biking and hiking trails. There are also deals-offers/rewards-calendars Summer Movie Express at Great two pavilions and picnic areas with Escape Theaters www.regmovies. 5. Take Me Out to the Ball Game tables and charcoal grills. com/movies/summer-movie-express) Jenna Urban The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRidSherwood Park in Dunmore offers Starting on June 27, family fun movers is a family-friendly destination in baseball and softball field, play area ies begin screening on Tuesdays and Jenna Urban is a mother, NEPA offering a number of weekly and splash pad. Wednesdays for the summertime. Adblogger, teacher, writer and South Abington Community Park promotions including Fireworks Fribargain hunter. mission to the Summer Movie Express days, Dollar Dog Mondays with $1 lawn offers baseball field, softball field, socTwitter: @JennaRUrban is $1. Tickets are available for purchase cer field, roller hockey, basketball, play- tickets, $1 hot dogs, and bring your at the box office and all movies start at ground, volleyball court, walking trails dog to the ballpark for just $1. Enjoy

Tips From Jenna






Let Go of the Remote Control


couple of weird game shows. That’s where our family camping traditions have really paid off. or most grandparents, sumAll three of our kids and all the mertime offers the opportunity grandkids have been introduced to to spend more time with the camping in one form or another. grandkids. When our kids were young we Hopefully much of that time will towed a camper from state to state on be spent outdoors enjoying picnics, summer vacations. When the grandswimming and travel. Hopefully it kids came along they spent time at a will not be spent in front of a TV. Grandparents and grandkids share camper we had set up near a regional a lot of the same likes. But television lake. Although those campers are now favorites don’t seem to be on that list. gone, they still love to head out to a I’d rather share the TV remote park somewhere to enjoy a camp fire with my wife than with my grandand hot dogs cooked over that fire on kids. a stick. All before the marshmallows It’s different with the real little of course. ones. We’re watching the same It’s amazing how quickly and comWiggles video we shared with our pletely a campfire can replace TV. now 19-year-old grandson with his Hope you’ll enjoy a camp out or 21-month-old cousin. two with your grandkids this summer But that older grandson now seems and that all your news is good. obsessed with SpongeBob and a By David DeCosmo


Employment & Discrimination Disability • Age Gender / Trans Race • Religion Gay/Lesbian

Attorney Steve Franko (570) 731-3000 NEPA FAMILY TIMES TS_CNG/FAMILY_TIMES/PAGES [Y13] | 06/14/17



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ttered throughout the paper. There are a total of 7 scatt Fill out the bottom portion of this form and mail back to NEPA Family Times NASCAR cup contest 149 Penn Ave. Scranton, Pa. 18503 before Friday June 30th for your chance to win! Name: ................................................................................................ Address: ............................................................................................ ........................................................... Phone: ................................... Advertisers: #1: ...................................................................................................... #2: ...................................................................................................... #3: ...................................................................................................... #4: ...................................................................................................... #5: ...................................................................................................... #6: ...................................................................................................... #7: ......................................................................................................





How to keep kids engaged over school breaks


hildren in North America will spend, on average, more than 900 hours attending school in a given year. The average school year in the United States lasts 1,016 hours, the equivalent of 42 continuous days. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, many developed countries begin their academic years in September and end them in June. Some, like Australia, feature four terms with two-week breaks in between each term. Others go to school for most of the year with various holiday breaks in between and then get the bulk of their time off during the summer. As much time as kids spend in school, there will be times when they are left to their own devices, and during these times it’s easy for them to forgot classroom lessons. Sometimes called “summer learning loss” or “summer slide,” this forgetfulness sees many students fail to retain all of their lessons over prolonged breaks from school. Studies indicate that students score lower on standardized tests at the end of the summer compared to their performance on the same tests at the beginning of summer. Anywhere from between one to three month’s worth of educational achievement can dissipate during prolonged breaks from the classroom. To help ensure that those hard-earned lessons are not so easily forgotten, parents can help children remain intellectually engaged in various ways over school breaks. n Stick to a schedule. Try to maintain a schedule similar to school, with children waking at the same time each day and going to bed at similar hours. This will make it much easier to get back into a routine when a new school year begins. n Encourage reading. Set aside time for reading each day. All it generally takes is 15 to 30 minutes of reading per day for kids to remember their vocabulary lessons and maintain their fluency and comprehension skills. Children may

enjoy picking their own books rather than having a required reading list. n Keep a math book handy. On long car trips or rainy days, children can do a few math problems to keep their skills sharp. This will help keep learning loss to a minimum. Math workbooks may be available at bookstores, or parents can look online or ask a teacher for a summer to-do packet. n Plan educational trips. Vacations and day trips can be fun, entertaining and educational all at the same time. Science centers, museums and living history locations can bring to life information learned in the classroom, even on family vacations. n Learn at camp. Many children attend camp for a portion of their school breaks. Look for camps that do not simply babysit children, but engage them through enrichment activities. n Take a class. Children and families can learn together by exploring new skills. Enroll in something educational and enjoyable, such as a music or dance class, a STEM seminar or something else that engages the mind and body. This gives everyone a chance to learn something new and have a great time together as a family. Parents and educators can reduce lesson loss over school breaks by encouraging families to remain intellectually engaged in any way they can.

FamiLY reaDs

For the Love of Books


hildren who do not read over the summer can lose up to two months of reading development. Look up “The Summer Slide” for more information.

Third and fourth grade summer reading recommendations: “43 Old Cemetery Road” by Kate Klise (series) “First Kids Mystery” by Martha Freeman (series) “George Brown Class Clown” by Nancy Krulik (series) “Lunch Lady” by Jarrett Krosoczka (series) “My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish” by Mo O’Hara (series) “My Weird School” by Dan Gutman (series)

Librarians and teachers sometimes receive negative feedback regarding summer reading. Our intention is not to ruin summer vacations, but to help prepare your child for the upcoming school year. This is how I explain the importance of summer reading to my elementary and middle school students: Fifth, sixth and seventh grade sumAs athletes practice, mer reading recomtheir skills improve. mendations: Whether or not you noticed, your read“39 Clues” by various authors (series) ing levels have been improving during “Baseball Card the school year. If an Adventure” by Dan athlete decides to stop Gutman (series) practicing for three “Books of Elsemonths, their skills where” by Jacqueline will decline. If you West (series) stop reading for three “Deadtime Stories” months, you will lose by Annette Cascone some of the progress (series) you have made and “Dear America” start the next grade by various authors with a lower reading (series) level. “Middle School” by James Patterson Here are some great summer reading options (that are avail- (series) able at your nearby public library) for Eighth through 10th grade sumstudents entering third through 12th mer reading recommendation: grades in the fall: “Warriors Don’t Cry: a searing

memoir of the battle to integrate Little Rock’s Central High” by Melba Beals “‘Warriors Don’t Cry’ is an opportunity for incoming eighth graders to understand the critical need for civil rights and to learn the bravery and courage it takes to stand against injustice. They read about Melba Pattillo Beals, a girl close to their age, who was one of nine black students to first integrate the halls of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. At a time when middle school students are forming their identities, my hope is that they read Melba’s story and see the impact of segregation and racism so that they are inspired to treat others fairly and perhaps feel brave to break barriers of their own.” — Katherine Radle, eighth grade language arts teacher 11th through 12th grade summer reading recommendation: “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson. “I chose this for my 12th grade honors English class to expose them to classic literature and to challenge them with a complex text that is also thematically relevant. This novel explores questions of identity and free will that engage my students in philosophical discussions about real-life existential dilemmas. At a time when students are on the verge of adulthood, these discussions assist them on a personal as well as an academic level. They are

automatically hooked by the popular Jekyll and Hyde reference in the title which leads into a debate on the internal battle of good versus evil. We all deal with our share of internal conflict and then the consequences of the actions we take to resolve it. Stevenson cleverly externalizes this conflict in the person of Hyde. When students begin to realize that Hyde is actually Jekyll’s alter ego, they are captivated. We focus especially on Stevenson’s premise that “Man is not truly one, but truly two” which leads to the question of which of the two we allow to dominate and then to the realization that we cannot indulge our shadow sides with impunity. Our in-class discussions after summer reading confirm to me that this book choice offers intellectual and personal challenges that grow all of us into more reflective people.” — Frances O’Shea, 12th grade language arts teacher Please visit the Lackawanna County Library System website for upcoming Summer Events:

Maria Voytko Maria Voytko is the K-12 District Librarian for Riverside School District in Taylor.




Save Your You Skin this his Summer By Jennifer Butler

the sunny season. First and foremost is to apply sunscreen. “Apply it liberally and several t is that time of year when the times during the day,” she advises, “A residents of northeast Pennsylvania sunscreen with SPF 30 that protects migrate to the outdoors after a long winter indoors. As we do so we need to against UVA and UVB rays is best,” she adds. take care of one of the most essential For children, a screen with zinc parts of ourselves — our skin, while we oxide for sensitive skin is also recomalso need to feel the warm sun on our mended by the doctor, as well as swim bodies after our long winter hibernashirts. tion. “Swim shirts are awesome to proThe sun exposure, the wind, and do tect children from the sun and they not forget the bugs, all take their toll on our skin when we do finally venture are easier and less expensive than they once were,” she noted. outdoors, but with some precautions Studies have shown that most beforehand it will be safe to experience people do not apply nearly as much the beautiful and fun outdoors of NEPA suncreen as they should in daylight once again. Dr. Christine Cabell, MD, director of hours, so reapply. For the face a teaspoon of sunscreen and for the body dermatological surgery at Geisinger as much as a shot glass full every Wyoming Valley in Wilkes-Barre, protwo hours. One blistering sunburn vides us with some helpful tips during doubles your risk of melanoma — remember to get a yearly skin exam by a doctor and perform a self-examination once a month to detect early warning signs of carcinomas and malignant melanoma. Look for a new growth or any skin change. Dr. Cabell approves of the spray sunscreens, but as an extra coating after applying sunscreen lotion. Oftentimes, the wind blows half of the sunscreen away leaving the body unprotected. “Spraying indoors in an indoor shower or other area helps to provide more even protection,” she adds. When heading out, pop that hat on your head because its protection is helpful in the strong summer sun. “Hats with brims are better than Motorcycle Show & baseball caps because they cover the Classic Car Show ears,” Cabell said. Trophies Awarded Protect those lips as well. Call for Luncheon Reservation! “Lips protrude from the body and are apt to get even more sun. I use a stick with SPF in it to protect the lips,” 10 am - 3 pm said the doctor. “Stay in the shade when possible and out of the hottest sun especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.” A tan may be a popular summer look, but it indicates damage. “Going out to tan should not be a goal of anyone. Sun exposure greatly


August 2, 2017 570-488-6129





increases your risk of skin cancer and aging of the skin,” explained Cabell. She advises if you want to “get some color” than self-tanners are incredibly safe, and absolutely no tanning beds should be used. “Tanning beds are 100 percent carginogeous,” she noted, “We are seeing more and more younger people with aggressive skin cancers as a result.” Higher temperatures and more time outdoors leads to internal dehydration, which can result in headaches and dizzy spells. Make sure you drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day help maintain critical moisture balance of the body and skin and assist in detoxification. Remember if you drink caffeinated beverages, you must triple the amount of water you drink. After returning indoors, soothe that skin with some anti-aging products and continue that water intake. If pesky bugs are bothering you, Dr. Cabell says it is OK to use a bug repellent with DEET of picardin once a day and follow these precautions: n Do not apply bug sprays over cuts, wounds or irritated skin. n Use just enough insect repellent to cover exposed skin and clothing.

n Do not use under clothing. n Avoid putting on too much bug spray. n After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water. n Wash treated clothing before wearing it again Dr. Tammy Carlson of TLC Eyecare in Vandling urges her patients to always wear sun protection regardless of whether it is cloudy or sunny because UV rays are always present. “Polarized lenses are best. They not only protect your eyes from UV rays, they cut the glare providing you with sharper vision. Another benefit is that they allow you to see such things as fish in the water. Whereas, a regular sunglass lens with tint and UV would not. They also do a much better job at cutting the glare provided by the blinding, white snow,” noted Carlson. UV rays are harmful to the eyes and can be sight threatening, she warns, and it is important to wear sun protection to help minimize the risk of developing both macular degeneration and premature cataracts as well as several other sight-threatening conditions.

Courthouse Square, Scranton. Free. 570-9636800 or

FIREWORKS DISPLAY, July 1, approximately 9 p.m.. Hurricane Hills Sports Center, Clifford.

INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION WITH FIREWORKS, July 3, 6 to 10 p.m. The Tunkhannock Rotary Club sponsors this annual celebration at Memorial Field featuring entertainment after 7 p.m., food vendors, fireworks and more. Bring blankets or lawn chairs. Tunkhannock High School, Free admission; donations welcome. 570-831-5233 or

FIREWORKS EXTRAVAGANZA, July 1. Gates open at 5 p.m. This annual event is sponsored by The Minisink Lions of North Pocono. Live music, food and refreshments for sale. North Pocono Football Stadium, Moscow. Rain Date: July 2. www. ROTARY CLUB OF THE ABINGTONS FIREWORKS, July 1, 5 p.m. Fireworks begin at dusk. Parking fee of $5 per vehicle helps defray the cost of the fireworks. Abington Heights Middle School, Clarks Summit. 570-586-1281. INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION, July 1, 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Fireworks begin at sundown. You can enjoy all of Camelbeach’s 37 rides, slides and attractions during extended hours, hit the dance floor and rock out with UUU, and enjoy a variety of delicious food including BBQ, pizza, smokehouse creations, ice cream and more! Free with Camelbeach admission. Camelbeach, Tannersville. 570-629-1661 or camelbeach. com.

WILKES-BARRE 4TH OF JULY, Live entertainment, carnival rides, food, games and contests and more beginning at noon. Admission is free, certain events may cost. Kirby Park, Kingston. Free. 570-2084240. FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS, July 4. Celebrate the holiday with fireworks following the RailRiders game. PNC Field (Lackwanna County Stadium), Moosic. 570-969-2255 or


FIREWORKS DISPLAY, July 1, at Thompson Hose Company, Thompson. The all-day festival will start with a parade at 11:30 a.m. Immediately following the parade will be a chicken BBQ then live music in the afternoon and evening. For more information call 570-727-2431 or visit Rain date July 2.

Photo by Jake Danna stevens

FIREWORKS DISPLAY Hosted by Lake Ariel Fire Company at the Lake Station on Route 191. Sunday, July 2 beginning at dusk. Visit lakearielfireco. com for more information. Rain date: July 5.

HONESDALE’S INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION WITH FIREWORKS, July 2, 6:30 p.m. Includes live music by Doug Smith’s Dixieland All-Stars and The Crystal Band, children’s games, food and novelty vendors, fireworks shot off Irving Cliff and more. Central Park, Honesdale. Admission is free; donations appreciated. 570-253-3855 or Rain Date: July 6, 5 p.m. FIREWORKS DISPLAY, July 3. Skytop Lodge, Skytop. The evening will include live music from the Dixieland Band, concessions and a VIP seating area with the best seat in the house. 570-325-4546.

There will be an outdoor DJ, Uncle Sam Stilt Walker, Mark Clark’s All American Magic Show and food and craft vendors in this annual event benefiting the Shawnee Volunteer Fire Company. Shawnee Mountain Ski Area, Shawnee-On-Delaware. $10/ car load. 570-421-7231 or Rain Date: July 7 .

AMERICAN FREEDOM FESTIVAL, July 3 through 4. This annual IndepenINDEPENDENCE DAY FIREWORKS, dence Day celebration features a culinary July 3 at 9:30 p.m. at Wright Township midway of food vendors, children’s carnival Park, Mountain Top. 570-474-9067. Rain rides,and live music. Fireworks will begin Date: July 5. at dusk on July 4. Dansbury Park, East Stroudsburg. Free. 570-421-6591 or eastburSCRANTASTIC SPECTACULAR, July 3, 4 p.m. The Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic performs its annual INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRAIndependence Day concert in downtown TION WITH FIREWORKS, Scranton at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks will begin July 3. Gates open at 7 p.m. with fireat dusk. There will be food vendors and works 9 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Bring your own chair or blankets for great slopeside seating. other family activities. Lackawanna County

LAKE WALLENPAUPACK FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS, July 4, 9:15 p.m. The bleachers at Wallenpaupack High School will be open to spectators. Rain date: July 5. Admission is free. Wallenpaupack Area High School, Hawley. 570-226-4557 INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION, TUESDAY, July 4 beginning at 10:30 a.m. Celebration will take place in the pool complex featuring speakers, a parade of flags, and live music by Doug Smith. Nay Aug Park, Scranton. Free. 570-348-4186. “DREAMS COME TRUE” FIREWORKS AND POOL-SIDE PARTY, An all-day event on July 4 at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, Pocono Manor. There will be live entertainment, contests and competitions, food and beverages and more 877-525-2427 or

FAMILY DAY CELEBRATION, Wednesday, July 5. The Jessup 21st Century Association’s annual Independence Day festival features performances, live music, face painting, and food stands offering hot dogs, wimpies, popcorn, ice cream, pierogies, pizza and more. The festival is 5 - 10:30 p.m. Bring your own blanket or lawn chairs. Jessup Memorial Field, Jessup. Donations accepted at the gates.




For all your Land Surveying needs Boundary & Topographic Surveys . Subdivisions Construction Layout . Land Development Septic System Design & Planning 570.836.2145







Top tips for fun days at the beach


ousehold budgets can help families thrive and survive should unforeseen financial issues arise. Establishing a household budget is no small task, as numerous factors must be considered to come up with a budget that secures families’ futures without sacrificing their everyday quality of life.


illions of people visit the beach each summer. For some people, there is no better place than the beach, where they can listen to the waves crash on the shore and smell the briny air. The United States Lifesaving Association routinely compiles statistics on beach attendance, watercraft use and other recreational information, estimating that 367,231,142 people took to beaches across the country in 2015, the most recent reporting year. Cool coastal temps and refreshing oceans and lakes make the beach an ideal place to survive the heat. While a trip to the beach has the makings of a great day, a few tips can help make these sun- and sand-filled days even better. Protect electronics Sand and surf can be calming, but not if your newest mobile phone gets doused with the incoming tide. For those bringing their phones or tablets along, steps to protect the gadgets can make the day even more calming. A zip-seal plastic bag can do the trick, and you can still access the screen through the plastic. If you plan to spend time on a boat, you may want to invest in waterproof, floating pouches. Keep clean Sand gets everywhere at the beach, so it can be a challenge to remain clean. Invest in a beach blanket where the sand falls through like a sieve, such as the Quicksand Mat from CGear. Pack baby powder in your beach bag, which will help loosen sand from kids’ bodies before they get back in the car. And while at the beach, use hand-decorated aluminum cans as drink cozies to keep condensing beverage bottles from becoming caked with sand.

How to establish a household budget

Time beauty regimens right Shaving legs or underarms right before heading to the beach can result in some painful irritation. It’s best to shave the night before diving into saltwater or even pool water. If you need a last-minute touch-up, use mineral oil while shaving to help keep irritation to a minimum. It’s important to apply sunscreen to the skin approximately 15 minutes before heading outdoors so that it has time to absorb, advises the American Academy of Dermatology. If you wait until you get to the beach, you put your skin at risk. Use a self-tanner for bronze skin rather than soaking up the rays. Hide your money Leaving your money or belongings out in the open may entice thieves. Camouflage items of value by storing them in an empty sunscreen bottle nestled in a beach bag.

Finances To develop a budget everyone in the household can live with, heads of household should first get a firm grasp of their finances. First determine how much money is coming in and how much money is in savings. Then make a list of the family’s financial obligations, including costs associated with housing, food, transportation, utilities and other monthly bills like student loan payments. Be thorough in this examination and you should get an idea of how you’re spending your money and where you can make any cuts if need be. Behaviors Heads of household should make honest assessments of their behaviors with regard to money. Are you prone to impulse shopping? How closely do you track your daily spending? Can you cut back on certain daily expenses, such as morning cups of coffee from the coffee shop or restaurant lunches? While you might have little leeway with regard to large expenses like car and housing payments, you can likely save substantial amounts of money by cutting back on small, daily expenses that can add up to substantial amounts of money over time. Track your behav-

iors with regard to spending money, jotting down each purchase you make, no matter how small it seems. After a couple of weeks tracking your daily spending, a picture of your financial behaviors should develop and you can then see if there are any areas where you can save money. Determining a need versus a want Once you see how you behave financially, you can then make a list of those daily and monthly expenses that qualify as a need and those that fall into the want category. For example, morning coffee might be a need, but why not brew that coffee at home and take it with you rather than buying a costly cup at the coffee shop near your office each day? You can keep some of the items that fall onto your want list as a daily or monthly reward, but try to eliminate those that are compromising your monthly finances. And remember to include contributions to a savings account in your list of needs. Build your budget A firm grasp of income, bills and behaviors and the knowledge of what’s a need versus a want should put heads of household in position to develop their budgets. Stick to your budget for a month and then assess how you and your family adjusted. While the adjustment might prove difficult at first, by the end of the first month you might notice any financial-related stress you had been feeling has begun to dissipate and you might even make an effort to tighten the purse strings a little more as you look to save more money.

Stay cool Purchase or make a vividly patterned tarp/tent to offer a shady respite. This will also help the family find their way back to your beach spot. Place sandals or flip-flops face-down in the sand or on a blanket to ensure they won’t be scalding after a day at the beach. Trips to the beach are a summertime tradition. With a few tips and tricks, the memories can be even better.




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NEPA Family Times - Summer 2017  
NEPA Family Times - Summer 2017