July 2018 | Vol. 18 Iss. 07
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and firefighters getting a raise in new city budget By Justin Adams | email@example.com
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he police officers and firefighters of Sandy city will be getting a raise this year. In back-to-back weeks, the Sandy city council passed increased budgets for both the police and fire departments. Both departments had been suffering from attrition as their officers and firefighters left to work for other higher-paying agencies in the valley. When city leaders met earlier this year for a preliminary budget meeting, everyone agreed that fixing this problem was the number one priority for the city. The police department budget passed first on June 5. An initial budget proposal put forward by the city administration in conjunction with the police department would have added an additional $540,000 to be used for officers’ compensation. A revised plan constructed by council members Zach Robinson and Steve Fairbanks added an additional $207,959. That plan was passed unanimously be the city council. “If I were to summarize this for councilmember (Steve) Fairbanks and (Zach) Robinson,” council director Mike Applegarth said during the city council meeting. “This plan moves Sandy from settling for the average of comparative agencies and puts Sandy PD squarely at the leaderboard. You can see that at every rank and at each step, these officers are making more money relative to the current proposal you’re considering.” During the May 29 council meeting, Robinson said he was working on a budget proposal slightly different from the one the administration had put forward. “It’s pennies difference,” he said at the time. In the next week, Robinson met with Sandy Police Chief Bill O’Neal to talk about the issue. That meeting led to Robinson wanting to create the larger budget proposal. “After that (meeting) we went back to the drawing board and looked at a couple other sources of revenue. It was more important to us to put together a plan that will make Sandy City competitive for a long time. And we did that,” said Robinson. Robinson pointed to the fact that the plan passed unanimously as a sign of the city council’s cooperation. “A unanimous vote shows
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A Sandy Police Department vehicle parked outside of the department headquarters. (Justin Adams/Sandy City Journal)
that our council is 100 percent behind our public safety personnel,” he said. Sandy Deputy Mayor Evelyn Everton said the increased budget proposed by Robinson and Fairbanks likely would not have happened without the pressure applied by the city administration in previous weeks. “If our actions forced them to actually go and sit down with the police and have those conversations and understand the needs of the police department and help them make a decision that gave them more money, we’re thrilled with that outcome,” said Everton. “I think this is a great compensation plan,” said O’Neal, who worked with the city administration to create the original budget proposal, which was nearly passed the previous week
with a 4-3 vote by the city council. “We worked a long time on that previous (pay) scale that was up here,” said O’Neal. “We were very cautious about sustainability … But this scale is just what you guys are saying. It puts us right up there.” According to Everton, the city administration is somewhat concerned about the sustainability of the plan but is committed to making it work. “For this administration, making sure the police compensation is competitive is a high priority and so of course we’ll make concessions in the budget to prioritize that money on an ongoing basis,” she said. Without the increased compensation package, the police department could have been in
danger of losing 30–50 officers, according to O’Neal. “We’ve always been playing catch up. This gets us out in front of them. It feels good,” said Councilmember Chris McCandless. Originally, the mayor’s office was planning to address the fire department budget in 2019. But during the same council meeting in which the police budget was passed, the city council directed the administration to come up with a similar plan for the fire department, to be presented the very next week. A combined effort between the city council, fire department and finance department was able to produce a proposal modeled after the revised police department budget. “It did require a significant amount of work to make this all come together,” said Ryan Lessner, the fire department’s public information officer. Lessner noted however that the groundwork for an improved compensation plan had already been laid by the department. “The chief and deputy-chief have been working on this behind the scenes. They’ve been discussing and planning this for a considerable amount of time,” he said. “This additional compensation where they’re going to get upwards of a 10, 12 or greater percent increase is really going to make a significant improvement for their livelihood and ability to take care of their families,” said Lessner. l
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Podcasting is where it’s at, especially in Utah By Keyra Kristoffersen | firstname.lastname@example.org The Sandy City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout Sandy. For information about distribution please email email@example.com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.
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Q-and-A session with the hosts of various Utah podcasts, moderated by Chrisella Sagers Herzog. (Keyra Kristoffersen/City Journals)
he Miller Business Center campus of Salt Lake Community College welcomed dozens of presenters and attendees on Saturday, June 2 to celebrate and instruct on podcasting, a type of media that has taken a strong hold throughout Utah. “There’s a cool tradition in Utah of storytelling and coming together to tell each other stories. There’s so much potential for podcasting here but we didn’t really see a coherent podcasting community — there’s little pockets, but nothing that’s brought everybody together under one roof,” said Chrisella Sagers Herzog, one of the Utah Podcast Summit’s creators. Herzog is editor-in-chief of “WhiteHat Magazine” and host of the podcast “Let’s Go Eat.” With network engineer and host of “The Fandom Podcast” Brandon Ushio and Bobby Glenn James from the “Biz 4 Good” show, they gathered successful podcasters and let aspiring podcasters know they intended to help them on their journey. “We wanted to really focus on what it takes to create a successful podcast and to connect,” said James. With several addresses and a fireside chat with Ever Gonzalez from Outlier, participants could choose from beginner and advanced classes such as “How to Start a Podcast,” “Storytelling: Breathe Life into Your Brand” and
“Quitting Your Day Job by Making Money with a Podcast” taught by media professionals like James, Laura Montoya, digital product owner at Womankind, and Chris and Krissie Holifield of “I Am Salt Lake” podcast. Kathy Dalton of “The Happy Camper” podcast, which focuses on three core values — explore the world, grow together and give back to humanity — has begun the journey with her husband of bringing hope and happiness to others. “I think it’s nice to have that kind of community because let’s be honest, we don’t really know what we’re doing,” said Dalton. “I think any time when we can connect with other people in a similar space it’s great.” Like blogging, podcasting has an audience and a show for everyone. “It doesn’t matter if you are interested in a certain subject or comic books. There are other people on the internet interested as well so you can go out and start a podcast, you can find your tribe, you can find your community,” said Ushio. Danielle Bates, a Bountiful resident, found a way to incorporate her writing into a podcast called “Pond Town Podcast.” Every few months, Bates records episodes of herself reading a fictional story she has written. “It’s really hard for me to want to put my
writing out there,” said Bates. “This way I’m in control of what I put out there and there’s not so much pressure.” Podcasting has become more popular in the last three years as a way to get news and entertainment on every subject possible, both local and international, especially for commuters who don’t have time or the ability to read a newspaper or blog post. It’s a media source that allows just about anyone to have their voice be heard by others. Major broadcasting groups like Bonneville host podcasts on their sites to widen their market. “Salt Lake is just grown — there’s more business grown from Salt Lake to Provo than anywhere else in the U.S. right now, and I believe that podcasting has a correlation with that. I think that podcasting is the new marketing,” said James. Sponsors from KSL and other radio sources helped make the event as large as it could be. Workshops in live podcasts were held during the classes from shows like “Dog and Thimble,” “The Cultural Hall” and “The World’s Greatest Comic Book” to show the backstage of creating a podcast on air. Groups around Utah have meet-ups to discuss how to be better podcasters, and the hosts of the Utah Podcast Summit already have plans for next year’s event. l
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Bionic Porcupines III compete at world Lego competition By Keyra Kristoffersen | email@example.com “This is kind of unique because it’s pretty Sandy team of middle school students, the Bionic Porcupines III, represented Utah hard to do that,” said Snaufer. “The robots have at the World Festival FIRST Championship in their own personalities.” The teams are judged on how well and Houston, Texas in April. “Basically, what this competition is where quickly their robot performs at the missions and young people go and build a Mindstorm robot how well the teams use sportsmanship within using purely Legos,” said team member Katie and without the team in outreach to the other groups from around the world, what they call Drennan. The team is made up of Eric Snaufer, Allie “coopertition.” “You know that you are competing but Drennan, Katie Drennan, Timothy Holt, Kassie Holt and Carter Lechtenberg. The team coaches you’re still doing it in a friendly way,” said Kaare Mark Snaufer, Ben Holt and Annie Dren- tie. Over 100 teams compete from all over the nan. The robot must perform a series of tasks United States and around the world from counsuch as pick up a ball or carry something. Ro- tries like Turkey, Philippines, Israel, Brazil, Afbots are programmed to complete these tasks rica, Australia and many others. “It was really fun — some of the teams over a four-foot by eight-foot challenge map and must be done completely autonomously. didn’t speak (the same language),” said Allie. The Bionic Porcupines III created buttons The teams can only handle the robot during competition from a small corner of the board welcoming the competing teams to the compeand they’re judged on how well the robot per- tition in several languages. The cost to get to the competition in Housforms the chosen tasks in the time limit. The teams can choose which series of 18 tasks to ton can be rough for some teams, so the Bionprogram their robot to do with points based on ic Porcupines III used GoFundMe and found sponsors throughout the corporate community. a sliding scale of difficulty. “Our coaches have a lot of connections,” “We try to learn from previous years from ideas teammates have had before and try new said Alllie. “Some of the other teams in Utah things once we see the actual tables,” said Ka- donated for us to go and that was great to have another team support us like that.” tie. Annie Drennan, one of the coaches and The Bionic Porcupines III chose to promother to Allie and Katie, began like Mark, gram all 18 tasks just to be on the safe side.
The Bionic Porcupines III compete on the world stage in Houston against 108 teams for FIRST Lego competition. (Mark Snauffer)
coaching teams when her children got involved in FIRST Lego League teams in school. “This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done,” said Drennan. “There were teams from all over the place. It’s really fun to all be together in the same purpose.” The Bionic Porcupines III won third place in robot strategy and tied for 12th in the robot game. Each year, FIRST and Lego come up with a real-world problem the competitors must find a solution to using their robots. This year it was water, and each team had to come up with a way of conserving, moving, disposing or cleaning water. The water project led the team to design a water conservation app that will start with Sandy residents and then move outward thanks to AquaHawk and Orbit Sprinklers. The app, currently available for download, is made up of
46,000 lines of code the Bionic Porcupines III mostly wrote themselves with the help of their tech-savvy coach. “We found that education alone doesn’t change people’s behavior,” said Katie. “We’ve talked to lots of different professionals in that field and then Chris Watson, a professor at the University of Utah, who taught us about the gamification process.” The team created a personal water usage tracker using a Sandy City water smart meter. Those using Water Bank save more water with minimal effort. The team has been recognized by Gov. Gary Herbert as well as Sandy City for their creativity and efforts at competition. Plans are already in the works for next year’s robot competition with the theme of space exploration, which has the entire team excited. l
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July 2018 | Page 5
Stadium Village redevelopment plans start with community feedback By Justin Adams | firstname.lastname@example.org Thousands of Real Salt Lake fans sat disappointed in Rio Tinto Stadium as they watched RSL lose 2-0 to Sporting Kansas City. At the same time, one mile away, Sandy residents who live next to the stadium sat in disappointment as they listened to a presentation about the tentative plans for how their community may soon be redeveloped. “We realize that we’re on the chopping block,” said Karen Morgan, who lives in the Tiny Wood Village Mobile Home Park located directly north of the stadium. “We already know they are going to (push us out). We just want to know when,” said Mark Christ, another Tiny Wood resident. Part of Sandy City’s Cairns district master plan is the redevelopment of the Stadium Village area, located mostly between State Street and I-15, and between 9000 South and 9400 South. The city has hired Gateway Planning, a Dallas-based firm, to help come up with a master plan. The earliest iterations of some possible directions for the plan were presented to members of the community on June 6. “They haven’t made any decisions, but they want input, so that’s nice,” said Morgan, who noted that they weren’t given similar treatment when the stadium itself was being planned. The three plans presented were all mixeduse plans with different emphases: entertainment, employment and residential. Each plan was drawn up by a two-person team from Gateway Planning and other contracted consultancy groups. “We don’t believe any of the three plans are the plan,” said Bryce Baker, one of the people on the consultancy team. Some features of the plans included a new nightlife-themed street with bars and restaurants, an indoor-sports complex, medium-to-high rise apartment buildings, a hotel near the stadium and new office buildings. The developers also want to make the area more friendly to other forms of transportation such as bike lanes and a pedestrian trail along the canal which cuts through the Village from the northeast to southwest corner. Many of the drawings placed these new features over existing homes and businesses, but Scott Polikov of Gateway Planning made a point to assure property owners that they wouldn’t be forced out. “We’re not suggesting that anyone has to give up their property or business. If you own property somewhere and see something else on top, we’re not saying that has to happen,” said Polikov. The same message was echoed by Jake Warner, a project manager for the city’s community development department. “My perspective of this project is to provide the big picture that can guide decisions. The fine grain of what actually gets built is going to depend largely on the market and the timing of the property owner,” he said. “For the
Page 6 | July 2018
Rio Tinto Stadium plays host to a number of events besides Real Salt Lake games, such as this high school state championship match between Alta and Viewmont earlier this year. (Justin Adams/Sandy City Journal)
most part, I don’t see the city getting involved.” Sandy City has conducted a citizen survey to find out what residents would like to see happen with the area. One hundred forty-four people responded to the first survey, conducted between April 23 and May 10. Parking and traffic problems were the No. 1 concerns raised by those respondents. “The city was so eager to get the stadium that they failed miserably with logistics to handle that many people coming into the area and needing parking,” said one respondent. “The stadium should not have been built in Sandy. It has ruined the area. I can’t get home when there is an event at the stadium,” said another. To help alleviate the traffic congestion, each of the three plans presented by Gateway included new roads through the Stadium Village area. For example, they would like to extend 9270 South on the west side of the stadium all the way to Monroe Street. They also want to create a new north-south road that would extend Monroe Plaza Way all the way to 9400 South. Other complaints in the survey included the fact that there aren’t a lot of restaurants or bars in the area to go to after attending events at the stadium. Sandy City Deputy Mayor Evelyn Everton told the Sandy Journal the city is committed to incorporating the public feedback into what eventually happens with the area. “A lot of these things have been in the works and moving along well before (Mayor Bradburn) came in so the conversation with staff on the Stadium Village Master Plan was that he wanted to make sure that whatever they did, they got a lot of public comment,” she said. Kurt Bradburn, who took office earlier this year, won on a campaign that emphasized “slowing the growth.” What exactly does that mean, though? Everton said while the mayor
is not “anti-growth” or “anti-development,” he wants to isolate the growth to a certain area, namely the Cairns district. However, the prospect of containing all the city’s development into a “miniature downtown” area is exactly what many of the survey respondents said they want to avoid. Respondents said they feared the area will become a “downtown area,” “busy and chaotic,” “a big city environment” and that “anything with any history or uniqueness will be demolished and replaced by the same cookie-cutter strip malls and apartment complexes that are taking over our cities.” Following the community presentation, members of the consultancy team went over to Rio Tinto Stadium to see for themselves the parking and congestion issues around stadium events that have residents concerned. “I’d say the stadium was about twothirds full but we could definitely see how full the parking lots were,” said Kelsey Barry, a project manager for Gateway Planning. Barry also said that while it was a good experience to see action around the stadium firsthand, it didn’t significantly change anything about the team’s plans. Gateway Planning will now take the three plans, and using the guidance received from the citizen survey, combine the best elements of the three plans and produce a rough draft plan that they will bring back to the community. “We’ll be back in the fall with our first draft of the plan and that will enable some more rounds of feedback,” said Barry. Eventually, there will be a final master plan that will be submitted to the city council for approval, probably at the end of the year. If the council adopts the plan, it still won’t necessarily mean that the plan will be carried out exactly as it’s laid out.
Rio Tinto Stadium plays host to a number of events besides Real Salt Lake games, such as this high school state championship match between Alta and Viewmont earlier this year. (Justin Adams/Sandy City Journal)
“(The plan) gives direction to developers. It gives direction to staff to start putting the tools together to bring it to pass. The end result of this process is the start of implementation,” said Warner. l
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Dimple Dell Preservation Community hoping to restore Poulsen house By Justin Adams | email@example.com
t the Mount Jordan trailhead in the northeast corner of Dimple Dell Park there is an old dilapidated house with boarded-up windows and doors. Some might say it is an eyesore that should be torn down, but not according to the Dimple Dell Preservation Community (DDPC). The Poulsen house, constructed in the late 1800s, was a pioneer homestead. Many Mormon settlers came to the area to work on the granite which was used to construct the Salt Lake temple. “There’s a little spot up the canyon that’s not the quarry. This whole community — 200 square miles — was the granite quarry for the Salt Lake City Mormon temple,” said Ron Vance, who has lived in the area since the 1960s. In fact, much of the Poulsen house itself is constructed of the same granite rock used to construct the temple as well as lay the foundation of early Salt Lake City streets. These days, however, the abandoned building has become a magnet for the homeless and drug activity, which has further added to the building’s state of disrepair. Now, the DDPC and Salt Lake County are working on protecting and eventually restoring the historic site. “We are launching an inspired fundraising campaign to see this become the future site of a local history and heritage center where people can come and learn about the pioneer home-
A message left for the DDPC, likely by individuals who had been living in the Poulsen house illegally. (Justin Adams / Sandy City Journal)
steaders as well as the ancient peoples that inhabited this land thousands of years ago,” said DDPC President Monica Zoltanski. The county has agreed to put aside $250,000 to help with the effort. The money was initially set aside to create paved trails in Dimple Dell Park, which is what led to the formation of the DDPC as community members organized to voice their opposition to that plan. The county listened, and agreed to use the money for preservation instead. The first sign of the county’s contribution is
already visible — metal posts have been placed around the perimeter of the Poulsen house (with a wire fence to follow) to help discourage people from breaking into the house. Those efforts have been noticed by those who have been using the house illegally. When the DDPC arrived at the house for a community meeting on June 11, they found a crude message directed at the organization spray-painted on the backside of the structure. “That’s unpleasant, but it’s not going to stop us from doing our work,” said Zoltanski.
“It shows me that we’re making people uncomfortable.” The purpose of the community meeting was to gather information about the site’s history from locals. As of now, there’s nowhere to go to learn about the people who once lived there. Even Google struggles to come up with anything about the place. About 12–15 people showed up to either share what they know about the site or to learn for themselves. Besides long-time residents like Vance, there were young families who had recently moved to the area and had wondered what the story behind the house was and a 16year old Boy Scout who said he loves running in the park and would like to help clean up the site as his Eagle project. Zoltanski recorded each person’s thoughts about the house and will now compile them into a video that will launch the DDPC’s fundraising effort. They are hoping to raise another $250,000 to match the county’s contribution. The DDPC would eventually like to see the house become a part-time museum with a volunteer staff to educate visitors about the historical, geological and archaeological features of the Dimple Dell Park. “That’s still quite a ways away though,” said Zoltanski. “It’s like that old saying that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Well, tonight was that first step.” l
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July 2018 | Page 7
Behind-the-scenes look at major fireworks shows By Lana Medina | firstname.lastname@example.org
he telltale BOOM goes off, followed by several more bursts, and then a series of fireworks flash into the sky. Every 4th and 24th of July, crowds come from far and wide to witness one of dozens of fireworks shows that light up the Salt Lake Valley. Behind the scenes, it’s a very different picture. “I think of it as painting a canvas,” said Lantis Fireworks salesman and licensed Utah pyrotechnician Jeffery Ott. “And I have the sky to paint on.” Lantis Fireworks produces some of the major fireworks productions in the Salt Lake Valley, including the popular Salt Lake City and Sandy City fireworks shows. Each of those 15–20 minute fireworks displays take hours of work to organize the performance, set up fireworks connections, coordinate with local fire marshals and ensure safety. Organizing One of the most prominent shows in the Salt Lake Valley is the one where hundreds of fireworks shoot off the roof of the Sandy City Hall every 4th of July. Months beforehand, Lantis Fireworks coordinates with Sandy City officials to decide how long the show will be, how close viewers can get to Sandy City Hall and still be safe and what music will help time out the display. In the background of almost every fireworks show are carefully timed pieces of music stitched together, to which the fireworks are choreographed to match tempo. “When you’re playing the Star Spangled Banner, you’re not shooting pow pow pow, you’re shooting one shell, then another,” Ott explained. “You want your shells in the air to match the music. The music really dictates what you see.” This year, it won’t just be music. Sandy City is partnering with FM radio station Z104 to broadcast the music, along with recordings of service members’ wives talking about them coming home. “We try not to make it just about things exploding. The ending has always been spectacular — we don’t expect anything less this year,” said Mearle Marsh, community events director for Sandy City. Marsh says this is the second year Sandy City will have fireworks discharged from the roof of the Sandy City Hall. “It’s a challenging location but it makes for a really beautiful setting for the fireworks,” he said. Lantis Fireworks and Sandy City officials have big plans for this year’s fireworks display. There’s the “cake” fireworks: multi-shot aerial fireworks that make a rapid staccato burst of noise during the show. Then, in the Sandy City show, there’s the three-inch shells that light up the night sky with a big boom, then two combine to create the overall, bigger fireworks display. By using a mix of colors and matching several different types of shells to music, a pyrotechnician can create an amazing fireworks
Page 8 | July 2018
(Courtesy Lantis Fireworks) Lantis Fireworks sets up fireworks to be discharged at the 2017 Sandy City fireworks show.
Months of work goes into creating a memorable fireworks display. (Photo courtesy of Lantis Fireworks)
show for viewers. Pyros This term may sound like a dangerous person with fire, but for fireworks, it’s the exact opposite. “Think about a conductor conducting an orchestra — that’s what a pyro does; they’re part conductor and part magician,” Ott said. Lantis Fireworks’ pyrotechnicians go through extensive training before they can even touch one of the production fireworks. According to the state of Utah regulations, pyrotechnicians — or pyros for short — are required to work on at least three fireworks shows and go through extensive safety training. Once these requirements are met, a potential pyrotechnician can then take a test to get a license that would allow them to legally shoot off production-quality fireworks. “Production is a 1.3G fireworks classification. The stuff that your neighbors are doing, that’s consumer grade, that’s 1.4G. It’s measured on gram weight per item. Consumer is supposed to be safer, less gunpowder,” Ott explained, but cautioned that “all fireworks are explosives.” And all that training is necessary. At every show, there are fire marshals, firefighters and other emergency experts on hand in case something goes wrong. Safety “We’re attempting to put explosives in the air in a safe manner,” Ott said. Safety is the number one priority for Lantis Fireworks pyrotechnicians, Ott said. “We take every possible safety precaution from the time they’re loaded onto the truck up until the point we shoot them, and even while we’re shooting them,” he said. “Because the truth of it is, if you’re lucky and something bad happens, you’ll lose a finger. If they don’t get lucky, they get dead. You have to think like a fire marshal. Safety is always your first priority.”
Ott remembers a few years ago during a Lantis production in the Salt Lake Valley, and there was a wind shift. “When a shell goes off, it doesn’t just go up into the air; there’s often some fiery debris that comes out of the mortar tube along with the shell,” he said. “We had some fiery debris that blew over and two-thirds of the way through the show, it prematurely ignited part of the finale (fireworks). So some of that ‘boom boom boom’ started going off much sooner than it was supposed to.” There are specific rules governing major production-style fireworks displays. For every one-inch shell used in a fireworks show, viewers have to be kept at a distance of 70 feet in radius from the firework discharge zone. This means at the Sandy City Hall, when Lantis Fireworks uses three-inch shells to light up the night sky, nobody except for the licensed pyrotechnicians and safety personnel can be within 210 feet in any direction from the roof of the Sandy City Hall where the fireworks are set off. Local fire officials will be on hand at these major fireworks displays. Salt Lake City Fire spokeswoman Audra Sorenson said they prefer it when Utahns visit the fireworks shows in-
stead of setting off their own fireworks, because it’s much more safe. “Going to a fireworks display that’s sponsored by a city or company is ideal for us. They work hand-in-hand with the city to make sure the location, the display and conditions are ideal so that they’re discharged properly,” Sorenson said. “We can work hand-in-hand with those shows’ teams to make sure it’s a safe fireworks display.” Set up For a 20-minute show, it can take a team of pyrotechnicians 10–12 hours to set up the fuses, tubes, electronics and fireworks for the display. “You have to wire in every shell by hand. Then if it’s choreographed, every shell has a specific place it has to be wired in,” Ott said. But when it’s done right, you end up creating a lasting and memorable experience for everyone watching. From young children who’ve never seen a fireworks show, to the people who never miss a fireworks show. “Our whole goal is the ooh, ahh, wow,” Ott said. “That two-three seconds of silence between the last shell going off and thunderous applause that often follows a show… is beautiful.” If local residents are planning to set off their own fireworks, there’s a map showing restricted areas: https://slcfire.com/fireworks/ For the month of July, fireworks can legally be discharged July 2–5 and July 22–25. l
Sandy City Journal
Sandy City Youth Council honors outstanding Sandy teachers By Julie Slama | email@example.com
or Jordan High junior Logan Homer, learning doesn’t have to mean pouring over the books in a strict classroom environment. “Teachers have a big impact on students’ lives,” he said. “My physics teacher, Mr. (David) Morrill, is one of them. He really engaged me.” Homer said “he did some crazy things, but what he did motivated students. We learned a lot and had a lot of fun. Every time I went into his class, he inspired me and made me want to think I want to study physics.” For his inspiration and engaging teaching method, Homer honored Morrill as one of Sandy City Youth Council’s outstanding teachers. He was one of six Sandy teachers recognized with a plaque at the council’s 24th annual Teacher Appreciation Dinner. The event was coordinated by volunteer youth council teacher appreciation dinner coordinator Marsha Millet. “It’s a special night where teachers are being honored by their students,” she said. “For many of these teachers, they have never been honored in years of teaching and if they have, few have ever been selected by their students who have been directly impacted by their teaching.” The evening’s events included remarks by Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, who recalled how teachers impacted him, she said.
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Area teachers were honored by Sandy City Youth Council students for making an impact on their lives. (Photo courtesy of Jessica Arnett)
“He spoke about the importance of honest and good characters and how that is also learned from teachers,” Millet said. The event, which honored 11 teachers and coaches, was supported by four city council members: Steve Fairbanks, Linda Martinez-Saville, Chris McCandless and Zach Robinson.
Council co-mayor Megan Okumura welcomed teachers, and members Alex Cheng, on piano, and Abby Murri, on violin with her mother accompanying her, provided entertainment. Students paid tribute to their teachers, including youth council member Gabby Marz, who honored Jordan High’s Carrie Earl.
“In other classes, it seems as if ‘discussions’ are premeditated talking points with no actual intention of challenging the mind,” she said. “Mrs. Earl has taught us to be critical yet respectful thinkers. We don’t need protection from differing opinions because Mrs. Earl has taught us to respectfully engage in constructive conversation utilizing critical thinking. In doing so, her students will leave her classes capable of civil discussion. Other area teachers who were recognized included Jordan High’s Brandon Cressall and Rachel Hardy; Alta High’s Chad VanOrden; Park Lane Elementary’s Susan Homer; American Preparatory Academy’s Amanda Larsen; Hillcrest High’s Katie Bullock, Kenneth Herlin and Austin Hilla; and Brighton High’s assistant swim coach Jordan Fletcher. Okumura said it’s important to honor teachers. “As a future educator myself, I find teachers to be very under appreciated yet very needed,” she said. “I can thank every teacher I’ve ever had for shaping a part of who I am today because they have such an impact on our lives. It’s important that teachers are recognized not just by their students, but by the city as well to show that all the hard work they’re doing does not go unrecognized or unappreciated. Without teachers, our world would be a lot darker place.” l
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RizePoint awards Canyons School District students STEM summer camp scholarships By Julie Slama | firstname.lastname@example.org
astmont seventh-grader Kiriana Jolley was looking at summer camps when she found Hogle Zoo’s Zookeeper for a Day Camp. Kiriana, who wants to go into zoology or become a veterinarian, was thrilled. “It’s going to be amazing,” she said. “I get to go around with a zookeeper and feed animals, clean cages, play games with the animals and be a part of everything.” Her father, Kennion, said his daughter, who owns a guinea pig named Chocolate Chip, has “watched more animal shows and videos than I can count.” Kiriana received her opportunity to be a zookeeper this summer, thanks to RizePoint, which awarded scholarships to Canyons School District students wanting to attend STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) camps. “We invest in the future and the future is what makes us successful,” RizePoint CEO Frank Maylett said. “Our fu-ture are these students who are here wanting to learn at STEM camps.” About 21 scholarships were originally planned to be awarded in the third annual summer camp scholarship program; however, RizePoint Vice President of People Operations Peter Johnson said about four more scholarships were funded by company individuals who were inspired by the quality of applicants.
“All the applicants were pretty great, so when we couldn’t fund some, there was a real draw to raise extra funds, and employees partnered to award $1,400 in additional scholarships,” he said. The applications consisted of a short essay where fifth-grade through 10th-grade students wrote about their interests and experience as they relate to STEM subjects, as well as included recommendations from a peer and a teacher. Johnson said a committee of RizePoint employees and Canyons Education Foundation members then scored the applications for their completeness, content, ambition and financial need. The camps range by students’ interests, although many of them are centered around game design, Legos and coding. Alta View fifth-grader Waylan Green is planning to attend the Husky Robotics Camp at Hillcrest High School on scholarship. “It’s my first scholarship,” Waylan said. “I got my teacher to write a recommendation.” Waylan, who wants to be a video game designer, often plays video games with his dad. “It’s fun to play, but he’s horrible at it,” he said of his father. Awarding scholarships is just one way RizePoint has supported students. The company also has partnered with East Midvale Elementary, where they gave students backpacks in
RizePoint presented Eastmont seventh-grader Kiriana Jolley with a STEM summer camp scholarship to attend a zookeeper day camp. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
the fall filled with school supplies, and this past March, read books with students as part of the school’s Dr. Seuss Day. RizePoint’s reach to the community also includes giving employees a day each quarter to serve the community, such as helping with hurricane relief, building trellises and attending to the Wasatch Community Garden.
“We’re excited to be able to help our community,” Maylett told the recipients and their families. “Through what we do — making software for companies and stores many of you use every day — we touch your lives quietly, but we’re making an impact, both through our work and our service.” l
Awesome coffee, amazing cocoa, delicious pastries and gelato, and friendly knowledgeable baristas are what people mention first when they talk about Alpha Coffee. The next thing they consistently bring up is how much they love Alpha’s mission to give back to the troops. In one short year, this Veteran Owned coffee shop located at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, next to the Porcupine Grill, has developed a strong and loyal following. Local couple and co-owners, Carl and Lori Churchill, are proud to mark this anniversary with their team and invite everyone to come visit.
7260 Racquet Club Dr, Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121
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Sandy City Journal
Film festival teaches life techniques for students By Julie Slama | email@example.com
Quail Hollow’s student council won its third straight Canyons School District’s Film Festival award for best elementary newscast. (Photo courtesy of Quail Hollow Elementary)
hen Quail Hollow fifth-grader Owen Christensen was younger, he watched his school’s video announcements. “The more I watched the morning announcements, the more I loved them and knew I wanted to help,” he said. Little did Owen know that this year, when he got to be part of the news team, Quail Hollow would win its third straight Canyons Film Festival for best elementary newscast. The ninth annual film festival offers students to submit films they create individually or in teams in nine categories: public service announcement, feature, animation, documentary and newscast. There is a teacher category as well as American Graduate news story and public service announcement categories and the annual film festival poster contest. Katie Blunt , district education technology specialist, has said that through filmmaking, students learn skills such as organization and literacy. “The students start with brainstorming, turn their idea in to a story with a story board and screen play; they write, they research, they synthesize the information to learn how best to communicate their message,” she said. “It’s a group project, they learn how to collaborate. These are skills that translate into the classroom as well as into the real world.” Through the process, students learn not only how to create their film, but also how to edit and revise. “Students learn how to do revisions just like they may have to with a writing assignment in school. We see improvements in films from year to year,” said Blunt, who is the project lead of the film festival. At Quail Hollow, a dozen student council members, under fifth-grade teacher and student council adviser Nicholas Heinz, are responsible for the weekly announcements. Their equipment is basic: a green piece of fabric for their green screen, microphone and lights purchased
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off Amazon, an older computer that wasn’t being used in the computer lab for editing and a point-and-shoot camera to film. Fifth-grade member Avery Cornia has learned filming techniques such as using different camera angles for the perfect shots. However, Avery also wanted to add more to the newscasts and learned stop motion through the firealpaca app. “When I joined the morning announcements, I wanted to add new things, such as stop motion animation,” Avery said. “I had done some coding, but I didn’t know how to do stop motion.” Stop motion, a skit for the word of the week and a decisive theme are some of the distinguishable features of their winning newscast, classmate Brady Deeds said. “We tried to make it our best,” Brady said. “We talked about themes and when we planned it out and when it was time to film, we even dressed up as if it were the ‘80s with people on the set being nerds, cheerleaders and business (leaders).” Avery, who dressed like a hippie, said more jokes were added this year to keep viewers attention. Brady said that when they introduced the word of the week, they created a skit to better illustrate how to use the word in a sentence. “In the past, others said the word straight up, but we tried to make ours funny.” Owen said those improvements have helped the newscast. “We watched previous years’ newscasts and knew that we wanted to make ours worthwhile, but also ‘funner’ so we had the anchor spice it up so those who were watching had fun too,” he said. Being on the news team has helped the students. Avery, who said it has helped with giving oral presentations, now wants to continue filmmaking next year in middle school and wants to
start an audiovisual club. Brady said that by working on the newscasts before school it will help him be on time for middle school, which has an earlier school bell. He also said it has given him confidence. “I used to be very scared to talk in front of people when I was younger. Now I can get up in front of people without that fear,” he said. Owen said he has made lots of friends through the news team. “I’ve gotten to know people, both on the newscast and those around school, and I have really enjoyed learning how to film,” he said. Canyons Board of Education member Steve Wrigley, who applauded the winners of the film festival, said that the festival gives students opportunities. “They’re learning new skills that will be useful to them in school and life,” he said, adding that he and his wife have created some videos for Willow Canyon as well as other films. “It’s great for these kids to be recognized for their creative talents. We applaud those who are talented in the arts.”l
OTHER FILM FESTIVAL WINNERS Announcements Winners: Darius Potupchik and Brandy Zarate, Midvale Elementary; Katie Ritter and Tiana Keetch, Indian Hills Middle; and Emily Erickson, Hillcrest High. Animation Winners: Lizzie Crockett, Peruvian Park Elementary; Lucie Packer and Ellie Pinnock, Draper Park Middle; and Justie Marinez, Corner Canyon High. Documentary Winners: Anna Sokol and Izzibelle Hansen, Sprucewood Elementary; Makena Lelepali, Midvale Middle; and Colton Ebert, Caleb Christiansen, Chris Moore, Tyler Kimball, Dallin Nowotny, David Thayne and Ethan Crittenden, Entrada High Draper Campus. Feature Film Winners: Burke Gehret, Crescent Elementary; Sarah Newman, Jacob Thomsen, Katie Kosk and Paisley Reber, Eastmont Middle; and Parker Olsen, Jaxson Wilde, Brady Jorgenson and Cate Gillingham, Brighton High. Teacher Best Film Winner: Wade Harman, of Entrada High Draper Campus, won the teacher best film with “The Wood Shaper — A Story of Lifelong Learning.” The American Graduate News Story Winners: Colton Ebert, Caleb Christiansen, Chris Moore, Tyler Kimball, Dallin Nowotny, David Thayne and Ethan Crittenden, Entrada High Draper Campus; and the American Graduate public service announcement winners were from Midvale Elementary. Poster Design Contest Winner: Jake Wixom from Draper Park Middle
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Blessed Sacrament students explore filmmaking through film festival By Julie Slama | firstname.lastname@example.org
Blessed Sacrament eighth-grader Charles Topoleski won three Oscars at his school’s first film festival. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Quiel)
hortly before school was out for the summer, Charles Topoleski walked out of Blessed Sacrament clutching a couple gold statuettes. The student won Best Actor, Best Editor and Best Picture in the music video category at Blessed Sacrament’s first film festival. “Our graduating eighth-grader, Charles Topoleski was the major winner, winning three awards,” teacher Kelly Quiel said. “He spent hours making an epic dance montage.” Quiel, who had her students make the films, said the students’ stories were so great it gave them a chance to show their creativity. “They’re incredible. They worked on them for three or four months as well as the time they spent on them at home. They got to learn and create the elements of film through their stories,” she said. As part of the film exploratory class assignment, sixth-graders created animated films; seventh-graders, documentaries; and eighth-graders, music videos. Many of the topics tied into what the students were learning in class. For example, seventh-grade documentaries could tie into ancient deities or constellation stories. “They created and knew their stories so well, it made sense for them to illustrate them through film. The documentaries also allowed students to learn interviewing techniques and knowing where to frame the person in the shot,” Quiel said. Through the process, students learned how to storyboard and edit their films. Several sixth-graders, who practiced their animation
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skills on iPads, filmed their characters over and over so the shots were taken bit by bit, allowing movement to be fluid. They also were encouraged to use descriptive language. Quiel said eighth-graders learned about the media as part of their social studies core and studied how the Nazis used propaganda to further their message. “We studied historic events, like the Titanic, and saw what and how it was recorded as a historic event. We learned how some manipulations in film can make it appear as if people are talking to each other even if they aren’t,” she said, adding that film exploratory as well as music and Spanish are required classes that complement the core curriculum at the school. About 42 completed projects were narrowed to 15, which were shown at the film festival. The films — four animations, six documentaries and five music videos — were voted on by the audience for best picture in each category. Students voted for best actor, best actress and best editor. Best actor, actress and editor winners received miniature Oscars and popcorn containers of sweets while each best picture winner received a $10 movie gift card. The Best Actress winners were Arabella Martin and Caitlyn Bath. The Best Animation award went to Isabella Pickers with her film “Aster the Pig,” and Best Documentary winner was Lily Edwards with “No-Kill Shelters.” The films are available on YouTube.com/ QuielClassroom and shared on Blessed Sacrament’s Facebook page. l
Sandy City Journal
Canyons School District students able to check out online books By Julie Slama | email@example.com
Lone Peak first-graders get a peak at e-books they can check out this summer as demonstrated by Lauren Bajda, OverDrive digital media events specialist. (Julie Slama/ City Journals)
his summer, Bell View Elementary students will have more opportunities to get in their reading, thanks to Canyons School District adding OverDrive online book service. “This will help our students with their summer reading who can’t get to the library still be able to read,” said Bell View librarian Audrey Clare, who often listens to audiobooks as she performs chores around her home. “They won’t be dependent on someone to drive them to the library to be able to read from or listen to a vast selection of books.” OverDrive isn’t just for Bell View students, but for all students across the school district who want to get in their reading hours or books assigned for honors classes. The service will provide a digital e-book collection of classroom titles, audiobooks as well as books for pleasure, said Canyons Library Media Specialist Jim Wilson. “Students can have access to their (reading) level and below,” he said. “We will have titles appropriate for up through high school.” Canyons held its kick off simultaneously throughout the District with the visit of the OverDrive bookmobile at Lone Peak Elementary in early May. “It shows us what was new - including the bookmobile itself. It’s a digital bookmobile, with a large screen and stations to look up ebooks, not the bookmobile many of us knew in our past,” Wilson said. In the bookmobile, which is just used as a promotional tool for libraries across the United States and Canada, a class of first-graders were learning that they could highlight words as they read along with e-books as demonstrated by Lauren Bajda, OverDrive digital media events specialist. Some other features she showed students included clicking and holding on a word to find its definition, highlighting a section and then being able to write notes about it and within the menu set-up, customizing the book for font, point size and background color. “If you come back to check out the book again, it will remember your settings, the page you’re on and still have the notes available,” Bajda said. “It’s awesome to have reading available 24/7 so students can read all summer and will never have late fees nor will any book be damaged. It’s a complement to physical books.” Bajda said Canyons sets up its filters, from allowing students to check out three titles for two weeks, to currently focusing on e-books rather than videos or music. Wilson said that start-up costs are more than $20,000, but students will have access to thousands of titles.
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Lone Peak Principal Tracy Stacy said that students will be able to access their Pearson Education text as well as News English-Language Arts articles. “The last few years, we’ve had a reading calendar where students mark off their number of minutes over the summer. With ebook access, we’re hoping that will give our students even more opportunities to read,” she said. Stacy, who enjoys the children’s book, “The One and Only Ivan,” which is available on OverDrive, said that she hopes that by providing the service this summer, students and parents will eat together. “Research shows that when children are read to, read with and by parents, the children’s reading improves and they become more fluent readers themselves,” she said. “While this gives students greater access and reading on technology is becoming more of their generation, we still will have our school collection. I would hate to have them miss out on the smell of books we all know.” Currently, Salt Lake City, Jordan, Granite, Davis and Weber school districts, Brigham Young University as well as Salt Lake County and Murray libraries also use OverDrive. Bajda said about 98 percent of the public libraries use OverDrive, which began in 1986. l
Canyons School District held a kick-off for its online book service simultaneously throughout the district with the visit of the OverDrive bookmobile at Lone Peak Elementary. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
July 2018 | Page 13
CTEC student-designed, built home up for sale By Julie Slama | firstname.lastname@example.org
t’s more than another house on the market. The two-bedroom home at 8731 Monroe Street was designed and built by Canyons Technology Education Center (CTEC) the past five months as a learning opportunity for students to gain experience with concrete, framing, electrical, drywall, sheetrock, carpentry, trimming, painting, siding, shingling and masonry. “They had to be on task and work as a team to finish the project on schedule,” instructor Tim Kidder said. “These kids learned a ton of stuff. Some of them didn’t even read a tape measure or had taken any shop classes before this. Now they can think critically and have work skills that can help them with future employment.” CTEC offers many opportunities to earn college credit, industry certifications and professional licenses in high school. Courses range from digital media and software development to medical assisting and physical therapy to cosmetology and welding. CTEC Principal Ken Spurlock, who said that students have been building homes annually since the 1980s, said it is a critical skill to help students learn hands-on to enter both professional and technical careers. The on-site building construction class, which taught concepts in project management as well as hands-on experience, gave 24 area high school students 10 credits at Salt Lake Community College through concurrent enrollment, said Kidder. He, along with project man-
ager LaDell Nielsen, taught students safety as well as building construction skills. For Nathan Catmull and Robert Banyai the experience was a step more than following the design. “The blueprints were so bad that I thought I could totally design the house better,” Catmull said. “So when I said something to my teacher, he said if you can come up with something better, we’d look at it. I stayed up really late and designed the whole concept that night.” Those plans, with input from Banyai, became part of the 1,300-square foot house that is listed at $285,000, on a parcel of land donated by Sandy City for the program. “I had to follow certain parameters, but I also put in some unique features like circle windows that gave the house character. I love how the house looks with a modern-style architecture. From an architectural standpoint, it was fun to do. But from a building view, it was more complex so now I’m more aware of that,” Catmull said. For example, those circle windows took students “a couple good days to put in versus 10 minutes” for standard windows, Banyai said. Students also learned about regulations in building, such as needing five-foot ceilings in bedrooms. A third room fell short of that, so it is listed as a storage space. “It’s one of my favorite rooms,” said senior Brittany Maughan, about the room students
nicknamed “the princess room” with slanted rafters and a smaller circle window. “I think it would make an awesome playroom.” While Catmull and Banyai want to pursue a career in architecture, Maughan wants to study neurology. “I took the course so one day I could build my own home,” she said. “I know I can’t do it on my own, but I have a better understanding of the process and can be a part of it.” The process began with practice. Students made a dozen dog houses, three sheds, two play houses and one cat house to learn the skills. Then, they sold many of them, like the house that now is for sale, to put money back into the program for upcoming students. The next two homes will be built on adjoining lots on the corner of Monroe and Cottage streets. Through their learning, students said Kidder emphasized “quality, quality, quality.” “It’s been a great experience to help make a blueprint and put what I’ve learned into building a home,” Banyai said. “I came into the class thinking it’s an easy A, but there is so much more to it than showing up.” Catmull said besides learning the regulations for designing a house, he realizes how much more work and education goes into certain fields like electrical or framing. “I’ve loved the hands-on work as well as the designing of it,” he said. The home also
features an open bamboo-floor kitchen-dining great room that opens into a family room, a walk-in closet off the master bathroom, a laundry room with a utility sink, a parlor, two fulltiled bathrooms and one-half bathroom, a twocar garage and a fenced backyard. “The layout turned out well.” l
CTEC student seniors Nathan Catmull, Robert Banyai, Brittany Maughan, Tristan Rose, Peyton Boutbyseth, Kaiden Jones and Nicolas Croft and junior Alma Miller put on finishing touches on the home they helped build before it was put up to sell. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
Congratulations to Chick-fil-A’s 2018 Scholarship Award Recipients Chick-fil-A Inc. gave away $14.5 million in scholarships this spring (as well as access to tuition discounts and other benefits at more than 100 colleges and universities nationwide). 5,700 Team Members each received $2,500 through their Remarkable Futures Scholarship program, including our very own Chick-fil-A South Towne Market’s Julia Ashton, Easton Robinson and Manny Perez. 13 Chick-fil-A Team Members were awarded a $25,000 True Inspiration scholarship including Chick-fil-A Draper’s Director of Marketing, Holly Curby. Both scholarships are awarded based on a Team Member’s leadership, academic achievement and community ChiCk-fil-A south involvement (2018 scholarship recipients logged a towne mArket’s 2018 sCholArship reCipients combined 70,000 hours of community service, the 13 True Inspiration receipients averaged 450 hours each).
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Sandy City Journal
Chalk the Walk returns, provides chance to ‘view creative process’ By Julie Slama | email@example.com
t the end of the school year, dozens of Alta High School students teamed up, as they have since 1985, to Chalk the Walk. During the event, students had four hours
to recreate famous works of art using sidewalk chalk matching the theme of surrealism. “Today the objectives remain the same: first to give students from many different artistic
levels the opportunity to re-create a famous work of art using sidewalk chalk, and second giving artistic as well as non-artistic students the opportunity to view the creative process
and appreciate reproductions of famous works of art,” said teacher and Chalk the Walk organizer Katie Campbell. l
THE SANDY CLUB
“A Safe Place for Boys and Girls”
Member of the Month
Congratulations Katrinna Garnica Corral our June Member of the Month. Katrinna is 7 1/2 years old and attends Sandy Elementary School, where her favorite subject is Science. When Katrinna grows up she wants to become a Veterinarian. What Katrinna likes most about herself is that when a song comes on she can change her voice to sound like the singer. When asked why she thought she was voted Member of the Month she replied, “Because I am good, not mean. Always nice to everyone and use kind words.” Katrinna has been a member of the Sandy Club for 2 1/12 years; in that time she has learned to dance really well. Katrinna’s favorite thing to do at the Sandy Club is Zumba. If Katrinna had one wish it would be to be the greatest singer in the whole world. Congratulations once again Katrinna!! We are so proud of you!!
If you would like to volunteer or make a donation, please call 801-561-4854.
S andy Journal .com
July 2018 | Page 15
Bell View students on pace for technology, activities funds By Julie Slama | firstname.lastname@example.org
ince Mason Dayton was 4 years old, he has run at Bell View Elementary’s jog-a-thon. The now second-grader, who says he “raced the whole time,” used to come to the school when his grandmother volunteered and would run the jog-a-thon with every grade. “It feels good afterward,” he said, adding that he liked the green popsicle he got when the run was over. Bell View’s School Community Council held the jog-a-thon on May 18 to encourage healthy lifestyles as well as participation in school activities. Students ran by grade level every 20 minutes, said Principal Chanci Loran. Before the jog-a-thon, students could earn Caught Being Good tickets to the school store for exercising and selecting healthy food choices to eat and complete it on a healthy kid tracker chart. The event also served as a fundraiser for the school, which raised $2,400, earmarked for supplies for the classrooms, technology, Caught Being Good prizes and Brain Boosters, Loran said. “(Students) obtain a feeling of ownership by being an active part of the fundraiser, and obtain funds to support their school,” she said. Students could have family, friends and neighbors pledge them in the run. By participating and obtaining sponsors, students could earn prizes ranging from a pair of Bell View sunglasses to being entered into a drawing for
prizes. However, fifth-graders Brayden Alejandre and Annabelle Davidson liked participating in the jog-a-thon for the fun. Brayden, who plays basketball, said he was able to use his endurance from running up and down the court for the jog-a-thon. “I ran 22 laps (around the school field),” he said. “I ran as fast as I can.” He also chooses to fully enjoy the day by soaking himself. “They have cups to fill up from a bucket as we run. I usually dump it on myself instead,” he said. Brayden has run the jog-a-thon since kindergarten, as has Annabelle. “It’s easier now than in kindergarten since we have bigger, stronger legs,” she said. Annabelle said some of the money goes toward incentives and reading parties, which usually have a snack and involve physical education–type games. The School Community Council also supports White Ribbon Week and testing incentives, such as art supplies, school supplies, Legos, slime, sports balls, bubbles and more. However, as much as students appreciate the prizes, Annabelle said the best part of the school is the teachers. “They’re nice and they won’t stop trying until you succeed,” she said. l
Fifth-grader Baylee White, in blue, dashes during Bell View’s jog-a-thon in an effort to help raise money for school prizes and technology. (Eryn White/Bell View Elementary)
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Sandy City Journal
A united team brings the boys 5A state baseball title home to Jordan By Ron Bevan | email@example.com
wake-up call midway through the season helped change the attitude of the Jordan baseball team. Eighteen straight wins later, the Beetdiggers hoisted the 5A state championship title above their heads. In the end, they made it look easy, taking the title with an inning shortened 11-1 win over Olympus. “We were like a fine-tuned machine at the end, a locomotive,” Jordan coach Chad Fife said. “It was crazy how good this team became. We set a new state record for number of hits this season.” Nobody held the trophy higher than pitcher Gage Edwards. The 6’3”, 220-pound senior used his imposing stature and smoking fastball to intimidate opposing batters, amassing an 8-1 record on the season. “Winning this title is the best feeling I have had in my life,” Edwards said. “I have worked and dreamed about this for the last four years.” Although Edwards can throw a curveball, slider and change-up, his bread-and-butter pitch is the fastball, which has been clocked at 91 miles per hour. Jordan pulverized its opponents in the state playoffs, winning five straight games to take the title. The Beetdiggers knocked the ball around to the tune of 63 runs in five games while holding their opponents to just 14 scores. Three games, including the championship game, were stopped after five innings by the mercy rule — when a team has more than 10 runs over its opponent’s score. Familiarity was a key point in the success of Jordan this season. The bulk of the varsity squad were seniors who have played together four straight seasons. Most played with or against each other in super league baseball prior to their high school careers. “We have known each other for a long time,” Edwards said. “Coming into this season we set goals and the main goal was to be champions. We wanted to go out on top for our senior year.” The seniors held conditioning and batting practices during the off-season. One of the seniors had a batting cage at his house, so the team would go over every night between 6:00 and 10:00 and hit 150 balls each. “We divided ourselves into four groups and each would go over for an hour and hit every night,” Edwards said. “We were already seeing and hitting the ball before the season began.” But while the Beetdiggers felt ready for the season, the start was a bit rocky, showing very little signs of what was to come. Jordan eked out a few close wins and dropped a few others. By the time the Beetdiggers were two games into region play, they held a measly 6-6 record and had gone 0-2 against last year’s champions Cottonwood. Jordan would beat Cottonwood in the final of the three-game stand, but the writing was on the wall. Something had to change. “After Cottonwood we had a player’s only
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The Jordan Beetdiggers celebrate the 5A state championship in May after defeating Olympus 11-1. (Jordan Baseball)
meeting,” Edwards said. “We talked about how this is our last run together. There was only one way we wanted to finish it. We committed to each other to make the sacrifices needed to get there. It wasn’t just baseball anymore. We had a goal and we were going to give it everything we had to make it work.” The mentality of the team changed that day. Jordan went on a winning streak, and the bats were flying. The Beetdiggers scored 38 runs to Alta’s 3 in a three-game series. Then Jordan posted 46 runs to six at Corner Canyon and poured it on some more with 53 runs to 6 against Timpview. Then in a three-game stance with Brighton another defining moment came for Jordan. During a game, a racial slur was thrown at Edwards from a Brighton player. Although the incident led to a charged atmosphere for the rest of that game, cooler heads prevailed. “I clearly think the senior leadership forged more maturity after the incident at Brighton,” Fife said. “Everyone came together. There was no divide in the team anymore. They became brothers in arms.” Until then, Jordan players were united but still behaved like many other teenagers do. There would be bickering and even infighting on the team. It happens with nearly any team. “The incident at Brighton helped us see how united we were as a team,” Edwards said. “After that we noticed that any pettiness between us was thrown out the window.” Edwards would later talk to the player and things were worked out. “It’s amazing how a thing like that can actually build a friendship,” Fife said. “There is even talk of the two of them sharing the experi-
ence in schools next year.” The final bonding moment for the team came during a team meeting prior to the state playoffs. The players huddled in Fife’s classroom and made a decision to dye their hair blond. Even the coaching staff got in on the act. “It’s an annual thing we do, change our hair in some way,” Fife said. “Sometimes it’s a Mohawk, or lines cut in the hair. This time we all chose to go blond.” It isn’t a mandatory thing to do. There is no pressure to do it and sometimes players opt out of it. “This year I was surprised to see nearly the entire team, 33 of us, all dyed our hair blond,” Edwards said. “And we were hitting the ball so well we started calling ourselves the blond bombers.” As many as eight seniors will be continuing their baseball careers at the next level. Edwards has a scholarship to Colorado Mesa University, and Infielder Noah Hennings is heading to Point Loma in Southern California. Conner Hughes will continue playing outfield at Colorado Northwestern, and catcher Noah Bachman is going to Arizona to play for South Mountain Community College. “We have four others that are considering offers but haven’t decided where to play yet,” Fife said. As for Jordan, the future looks bright. According to Fife, a strong junior class is followed by the same in the sophomores and freshmen. “It was nice to achieve our goal and get Jordan back into championships and build a winning culture that can stay at the school,” Edwards said. l
July 2018 | Page 17
Jordan wins girls lacrosse championship By Ron Bevan | firstname.lastname@example.org
he right type of motivation. Coaches strive to find it. The way to bring out the best in a team made up of different personalities, mental toughness and physical abilities. For Jordan girls lacrosse coach Niki Ballou, it was a soft hand on the rudder that perhaps brought out the best in her team and propelled them to a state championship. The Beetdiggers won the Division 2 girls lacrosse state title May 19 with a 15-8 victory over Davis. But entering the season, a championship seemed like a longshot for the Beetdiggers. Jordan had a dismal 2017 season filled with frustration and losses that affected the team mentally. “The decision was made in 2017 to take on the toughest schedule possible,” Ballou said. “The thought was that taking on the hardest teams would toughen up the girls. There was a lot of losses and a lot of heartbreak.” Ballou was an assistant then — she was given the reins to run the team shortly after the 2017 season. She made the decision to revamp the program, find out what would work and begin the process of rebuilding the lacrosse program at Jordan. “We needed to decide who we wanted to be,” Ballou said. “Last season was very hard on the girls. I had to convince some girls to come back this season.”
With only four seniors forming the leadership of the team, Ballou knew this year would end up being a rebuilding season. So the decision was made to focus on fun and improving skills and not on the win-loss record. “We had a meeting and came up with the decisions that we would not care about the wins or losses as long as we played our best,” Ballou said. The girls responded to the gentler touch and began the season with five wins to just one loss. Jordan would eventually complete the regular season with a 10-2 record going into the playoffs. But it was a 9-6 win over Pleasant Grove on March 21 that would change the face of Jordan lacrosse. Although the Beetdiggers got the victory, Ballou felt the team didn’t play up to their potential, nor anywhere near it. “I felt it was our worst game of the season,” Ballou said. “I pulled them off at the end and told them we shouldn’t consider it a win. We didn’t play well. We played very selfish.” Showing the girls that even a win can be a loss had a profound effect on the team. “Lacrosse is a mentality sport,” Ballou said. “If you don’t have the push or desire, you aren’t going to win. After the Pleasant Grove game these kids really focused on the season. Every single game afterwards the girls were playing for the other girls on the team and not
Jordan’s girls lacrosse team poses after winning the state title. (Photo/Andee Bode)
themselves.” Jordan began the state tournament with a 13-5 win over Woods Cross. Next up was Waterford, a team Jordan beat handily, 12-8, during the season. But this time Jordan would be tested. “During the playoff game with Waterford we jumped out to a pretty good lead,” Ballou said. “I started to relax and let some younger players get some playing time. Waterford’s starters got a momentum shift and came back.” Jordan would eventually get a 14-11 vic-
tory over Waterford to propel the team into the title game. The Beetdiggers have the bulk of the team coming back for next year, but lose three of this season’s top scorers. Senior Paige Willaims led all scorers with 37 goals this year, with Raegan Davenport (27 goals) and Emme Laro (26 goals) also having played their last Jordan game. Returning top scorers include junior Maya Thayne (27 goals) and sophomore Olivia Davis (20 goals). l
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For $50 a month, customers are given a large bag to fill up with their normal laundry—t-shirts, shorts, jeans, socks etc.—and drivers from Mr. Le’s would come to the house twice a week, to pick up and drop off. The bag of clothes would be cleaned at their facilities with their commercial equipment, folded, put back in the bag and returned to the customer’s doorstep. “This will be a great service,” David Le said. “We’ve piloted it in a few of our stores and gotten really good results.” After some research revealed an average home of four people, with high efficiency washer and dryers, spend about $32 a month in cleaning. Not including the time and effort required. It’s about convenience, David said, it allows parents to spend more time with their children rather than being stuck in the laundry room. It also means they don’t have to wait for customers to come to the store, Mr. Le’s will go to them. Four of Mr. Le’s eight stores will start the program with plans to run it until each location is healthy and strong enough to run it themselves.
Page 18 | July 2018
“We’re actually amazed that other companies haven’t done this before,” David said. “We understand we’re the pioneers in doing this. Over the past 30 months, Michael Le and David Le (aka the “Le Brothers”) have purchased five independent dry cleaning stores and branded them under a new name called Mr. Le’s Cleaners. With the acquisitions of these dry cleaners, and potentially more, the Le Brothers are focused on providing the highest quality of dry cleaning and laundry services to their local communities. According to the Le Brothers, as they researched what to name their new business, they wanted a name that represented the values that their parents taught them when they came to America in 1975. That is to always; WORK HARD, HAVE FAITH and BE GRATEFUL. The Le Brothers decided to name the business after their patriarch, whom they refer to as the original “Mr. Le.” The Le Brothers quickly realized that the dry cleaning business is a people business, where trust and loyalty must be earned. The previous owners spent their lives building a successful business with loyal customers. This process cannot be replicated through discounts and fancy advertising.
So, at whatever cost, the Le Brothers retained the previous owners and their staff to insure the same quality and service the customers were used to. One of the unique concept of Mr. Le’s Cleaners is how they are focused on their local communities. With special discounts and services, they support schools, active members of the military, veterans, police and fire personnel and even missionaries preparing to serve full-time missions. Michael Le said, “Our support to the community and its people, is us paying back to the community that took us in with open arms when we lost everything after the Vietnam War. We had nothing when we arrived to this great country and now everything we have is because of those who sacrificed before us.” He went on and said, “We will always remember those people and continue to pay it forward whenever we can.” As Mr. Le’s Cleaners is establishing their footprint in the Salt Lake Valley, they’ve been busy adding new equipment, remodeling storefronts and implementing new technology. All of this to help improve the cleaning process, communicating with clients and ultimately earning their customer’s trust. The Le Brothers have been working with companies like Comcast, Skipio, Google,
Yelp and Cleancloud to help build a new communication platform for current and future services they provide. David Le also mentioned, “We are excited about the merger of many years of talent and experiences with all of our team members. Our goal is to grow the company organically through great people, simple processes and happy customers. It won’t be easy, we know we will make some mistakes but we will do what is right for our customers and stand by our company motto: We’re Happy When You’re Happy!” l
Sandy City Journal
Jordan athletes earn state medals in track By Ron Bevan | firstname.lastname@example.org
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Jordan senior Nicole Freestone took runner-up honors in the javelin at the state 5A track meet. Freestone also placed fourth in the discus and competed, but did not medal, in the shot put. (Photo by Diane Freestone)
our members of Jordan’s track teams finished with individual medals in the 2018 state 5A track and field finals. Three athletes earned their medals in field events, while one used his speed to place high in the sprints. Senior Joe Dumsa finished second overall in the high-jump event. Senior Nicole Freestone finished second overall in the javelin and fourth in the discus. Junior Natalie Lewis finished fifth in the shot put. And sophomore Jaedin Johnson was third in the finals of the 100-meter dash. First appearances can be deceiving with Dumsa, son of Joshua Dumsa and Veinab Lako of Sandy. At just 5'8", Joe Dumsa doesn’t have the appearance of his much taller competitors. But he jumped eight inches higher than his height to clear the bar at 6'6" and take runner-up honors. “People are always surprised with how high I can jump,” Joe Dumsa said. Track wasn’t on Joe Dumsa’s radar when he first entered high school. His sport was basketball, and he represented the Beetdiggers on the court as a point guard through his entire high school career. It was during his junior year, while on the basketball court, that the track seed was planted inside Joe Dumsa.
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“My basketball coach (Tallin Robinson) was always impressed with my abilities to jump on the court,” Joshua Dumsa said. “He told me to try out for the track team. My first year I won region. Ever since I decided to stick with it.” Joe Dumsa also competes as a long jumper, where his best jump of the season was 20'1". He missed that mark at state, and settled for 18th place at 17'2.75". He is considering an opportunity to compete at the next level for Westminster College, but hasn’t ruled out other schools that may be interested. He plans on studying forensics while in college. Freestone, daughter of Kevin and Dian Freestone of Sandy, used a 123'8.25" heave to take second in the javelin. She was also first in her flight in the discus, but finished fourth in the finals with a throw of 111'3.5" “Although they seem different, all the throws are pretty much related,” Nicole Freestone said. “Once you hit the initial block you use your hips to gain power. The discus and the javelin, however, use a different part of the shoulder on the release.” Nicole Freestone first competed in the javelin as a freshman, then added the discus one year later. “I grew up watching it and always liked it,” she said. “My older sisters com-
peted in the javelin, and my brothers did all three throws.” Nicole Freestone has committed to competing with the javelin for Brigham Young University, where she will study nursing. Johnson was another case of an athlete who hadn’t considered track at first. It took a couple of coaches to help the son of Regan and Mi Yung Johnson see what he could do. “When I came into high school as a freshman, I didn’t realize I was fast,” Jaedin Johnson said. “I thought I was just normal. “ It was in gym class where a basketball coach and a baseball coach saw him and recommended he try his luck at track. “They put it in the back of my head,” Jaedin Johnson said. “When it got close to the track season I decided to try out.” The first season Jaedin Johnson felt he wasn’t the best runner. “But I could keep up with the other runners even though my technique wasn’t the best,” he said. “Every race I went in I gained confidence.” In the last offseason Jaedin Johnson worked with running coaches to improve his sprint abilities. He then continued to improve up through the state meet. l
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Mickelsen leads Hawks to third place in state golf tourney By Ron Bevan | email@example.com
he course may be marked in yards, but a golf championship is usually decided by an inch here or an inch there. So it was for this year’s state 5A girls golf tournament. Alta’s Cora Mickelsen missed becoming a two-time state champion by one stroke, settling instead for a tie for second place. Mickelsen’s two-round, 5 over par 149 was just one stroke shy of Bountiful golfer Jobi Einerson’s 148 in the tournament, held May 14–15 at Glenmoor Golf Course. She tied with Corner Canyon’s Jamie Connell. “Mickelsen had a putt catch the lip of the cup and roll out on 16. If she had dropped that shot, she was at least tied for the state title,” Alta coach Gary Schneiter said. Mickelsen led Alta to a third-place finish as a team, in a format where the top four scores of six team golfers each day are taken to determine the final team tally. Besides Mickelsen, Alta sent Lori Hwang, Whitney Dana, Summer Cook, Haylie Heale and Parker Nolan to the tournament. Corner Canyon ended up as this year’s team champion, with Bountiful second followed by Alta. The Hawks moved back to the 5A ranks this season after several years of playing as a 4A school. Although she wasn’t the defending 5A champion, Mickelsen still carried her credentials as a returning champion after last season’s performance. As a junior, she blistered the opening day with a 2 under par 68 and matched the score the next day to beat her closest competitor by nine strokes. Mickelsen’s two-day total of 136 last season set a new state high school record, and she came into this season as the 5A favorite, as last year’s champion moved up to the new 6A ranks. Mickelsen proved to be the player to beat the first day of this year’s tournament by turning in the only even par 72 score of all competitors both days. “She plays very even keeled. Even when things aren’t going the best, she doesn’t get rattled,” Schneiter said of Mickelsen. “She has the ability to put whatever may have happened on one hole behind her and go out and play her best on the next.” Her stellar match play all season, along with her score at region as well as state, proved enough for her to be named Alta’s female Athlete of the Year, an honor given to only one athlete out of all the different girls sports teams. She is moving on to play for Boise State next season. Losing a player like Mickelsen can sometimes spell disaster for a high school team. She has led the team all four years and been a medalist at the state tournament since she was a freshman. But Alta’s girls program has been in the hunt for a state title since it became a sanctioned sport by the Utah High School Athletics
Page 20 | July 2018
Alta’s Cora Mickelsen closed out her high school career with a second-place finish in the girls golf tournament. Alta finished third overall as a team. (Photo by Ron Bevan/City Journals)
Association. “Alta’s coaches have a lot of connections and a way of getting younger players interested in golf,” Mickelsen said. “There is always a lot of interest at the school in joining our team. Alta is looking to Hwang as the heir apparent to lead next year’s Hawks. l
The Draper City Amphitheater Presents:
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Saturday, August 18 • 8pm
One of America’s greatest singers and songwriters Featuring all your favorites and more: • Rocky Mountain High • Sunshine on my Shoulders • Thank God I’m a Country Boy • Leaving on a Jet Plane • Grandma’s Feather Bed • Calypso • Annie’s Song • Take Me Home, Country Roads
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Sandy City Journal
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July 2018 | Page 21
Free events to illuminate your summer fun
chool’s out for summer! Here’s a list of free events and activities to keep monotony out of the month of July. Festivals! Cities all across the valley host activities and events to celebrate our independence. Draper, Murray, Riverton, Salt Lake, South Salt Lake, and Sandy all hold their own celebrations for the Fourth of July. Bluffdale, Cottonwood Heights, and Holladay celebrate Pioneer Day with multi-day festivals and concerts. For more information on these festivals, refer to the Summer Festival Guide in the latest edition of the City Journals. Sandy will be hosting a balloon festival on August 10-11 at sunrise at Storm Mountain Park. These festivals highlight the magic of hot air balloons. Farmers Markets were quite the rage last year, with over 30 to choose from. On July 11, the Sugar House Farmers Market will be at Fairmont Park from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. On July 14, check out the Sunnyvale Farmers Market in Midvale from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. It will include a food pantry, free lunch and activities for kids, and music. Don’t miss one-night free events like: the Parade of Raptors presented by HawkWatch on July 9, at the Salt Lake Public Library Riverside Branch from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
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On July 13, Trivia Night will be held at the Leonardo. Up to six people can sign up to be a team, or go solo! On July 10, the Local Author Showcase continues at The King’s English Bookshop. Jared Garret will introduce his new book, “Usurper.” On July 18, Yappy Hour will be at Fairmont Park. There will be an offleash play area for the dogs, and music, beer, and food trucks for the humans. On July 21, the Indian Food Fair will be held at the Gallivan Center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Presented by Bollyfood lunch, there will be live entertainment, ethnic shopping, and of course, food! On July 28, Mindy Dillard will lead a songwriting workshop for teens ages 12-18 at the Salt Lake Public Library Sprague Branch, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Many free series-styled events will be held. Every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. the Gateway will host Yoga on the Plaza in the Olympic Plaza. Shopping and food options will be available after yoga. July is Pacific Island Heritage Month. On the 28th, their annual KickOff will begin at 5 p.m. at the Sorenson Multicultural Center. This event has entertainment and activities from nine Pacific Island countries.
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The Community Writing Center will be hosting FreeFest: a youth workshop series, at the Downtown Salt Lake Public Library, Suite no. 8. This series is intended for young adults ages 15-19. Four different workshops will be offered: on July 25, check out the XYZine, zine-making extravaganza. On July 26, learn basic bookbinding skills during the Book-Making Workshop. On July 27, EnTwined will teach you how to create a twine game. On July 28, check out Poetr?- make a mess of poetry and all things poetic. Zoo, Arts and Parks (ZAP) is offering a Kids Summer Passport. Get a passport (available to download online), earn five stamps by visiting destinations like the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, Salt Lake County Center for the Arts, and the Wasatch Community Gardens, by August 25. Show the fully-stamped passport at the local library to reserve a spot for a final party at the Clark Planetarium. The party
will be held August 30, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., with movies, popcorn, exhibits, and prizes. Our canyons also have fabulous options for getting outside. If anyone can do all the following hikes in one summer, let me know so I can be impressed. There’s Buffalo Point, Bloods Lake, Ensign Peak, Bridal Veil Falls, Golden Spike, Cecret Lake and Albion Basin, Willow Lake, Dooley Knob, Hidden Falls, Adams Waterfall, Patsy’s Mine, Grotto Falls, Donut Falls, Timpanogos, Brighton Lakes, Bell Canyon, Stewart Falls, Broads Fork Trail, Silver Lake, Battle Creek Falls, Diamond Fork Hot Springs, Mirror Lake, Fifth Water Hot Springs, Dripping Rock, Mount Olympus, Suicide Rock, Elephant Rock, White Pine Lake, Jordan River, and the Bonneville Shoreline, and Provo River Parkway. In conclusion, none of us have an excuse to be bored this summer! l
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Life and Laughter—Girls Camp
hat do you get when you have 25 teenage girls camping in tents? A motive for murder. I’m convinced every crazed serial killer roaming a summer camp, was once a mild-mannered camp counselor hoping to teach peace, love and kindness to a herd of snarling 15-year-old girls. While men can plan a Scout camp over a 4-hour Call of Duty session, women meet for months to plan an inspirational and life-changing camp that every single girl will whine through. Leaders schedule dozens of meetings to choose the theme (Let’s Get Dirty!), create the menu (Fun With Tofu!) and decide on the camp color (glittery unicorn pink). Once those main decisions are finalized, the real job begins: planning hours of activities to teach young women the importance of a) nature, b) bonding and c) indoor plumbing. An ordinary day at young women’s camp can look something like this: 6 a.m.—Flag ceremony and motivational singing 6:15 a.m.—Breakfast/clean-up/ inspirational stories/singing 9:00—Nature hike/Identify native plants/singing Noon—Lunch/Clean-up/singing 1:30-3:30—Glittery art project to
encourage sisterhood/singing 3:30-5:30—Journaling/free time/ singing 5:30-8:00—Dinner/clean-up/ singing 8:00-10:00—Campfire/uplifting stories/singing 10:30—Lights out/quiet singing An ordinary day at young women’s camp actually looks like this: 6 a.m.—Leaders go from tent to tent, waking up girls who spent the night vaping in the woods. No singing. 7:48—Quick flag ceremony followed by burned oatmeal, cooked in a Dutch oven. Inspirational stories interrupted by young women fighting because someone’s journal is missing and, “I know it’s you, Jessica, because you’re such a $#*$&!” Girls are ordered to get ready for the day. 11:17—Hiking! But everyone’s waiting for Angela to finish curling her hair with her butane curling iron because she will NOT be seen looking like a hillbilly in case she runs into lumberjacks wandering through camp. 2:25—Having been chased by a moose, the hikers are now lost and trying to figure out how to get cell service in the middle of the Wasatch Mountains. Leaders consider making a break for it, leaving the girls to wander the wilderness forever. No singing.
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4:58—Leaders have bagged the art project and journaling, and have moved onto the dinner part of the program. Girls are napping in various locations and refuse to help prepare any meal. Leaders consider a mass poisoning but decide against it because they’re too tired. 8:20—Dinner is finally served. The girls are STARVING and complaining that dinner wasn’t ready hours ago. A few girls half-heartedly sing two camp songs before everyone sits and stares into the campfire. Someone is crying. It’s one of the leaders. 11:45—Girls are told to stop talking because people are trying to sleep. Someone is singing. 1:35 a.m.—The girls are told, for the millionth time to, “Shut the $%&$ up or I’m going to dismantle your tent and you can sleep under a tree!!!” 4:17 a.m.— Everyone is crying. 6:30 a.m.— Someone asks when breakfast will be ready.
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Repeat for five more days. (Note to CIA: If you decide to torture me by making me camp with teenage girls, please, just waterboard me instead.) At the end of camp, the girls’ matching shirts are covered with mud and glitter. No one is smiling. Even Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees wouldn’t approach this scene. No one is singing. But girls’ camp is like childbirth. Once it’s over, you only remember the good parts, and soon leaders are optimistically planning the next camp with even MORE glitter, MORE bonding and MORE singing. The men slowly shake their heads and return to Call of Duty. l
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July 2018 | Page 23
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Sandy City Journal July 2018