Joe Derichsweiler, the director of the Boys and Girls Club, had an
audience of 35 kids ages 6 to 12, listening to his announcement that
the games were soon to begin.
"Everyone is going to be in the game room doing our game room
bonanza," Derichsweiler said. "It's out third day in a row and the
kids love it."
The gym, the art room, even outside, there wasn't a soul to be
seen, as the children geared up for the competition to begin.
"For today's event there are going to be a lot of the same games,
and there will be some new games added," staff member Hans LaRoche
Games included bumper pool, Candyland, shuffle board, cards,
foosball, air hockey, ping pong, pool, jump rope with the new
addition of the ring toss and skittles.
"The main thing is that we're keeping them active and busy,"
Derichsweiler said. "There isn't a lot of down time, so they aren't
just sitting around watching TV."
After each match, the winner had to report to program director
Susie Hird, who had a list of all their names and was keeping score.
"We have a lot of organized games for every age to participate
in," Hird said. "It helps kids meet each other and get to know the
staff better. It's all about having fun and with spring break, we get
to play with them more and that's what the staff loves."
Laughing and playing, the children paired off, with two children
jumping rope, each doing their own different style, hoping to jump
for some points.
Maya Ramirez-Rivera, 7, and Caylin Schmenk, 10, were engaged in a
game called Mancala, an African game of counting and strategy that is
believed by some historians to be the oldest game in the world.
A lot of the children had learned the game in first grade and it
became such a hit they brought it to the club.
Diana Necula, 8, says she was enjoying her spring break and that
she comes to the club often.
"It has all these fun games," Diana said. "I like the staff
because they're nice and I have a lot of friends here."
Alex Everhart, 9, was there with his brother Zach and he said the
Boys and Girls Club is cool.
"There's a lot of games, a lot of nice people," Zach Everhart, 11,
said. "I like spending my spring break here."
The Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach is at 1085 Laguna Canyon
Road. Information: 494-2535.
* SUZIE HARRISON is a reporter for the Laguna Beach Coastline
Pilot. She may be reached at 494-4321 or firstname.lastname@example.org.