Opinion

On grads, camps and more

We at The Beachcomber are going to take a moment to indulge in shameless self-promotion. Under the heading that we buy the ink and every now and then get to use it to call attention to ourselves, we want to highlight the three “special sections,” as we call them, that have been published almost back to back by our small, hard-working staff.

Today in the paper you’ll find what we affectionately call the “Grad Tab,” a listing of all (at least we hope all) the young people who are graduating from high school next week. They’re a lovely and impressive lot, whose photos speak to their individuality and whose “blurbs” (another official word from the world of journalism) describe their achievements, hopes and dreams.

It’s a tough assignment — getting blurbs from 125 or so seniors — as many of them in April, May and June have other things on their minds. And this year, it was a particular challenge. So we apologize in advance for those we weren’t able to obtain. Please know, parents, that we tried mightily. Please know, too, that we were charmed by these young people, impressed by their achievements and often humored by how they described their high school years. We also think that the “My America” project must be one heck of a challenge: Numerous Vashon High School students listed its completion as their proudest accomplishment.

Last week, we published the Summer Fun Guide, a special section that we trust appealed to a different set of parents and professionals on the Island — those whose lives center around young children. This comprehensive listing of the Island’s preschools and summer camps also speaks to the Island’s creativity and resourcefulness and suggests the rich array of activities one can find for a young one on Vashon.

As a note of correction, we forgot one listing. You’ll find it in this week’s Community section on page B3.

Finally, on May 28, the Beachcomber published Destination Vashon, an 84-page visitor’s guide to the Island and the many joys it has to offer — from glorious hikes to great restaurants to our wonderful arts and music scene. But to call it a visitor’s guide is to understate its value. We think many full-time Vashon residents will find this guide useful (it lists all the restuarants and their phone numbers, for instance). We also think some of us might learn a bit more about this remarkable Island. Who among us knows about Vashon’s “naval war” — a 20-minute standoff with Capt. Alexander Peabody’s fleet — that took place on May 15, 1948? (Check out page 82 of the guide.)

This year’s Destination Vashon — the heftiest we’ve ever published — could not have happened without the many contributions of several talented Islanders. Photographers offered up beautiful shots. Writers, some recruited late in the game, crafted entertaining and insightful columns. And neither Destination Vashon nor any of these special sections could have happened without the generous support of our sponsors and advertisers. Indeed, our special sections say something not only about The Beachcomber but also about Vashon: It’s a rich and lovely place, full of wonder, beauty and smart, dedicated people.

So while this is a moment to take stock of what we’re doing here at The Beachcomber, it’s really a moment to consider our Island and all that it has to offer. From our grads to our summer camps to the Island’s restaurants, inns and natural beauty, we have much to be proud of and grateful for. The weather may be lousy. But right now, we’d like to take a moment bask in this special Vashon glow.

Oh and by the way, next up is the Strawberry Festival guide to be published July 9. Deadlines are fast approaching. Contact us if you have something you’d like to see included.

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