Flanders Column: Check out these fun trips for teens

Hello friends and neighbors. It’s the end of June and the beginning of a new chapter in both my and my oldest son’s book of life. In three days he will graduate high school. A good friend of mine thinks I’m going to be a blubbering fool Saturday morning and I think she’s right. This is as huge for me as it is for him. If it sounds selfish please don’t misunderstand. I’m extremely proud of my son and I wish him the very best and a happy and healthy adult life. Now I know how my parents must have felt when I, their oldest, was graduating. It’s very strange but liberating. One down, two to go!

I want to wish all the graduates of 2011 much success and happiness in whatever they choose to do in their lives. Your life is what you make of it, so make good choices and good things will come to you. Go forth in your life with a smile on your face, love in your heart, tolerance and respect for others and, most of all, respect for yourself. Congratulations!

The Southampton Town Youth Bureau has many upcoming events for their “Tuesdays on the Go” field trips to Long Island attractions. Open to teens in grades 6-10, these safe, supervised trips are on a chaperoned bus. The first is to Splish Splash in Calverton Tuesday, June 28. The cost of $25 includes round-trip transportation and admission ($13 off the regular admission price). Registration is required; space is limited. A shuttle bus is provided from the Southampton McDonald’s at 2:45 p.m., Hampton Bays High School at 3:15 p.m., Westhampton Beach High School at 3:15 p.m. and Flanders Community Center at 3:30 p.m. For a list of trips or to register, call 702-2425 or visit Click on “What’s Happening/Upcoming Events” then “Tuesdays on the Go.”

Hey kids, you can experience the thrill of zipping through a forest canopy on a zipline tour Tuesday, July 19. A chartered bus will leave for the Berkshires promptly at 6 a.m. from Red Creek Park in Hampton Bays and will return at approximately 8 p.m. The cost is $85 and includes round-trip transportation, instruction and equipment. Chaperones are provided by the Southampton Youth Bureau. Participants must be at least 8 years old and weigh between 70 and 275 pounds. Families are welcomed! Bring a bagged lunch. Space is limited. For a registration form, call the youth bureau or visit its website (information noted above).

Riverhead’s Michael Hubbard is holding his own, which is excellent news. His condition, as I write this, is now critical but stable. That is a huge leap for this boy. I believe his youth, his mother’s and his family’s love, and all the prayers from his classmates and others not only from RCSD but from all over the island and beyond, are giving him the strength he needs to recover. Kathleen Shea, Spencer’s mom, wants to do her part to help the family because not too long ago, the Shea family was on the receiving end of the goodwill of the community. She has designed a T-shirt that has “Praying for Michael” embroidered on the front and an embroidered rosary bead on the back. Cost: $20 each for sizes up to 1X. Larger sizes cost a dollar or two more depending on the size. Please call Kathleen at 727-0046 or email her at [email protected] to place your order. Fifteen dollars of each sale will go to Michael. No profit goes to Kathleen; she just needs to cover costs of shirts and thread.

That’s all I have for this week. I’m a bit stressed over this coming weekend so if I’ve missed a birthday please forgive me. I’m really praying it doesn’t rain on Sunday. Do me a favor and cross your fingers we have a great day. Enjoy your weekend. Congrats again to all the graduates. Stay safe and don’t drink and drive!