By now you’ve likely heard the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) organization has voted to revise its national membership policies to allow openly homosexual boys to join the Boy Scouts, but the ban will remain in force for gay adults.
In light of this split policy, one of the big questions that has emerged for our family is what happens to an openly homosexual Eagle Scout once he turns 18? After years of participating in Scouting will this young man automatically find himself banned from the organization despite having demonstrated the skills and values necessary to achieve the organization’s highest rank? What happens to “once an Eagle, always an Eagle”?
“Northwest Folklife: It would be so much easier without all the folk,” says a friend of mine about the wonderful, mammoth, 42-year-old festival that takes over the Seattle Center every Memorial Day weekend.
“All the folk” was exactly why I reached out to Folklife veterans for tips on how to make the most of the festival with kids in tow. Motivated partly by self-interest — I plan to bring my 3.5-year-old for the first time — I wanted strategies on how to navigate the sheer volume of the festival without overwhelming either of us (too much, anyway).
Below are top family picks; as you probably know, though, it’s hard to find a non-family-friendly performance at Folklife, and kids will be as entertained by the buskers as the official performances. Make a plan, but wander, too! (Check out the whole schedule; many local libraries will also have printed copies, which have a helpful icon for family performances.).
Top Folklife picks for kids and families
Family hands-on activities: Throughout the weekend, Folklife hosts a kid tent on Fisher Terrace with many terrific-sounding activities, including global crafts with Sponge, a milk carton derby, mosaic art, toy boat building, and family dances (my personal favorite) on Friday and Saturday morning. Also don’t miss the instrument petting zoo on the east end of the Fisher Green.
Dance performances: Starting with a square dance aimed at young kids ages 6–12, and moving on to Bollywood and French country dances, the Armory Stage has fun participatory dances on Friday that kids will enjoy. (The Exhibition Hall will also feature lots of young performers throughout the morning.) Armory Stage, square dancing, 11 a.m.; Bollywood, 1 p.m.; French country dances 2 p.m.
High School Swing Dance: Some of the best youth bands around, including the award-winning Garfield High School Jazz Band and the Eckstein Middle School Sr. Jazz Band, play swing music, and give lessons and demos. Armory Stage, 3:45–6 p.m.
The Onlies: This terrific, up-and-coming group of 14-year-old musicians — who played the Moore Theatre earlier this month — perform everything from traditional Irish to original folk tunes, and will inspire young musicians with their fast-paced fiddle, banjo, mandolin and guitar work. Northwest Court Rooms, 7:20 p.m.
Bollywood Show: A great one for older kids: Six different groups, including students, bring the rhythms and colors of India alive. This was very popular in 2012; get there early. The International Dance Stage at the Exhibition Hall, 7–8:30 p.m.
The only problem with zoo babies is that, relatively speaking, they're not babies for very long. I was reminded of that when I brought my preschooler to the Woodland Park Zoo last week to see the new Bamboo Forest Reserveexhibit and the lion cubs. Except, we couldn't find cubs in the lion exhibit. Instead, we marveled at the still-magnificent, but-not-quite-as-cute-as-we-expected adolescent lions, born in November. (They are considered grown at two years.)
To keep you from making the same mistake, and because we're in the middle of a zoo baby boom, and because these photos are just really, really cute, here's a round-up of local zoo babies on view right now.
Point Defiance Aquarium & Zoo: Tiger cubs and meerkats
Kali, the newest member of the endangered Sumatran tiger family, turned one month on May 17 (check out that pin-up-like photo of her below). She has grown from a birth weight of about 2.5 pounds to more than 10 pounds in just four weeks. Zoo visitors can watch Kali’s feedings and keeper interactions with her in the Cub Den during zoo hours (daily at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. right now).
Today, we're giving away a family pass to the Touch a Truck event in Monroe on Saturday, June 1, which includes admission for eight people to all the event's attractions: trucks, face painting, balloon animals, crafts, live music, pictures with Blitz the Seahawk, and more.
To enter to win, simply leave a comment on this post, and include your email in Disqus (not publicly) so that we can contact you!
Additional entries will be given for the following (leave an extra comment for each action to let us know):
Editor's note: As part of his Seattle International Film Festival coverage, ParentMap movie reviewer John Kubalak and his two kids reviewed 'Epic,' which opens in theaters tomorrow. Find more SIFF picks from John in his SIFF preview.
Epic is the latest film from Blue Sky Studios, the people who brought us Ice Age and Rio. It's based on William Joyce's book The Leaf Men and The Brave Good Bugs.
After the death of her mother a teenage girl comes to live with her father who is obsessed with finding evidence of the existence of tiny fairy-like leaf people in the forest. Crazy as he seems, it turns out he’s right and the girl is magically transported into this world and given responsibility for a magical bloom that has the power to save the forest. The eponymous battle then ensues between good (the leaf people defenders of the verdant life of the forest) and evil (the Boggins, nasty shark/bug things that spread death and decay).
Ages 8 and up, rated PG
There is something for both boys and girls here. Fairy-like people of the forest, some with beautiful dresses, a strong heroine, leaf-men Kung Fu swordplay on hummingbirds that sound like teeny-tiny WWII fighters, and two very amusing gastropods. The villainous Boggins are truly threatening and creepy so I would not recommend this for kids under 8 unless they have a fondness for gross and menacing creatures.
The Boggins are evil shark bugs that ride bats and old crows and their arrows spread death and decay. They are fairly unpleasant but not excessively creepy, just mostly creepy. Aside from lots of battling where injury and death are strongly implied by rarely shown onscreen this is a fairly harmless movie for most kids.
The kids' review
Our family was fairly divided on this one. Our son was not interested in seeing it based on the trailers and the movie itself did nothing to change his opinion. He didn’t care for the Boggins, the slug/snail comedy (although he couldn’t help laughing a couple of times – they’re pretty funny), or the heroics of the main characters. For my part, even though I enjoyed the film overall, afterward I was left with a foreboding aftertaste. I hope I’m not giving too much away by saying that although the good guys in a big summer Hollywood kids movie do okay for themselves in the end, the evil forces in the movie were so effectively portrayed that their presence stayed with me more than the warm fuzzies after the movie was over.
My daughter on the other hand, couldn’t disagree more. She is a huge fan of fairies and the portrayal of the magical world of the forest, while not technically fairyland, has more than enough wonder and beautiful art direction to satisfy any fairy-loving person. She thought Beyoncé was fabulous and beautiful, the slug and snail were hilarious, and I suspect she related to the main character with the crazy dad.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my assessment or have something to add?
About the author: John Kubalak is a writer, teacher, volunteer coordinator, raconteur, and scalawag. He does not publish science fiction under the pseudonym Jonathan Black but he does publish a monograph on fatherhood, The Eclectic Dad where this post originally appeared. He has a son, a daughter, a beautiful wife (and a little dog too!) who are adorable, maddening, zany, and brilliant all at the same time.