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This Months Feature Story

Nature skills teach young people about the earth—and themselves

By Kira Maddox

It’s the middle of summer on a hot June day. A group of kids trek through Arnot Forest, a 4,000-plus-acre expanse of woodland just south of Ithaca in the Finger Lakes.


Family Times Kids Expo 2018

Kids Expo 2017. Michael Davis photo

At the Family Times Kids Expo 2018, on Saturday, April 14, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., families with kids of all ages can: learn about summer camps and programs, shop for products and services for children, see all kinds of entertainment, and interact with lots of different kinds of exhibits. The event (formerly called Summer Fun & Camp Fair) takes place in the State Fairgrounds’ Horticulture Building, and admission is FREE. Entertainment includes dancers, singers, fencers and drummers. In addition, see monster trucks, get a chance to paint a picture, play video games on a big screen, do some bouncing—and much more! Enjoy a fun day out AND plan your summer in just one day!

Details on other events taking place in April can be found in the Calendar.





© Family Times: The Parenting Guide of Central New York

Photo Finishers

Parents submitted 94 charming photos of their children to the sixth annual Family Times Cover Kid Contest, and the judges had a difficult series of choices to pick a single winner in each of the four categories for young people ages 2 to 16.

The judges were Jon Dufort, a photographer and designer in the Family Times creative services department, Jaime Hill of JL Photography and Edwin Baker of Baker Photography.

Hill acknowledged the challenge of making the final selections. “There are a lot of fun kids in there,” she said, gesturing to the dozens of photos. Baker said they tried to look for especially “giggling and bubbly” entrants.

The winners in each of the four age categories were: Cabrina Menifee of Syracuse (ages 2 to 4); Eden Potter of Liverpool (ages 5 to 7); Amanda St. Amour of Syracuse (ages 8 to 11); and Katherine Frappolli of Manlius (ages 12 to 16). Each winner will appear on a cover of Family Times in 2010.

The finalists in each category were: Gavin Parks of Clay and Riley Moyer of Liverpool (ages 2 to 4); Allie Potter of Liverpool (younger sister of category winner Eden) and Alexander Lum of Kirkville (ages 5 to 7); Morgan Wadsworth of Syracuse and Nicholas Klein of Liverpool (ages 8 to 11); Joe Burns of East Syracuse and Ryan Scobell of Liverpool (ages 12 to 16).

A portion of fees from entrants in this year’s competition will be donated to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York. The nonprofit creates, identifies and supports programs to improve the health and well-being of children and families in Central New York and Northern Pennsylvania. Currently the charity is raising money to build a new, larger Ronald McDonald House. To donate, call 476-1027 or visit

Thank you to the sparkling kids, devoted parents and dedicated judges who made this year’s Cover Kid Contest such a success.

(Anyone who appears on a cover of Family Times is no longer eligible to win the Cover Kid Contest, but others might begin planning for the 2010 contest; the entry form is posted at