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June 2015 edition
“Pollen is the biggest trigger for spring allergies. These tiny grains are released into the air to fertilize other plants. But when pollen grains get into the nose of someone who is allergic, their immune system kicks into overdrive,” says Johnson Coyle, MD, lead physician, Spirit Urgent Care–Carlisle.
Your immune system sees pollen as a foreign invader and releases antibodies. “When antibodies attack allergens, chemicals called histamines get released into your blood. Histamines are what trigger your runny nose, itchy and watery eyes and other allergy symptoms,” Dr. Coyle explains.
There are some things you can do to lessen your symptoms. “You can start taking an over-the-counter antihistamine to reduce the release of histamine in your body,” Dr. Coyle says. Prescription nasal steroid sprays work similarly to prevent allergic symptoms. You can also try an oral decongestant such as pseudoephedrine, which can help reduce nasal congestion and swelling. “A saline sinus rinse or spray can be used to clean the pollen out of your nasal passages one to two times a day,” Dr. Coyle says. Nasal saline spray can help ease congestion and clear out clogged nasal passages faster than oral decongestants.
Limiting your time outside can help reduce your symptoms. “If you’re outside you can pick up pollen in your hair, on your face and on your clothes. And it is worse if it’s windy – wind stirs the pollen around,” explains Dr. Coyle. Don’t forget Fido is a pollen carrier, too.
“After you’ve been outside, you should change your clothes, rinse your nose with saline, and take a shower to get rid of as much pollen as possible,” Dr. Coyle says.
“When pollen counts are high, shut your windows and use your air conditioner instead. Doing this will ensure there is very little pollen in your home,” Dr. Coyle says. Be sure to regularly change air filters in your home as well.
If your preventive measures fail, consult your primary care provider or an urgent care facility. Sprit Urgent Care–Carlisle, 1211 Forge Road, Carlisle, is open daily from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Sprit Urgent Care–Camp Hill, 431 North 21st Street, next to Holy Spirit Hospital, is open daily from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. For more information, visit www.hsh.org.
Artisan chocolate is more popular than ever! As Americans have honed their taste for craft beers, gourmet coffees, heirloom vegetables and fine wines, they are also demanding more out of their everyday candy indulgences. Just ask Diane Krulac, owner of Brittle Bark, the upscale confectionery shop in Mechanicsburg.
“People are no longer satisfied just to pick up a mass-produced candy bar at the grocery check-out,” she observes. “If they’re going to treat themselves, they want it to be special.” So it’s not surprising that even teenagers are graduating to more sophisticated palates.
“In the store, we see lots of young people who love serious chocolate … and they really know the difference!” enthuses Diane. These teens have grown up in the era of the “foodie,” watching celebrity chefs on cooking and reality shows. They care about the food they eat and how it was made. Some may even think about a career as a chocolatier: someone who knows the chemistry of chocolate flavors and textures; who is skilled in tempering, dipping, decorating and molding chocolate; and who hones his or her skills and talents to create miniature edible works of art.
In response, Brittle Bark will offer Teen Chocolatier classes this summer, aimed at students ages 12-16, and even a series of Young Chocolatier classes to introduce the concepts and techniques to the 7-11 age group.
The teen introductory course, “Chocolatier Basics,” will teach kids how to work with milk, dark and white chocolate, including experimenting with coloring white chocolate to create “special effects.” Students will also learn to incorporate flavorings (such as raspberry or peppermint) and use several hand-decorating techniques. They will use a dipping fork to dip pretzels and cookies in melted chocolate and add their choice of toppings, such as mini chocolate chips, crushed toffee or sprinkles. Finally, since presentation is so important, students will design gift packaging for their own chocolate creations. At the end of the two-day mini-course, students will take home six projects of their own unique design.
For those students who want to take their ambitions to the next level, Brittle Bark will also offer a two-day course in advanced teen chocolatier techniques and projects.” Here, students will participate in a premium chocolate tasting, and learn how to distinguish subtle differences in flavor, texture, aroma and mouthfeel. Next, they will learn how to temper milk and dark chocolate, how to define a flavoring pair and use it to create their own chocolate bar, and how to make specialty chocolate confections, including truffles. Scrumptious take-home projects for this class will include a personally designed luxury chocolate bar; a four-piece box of gourmet chocolates (including a truffle, a turtle, a bon bon and chocolate-covered fruit); and a collection of molded and decorated chocolate lollipops using the student’s choice of theme and design.
The Young Chocolatier classes will be projects-based, and will introduce the skills younger kids need to complete their own delicious chocolate treats for themselves, or as gifts for family or friends.
“Our goal in all of these classes is to teach the classical techniques a chocolatier needs to know, and to give kids the tools and opportunity to see where their own creativity and imagination lead,” says Diane. “And most important, to have a lot of fun!”
Diane’s journey into the world of gourmet confections coincides with the rise of the “foodie” movement. In 1992, she was a busy single mother and co-founder of a software company when the bake-sale committee at her daughter’s preschool asked her for a contribution. Out of her licensed home kitchen in Camp Hill, Diane perfected the recipe for her own take on peanut brittle she called “Brittle Bark,” a crispy, creamy, not-too-sweet candy, that she hand-crafted in small batches using the highest quality ingredients. She was soon making over a dozen unique varieties for family, friends and local fund raisers. When demand for her delicious candy soared, she launched the Brittle Bark Company, and in 2008 opened the retail store in downtown Mechanicsburg, where handmade chocolates and brittles are made along with other unique confections, including chocolate-covered bacon! “The store reflects our passion for handmade, small-batch, unique products that bring pleasure to all of the senses,” explains Diane. “When you purchase and eat a piece of fine candy, you expect a total experience that makes you say, ‘Ahhhh … this is just what I wanted!’” The flavor, aroma, texture and mouthfeel all come together to let you know how the candy tastes. Plus, it has to be visually appealing. Whether you are buying a treat for yourself or a gift to bring to someone’s home, the enjoyment of the product begins the moment you see it. Great care is given to the look of the confection itself, as well as its packaging.
Just as the trends of locally sourced foods and artisan cheeses and beers have encouraged people to think more about where their food comes from, candy buyers are increasingly interested in locally made and hand-crafted confections. “It all comes down to authenticity,” Diane says. “Our customers love coming into the store, seeing their neighbors and choosing a treat that may have been made in our own kitchen within the last few days. The difference in flavor is unmistakable. It’s a far cry from the shelves of manufactured candy they see elsewhere. And once they experience really exquisite chocolate …well, it’s hard to go back.” Mirroring other areas of the gourmet food industry, candy consumers are often looking for new and inspired combinations of flavors, including hints of spicy, savory and salty notes, and Brittle Bark enthusiastically offers innovative, trend-forward lines that satisfy those cutting-edge cravings.
Diane is quick to emphasize that the terms “premium” and “gourmet” do not mean snobbish or inaccessible. In fact, part of Brittle Bark’s mission is to prove that you can have a well-educated, sophisticated palate and still appreciate the pure fun and whimsy of chocolate—and at a price that makes everyday indulgence a reality.
Through its summer chocolatier classes, Brittle Bark is excited to help young people grow their appreciation of fine chocolate while providing them with a vehicle to express their own personal styles. In the future, Diane hopes to offer adult classes as well as night-out opportunities for groups to learn and indulge at the same time. Now that’s the fun of chocolate!
For more information about chocolatier classes, visit www.brittlebark.com.
Don’t call it Ski Roundtop—it’s Roundtop Mountain Resort.
The original name of the Lewisberry ski area used to make perfect sense, but that was before Roundtop became a four-season destination. Each spring, even as pockets of snow still cling to the slopes, Roundtop begins to transform itself into a place for warm-weather fun. Visitors will soon be rolling down a hill in water-filled OGO Balls, soaring 40 feet above the ground on the zip lines of the Vertical Trek, facing the challenges of the ropes course, or pitting themselves against others in paintball games. Kids will come to Roundtop for the summer Adventure Camps that combine various activities. And all of this will happen without the need for a single flake of snow.
“Winter’s still our bread and butter,” says Chris Dudding, Roundtop’s marketing director, but clearly things have changed since the days when Roundtop shut down once skiing ended. “Basically we just closed the doors and said, ‘See you in October.’”
Dudding, who lives in Dillsburg, had worked at Roundtop as a ski instructor before pulling up stakes and heading west. He was working at California’s Mammoth Mountain when his old employers tracked him down with a job offer. “I still don’t know how they found me,” he says, but he jumped at the opportunity. (Roundtop, founded in 1964 by Irving S. Naylor—still its owner—is part of Snow Time, Inc., of York, which also owns and operates Liberty Mountain Resort and Whitetail Resort.)
Dudding was back at Roundtop when the resort began to branch out from winter sports back in 1995. It started with paintball, the mock-combat game where players shoot each other with blobs of color. Things started slowly, admits Dudding, until management discovered the key to success—birthdays. “We went to Jubilee Day in Mechanicsburg, set up a booth, and said, ‘Hey, this is a great place for birthday parties,’ and the thing just blew up,” Dudding relates. Today the paintball facility, which sits off in the woods beside the top parking lot, actually remains in operation year round. Participants can wield their weapons on a number of different fields, including the original D-Day field, a wild west town, and a wooden fort.
The next step in Roundtop’s evolution was the ropes course, which opened in 2004. Intended as something corporations could use for team building exercises, the series of climbing and balancing challenges soon became popular with local schools that used it for their students, and student athletes. “We have a lot of school districts where they bring the whole sixth grade or the whole eighth grade for team building to get them into their new school, that kind of thing,” says Dudding. Although companies do use the ropes course, Dudding estimates that about 75% of its business comes from high schools and colleges. “It’s completely different from what we expected, but it’s still working well.”
The year 2009, Dudding says, was when things really took off. That’s when Roundtop introduced Mountain Adventures, a summer program where kids of various ages could take advantage of the resort’s numerous offerings. Depending on the program, campers might use the Vertical Trek with its zip lines, Tarzan swings, canopies and bridges; the OGO Balls; the Cedar Maze, the bumper boats, and all the various climbing structures. “The Camps just sort of tie it all together,” says Dudding. “Not only does it bring kids here to try all the stuff, but once they’ve been here they want to come back with their families.” It’s certainly a healthy alternative to video games.
If there’s a star of the Adventure camps, it’s the OGO Balls. Imagine a combination of an oversized hamster ball and a water slide—with the water slide inside the ball. Riders climb into a central, water-filled chamber inside the big plastic balls, and then slip and slide as the balls roll downhill. Aside from Roundtop, only two other places in the United States are licensed to use them—one in Tennessee and one in Massachusetts, Roundtop has six of the balls for regular use, and a couple of extras. The most popular ones are the water-filled H2OGO Balls, the ones with the water. Those with stronger stomachs can try an IGO Ball, in which the riders are strapped in and rotate along with the ball—even if it means hanging upside down. “It’s the kind of thing where people do it once and go, ‘I’m glad I did it but I don’t need to do it again,’” Dudding admits.
The success of Mountain Adventures sparked the creation of week-long Adventure Camps, which now attract about 1,000 kids a season. “That all came about because we were thinking, ‘We have all these buildings sitting empty, we have paintball and the ropes course and Mountain Adventures and the Vertical Trek and we’ve got all this great stuff to do–wouldn’t this make a great summer camp?’” Dudding says. Roundtop offered its first camps over two weeks in 2009. This year it will have seven weeks of camps for kids from 8 to 17.
Overnight camps started up about three years ago, with the ski school rooms converted into bunkhouses, and the day-care nursery into a game room. Dudding says the overnights draw people from further away, such as Washington and Philadelphia. There were even a couple of kids from Sweden last year.
The 2015 summer season opens on May 23 and will close the first weekend in September, except for the Vertical Trek, which will remain open until November. “The zip lines work really well in the fall because of the leaves changing, and it’s cooler out, and we found it actually stays popular right through the fall, “says Dudding. While the summer operations don’t match the scale of the ski season—there are around 250 summer employees versus the 1,000 or so who work winters—it’s definitely a change from the days when business stopped at the end of ski season. “I can remember pulling in here in July and it’s a ghost town,” Dudding says of the old days of Ski Roundtop. “Now you pull in and there are people all over the place. It’s fun.”
For over 10 years, Fredricksen Library in Camp Hill has been holding free Summer Concerts on the Lawn. Featuring a wide range of music, there is always something for everyone and this year is no different. The line-up for 2015 is as follows:
Trinidad & Tobago Steel Drums
Thursday, June 11 at 7:00pm
Returning for their ninth summer concert at Fredricksen, Trinidad & Tobago Baltimore Steel Orchestra kicks-off the 2015 Summer Concerts on the Lawn with a dynamic evening as they bring a touch of the Caribbean to the library. This stunning group, named Baltimore’s official steel drum band, is masters of the steel drum.
Amber Waves Band
Monday, 7/6/2015 at 7:00pm
New to the concert series this year is the Amber Waves Band. Taking audiences on a tour of modern and historical folk sounds, they bring an exciting mix of acoustic music, including the sounds of Celtic, Old English, Colonial American, Bluegrass, and Gospel, as well as their own original music.
Greater Harrisburg Concert Band
Thursday, 7/23/2015 at 7:00 pm
The Greater Harrisburg Concert Band has been delighting audiences of all ages with many of the area’s very best musicians united in one outstanding ensemble. Dr. William Stowman – the band’s director – keeps listeners engaged with his unique blend of knowledge and wit. This is the eighth time they have performed on the library’s Lawn!
Shea Quinn & Friends – Totally 80s!
Monday, August 3 at 7:00pm
Shea Quinn & friends had an exciting library debut in 2014 and they will again wrap-up our Concerts on the Lawn with a night of favorites from the 80s. It promises to be a night of great music and even greater fun!
Concert goers are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs to enjoy the outdoor shows on the west lawn of the library. All concerts are approximately one hour and snacks and beverages will be sold during the events or bring your own. This year’s concerts are sponsored by the McCormick Family Foundation. For more information, including rain dates, visit www.fredricksenlibrary.org
100 N. 19th Street
Camp Hill, PA 17011
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It’s not too early to make plans for young minds to be active over the summer months. YWCA Carlisle will offer eight different themed weeks of activities to keep preschoolers active and engaged in a fun, safe and clean learning environment. Camps are held weekly Monday – Thursday from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. for eight weeks starting June 8 through August 3. Children are to bring a packed lunch. Camper Fee: $60 per week tuition. Camp is for children 3, 4, and 5 years old who have NOT yet attended kindergarten. Campers must also be age 3 by March 1, 2015 and toilet trained.
“More and more research stresses the importance of maintaining some level of educational engagement for youngsters, especially 4 and 5 year olds preparing for Kindergarten, during the summer months,” explained YWCA Carlisle Executive Director, Robin Scaer. “Learning while playing and participating in crafts and activities emphasizing both educational and socialization skills are extremely beneficial to children,” Scaer said. Themes for preschool summer camp will include All About Birds, Commotion in the Ocean, Celebrating America and more. A deeper exploration on these topics building upon each prior day’s lesson goes above the core readiness skills and delves into the subject a little more closely.
Additionally, fall preschool openings are available in our Special Time for Me 2 year old classes, 3 year old classes, and pre-kindergarten readiness classes. The YWCA offers a unique 4 hour day with classes held from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and you can choose 2 day, 3 day, or 5 day schedules to meet your child’s needs. NEW for the coming school year – an enrichment program for the 3 year old class and pre-k class. “Offering an extended, 4-hour a day preschool program enables teachers to spend more time on specific activities, crafts, reading, and games to help children learn concrete ideas and concepts such as numbers and simple words,” noted YWCA Carlisle Preschool Director, Adrienne Dugan.
Find more information online at ywcacarlisle.org, or call (717) 243-3818 to register or make an appointment for a tour. YWCA Carlisle will not discriminate against any individual because of race, religion, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin or handicap.
CAMP HILL – Holy Spirit Hospital Auxiliary–A Geisinger Affiliate will hold its 18th annual Spring Festival on Saturday, April 25, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., at Adams Ricci Park, East Penn Drive, Enola. The event will include a flower sale and chicken barbeque, children’s games and inflatables, and craft vendors.
Holy Spirit nurses will kick off the day by hosting the Spirit 5K Run/Walk at 9 a.m. Race registration opens at 8 a.m. and the warm-up session begins at 8:30 a.m. The 5K run starts at 9 a.m. while the “Walk in the Park” begins at 9:05 a.m. Children 12 and under can take part in the Children’s Fun Run at 10 a.m. The Spirit 5K Run/Walk is hosted by the nurses of Holy Spirit–A Geisinger Affiliate, as part of their commitment to ANCC Magnet® Recognition for Excellence in Nursing.
Admission to the Spring Festival is free. There is a fee to participate in the 5K Run/Walk events. Proceeds from this family-friendly event will benefit Holy Spirit Hospital’s charitable programs. The event will be held rain or shine.
For more information, or to pre-order flowers or chicken barbeque meals, please call the Holy Spirit Hospital Auxiliary office at 717.763.2796 or send an email to Ann.Hubbard@hsh.org.
For more information about the 5K Run/Walk or to register, go to www.hsh.org/Spirit5KRunWalk or contact Holy Spirit’s Office of Resource Development at 717-763-2779 or by email at Development@hsh.org. Sign up by March 27 to receive a race shirt.
How exciting is springtime? After a long, cold winter filled with gray skies and snow-covered ground, the sun appears and hints of color begin to splash across lawns and trees in the Cumberland Valley. Spring awakens us to nature again, reconnects us to the earth and invites us to bask in the warm and beautiful glow of our sun.
And that’s why spring is such a perfect time to honor life on this incredible planet by celebrating Earth Day. Welcome to our annual Green Issue, chock-full with information about how you can make a difference for the planet we all call home.
I am proud to say that every day is Earth Day at West Shore Connect, which is why we print every issue with a printer who uses wind power, earth-friendly inks and 100% recycled paper.
And don’t forget . . . save the date! The Mechanicsburg Earth Day Festival will take place in downtown Mechanicsburg on April 18 from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Please stop by and visit us!
If you can’t say hello in person, we would still like to hear from you. So drop us a line (or an email) and tell us what you have liked about West Shore Connect so far, and what you’d like to read about in the future.
Thanks for reading!
Marsha Blessing, Publisher