Ramona needs summer recreation

Coach Dan Marshall gives instructions and words of encouragement to campers at his basketball camp. Marshall and the Ramona High girls basketball program did their part in giving the youngsters of Ramona something positive to do during summer vacation. Sentinel photo/Bill Tamburrino
Coach Dan Marshall gives instructions and words of encouragement to campers at his basketball camp. Marshall and the Ramona High girls basketball program did their part in giving the youngsters of Ramona something positive to do during summer vacation. Sentinel photo/Bill Tamburrino

When I would take teams on the road in the good ‘ole days, opponents would wonder and ask, “What do kids in Ramona do?” Most were under the impression that electricity and running water had yet to find its way to the Valley of the Sun.

At a given signal, a member of the Bulldog team would ask where the nearest bathroom was. When told, the Ramonan would use his/her best hick accent and ask rhetorically, “It’s in the house?!!”

Over a period of time a comedy routine evolved, and urban legends were formed. None of them were true, but they were entertaining, and many of them were believed by our opponents.

“We don’t have a student parking lot at Ramona. We have a corral.”

“We don’t have a prom. We have a hay ride, but we wear our best Sunday go to meetin’ clothes!”

“We don’t have a homecoming. Nobody ever left.”

“I met my boy fren’ (girl fren’) bobbing for apples at our Sunday Social.”

Most of the stereotypes were broken if and when a team actually visited Ramona and drove by McDonald’s, Jack in the Box, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, Wendy’s or any other fast food franchise. The appliance shop gave away the rumor that “We don’t get no television stations yet, but we do get some purty good radio stations.”

Sadly, if the question was, “What do kids do in Ramona in the summer?” the answer would also be a joke.

The recreation leagues are done except for the tournament teams. The school playgrounds are locked. The gym is only open to a certain few. The swimming pool is open.

Unless a kid’s parents can afford to spend money for a camp or traveling team or private lessons, there is little or nothing to do in Ramona in the summer time.

Even the playgrounds and fields that are not locked are not used. Even when it is not too hot, the poorly kept and in bad shape outdoor basketball courts are not used. There are no pick-up baseball games. There are no pick-up football games. Summer school enrichment programs are a thing of the past.

At one time in Ramona, students went to summer school to get ahead or to learn something new. That is not the case anymore. If you want to learn, get on a computer! Some would be shocked at what an unsupervised child or adolescent can learn on a computer.

We have the facilities. We just don’t use them. At one time in my tenure in Ramona, every elementary school had

a summer recreation program. Other communities have recreation programs.

We have to make better use of the Town Hall. Don’t get me started. Since I have arrived in Ramona, more money has been spent on the Town Hall than on the defense department. At one time it was a teen center. We should make better use of it between fires.

The current wine tasting tours are not age appropriate for children or high school students.

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