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Area children have big dreams for summer vacation

BEN HILLYER/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Students from Kassidy Adams’ first-grade class at Vidalia Lower Elementary use a little teamwork to spell out their favorite time of year — SUMMER.
BEN HILLYER/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Students from Kassidy Adams’ first-grade class at Vidalia Lower Elementary use a little teamwork to spell out their favorite time of year — SUMMER.

Johnny Maples can already feel the sand between his toes.

With just a few days of school left, the Vidalia Lower Elementary School second-grade student is preparing for a beach trip to Gulf Shores, Ala., with his family and friends.

“I’m going to miss all my teachers and stuff, but I’m ready for the summer,” Maples said, with a big smile on his face. “Last time I went to the beach I got stung by a jellyfish, but that’s not going to happen this time.”

Maples joins students across the Miss-Lou who are enduring the last few days of school to make it to the sweet summer days.

Whether it’s camps, beach trips or just sleeping in late, students in the Miss-Lou all agree summer means one thing: No school.

Beach trip

This weekend might have been the longest of Maples’ life so far.

“I’m only coming to school Monday, and then I’m done,” he said. “I just want it to be summer already.

“I’ve been counting down the days for a while.”

The second grader said he’s most looking forward to seeing some of the wildlife and animals when Maples’ family visits the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo this summer.

“They have tigers, snakes and all kinds of different animals — it’s awesome,” he said. “Hopefully the petting zoo will be open, so I can play with some of the animals.

“Last time, I got to pet rabbits.”

The only animal Maples doesn’t want to pet again, however, is that jellyfish.

“If a jellyfish tries to sting me again this time, I’m going to take it and rip it apart,” Maples said. “I may even eat it, if I’m hungry enough.

“But I’m going to eat every piece of candy I can anyway.”

The time Maples won’t be at the beach on vacation will likely be spent staying up late watching movies or playing Nintendo Wii with his sisters.

“I always beat my sister at this dance game we have,” Maples said. “I try not to play too many video games though — I’m not a nerd.

“I’ll probably get into some trouble this summer, for sure.”

Summer camp

The zip line at Twin Lakes Summer Camp is nothing compared to the one Alex Owens has in his backyard — and that’s a good thing.

“Mine is setup like halfway up a small tree in our yard and it goes to another tree, but these are really high and you go a lot faster,” Owens said. “I looked at a picture of the one they have, and it’s at the top of this huge tree.

“I’m not scared of heights unless it’s really high up.”

The Trinity Episcopal Day School third-grade student said he’s also looking forward to the other various events offered at the camp including horseback riding, kayaking and rock climbing.

But not all of his plans revolve around trips or camps.

“I’m going to plant myself on my couch and watch TV for hours,” Owens said. “It’s going to be awesome.”

First-grade student Maggie Waddill is also attending a camp, but the one she’s attending won’t take her on any zip lines.

“I’m going to an art camp,” Waddill said. “I get to draw and paint owls, peace signs and other stuff.

“I like owls — they’re my favorite.”

Waddill said she’s excited to attend the art camp at Sun Moon and Stars in Natchez and hopes she’ll learn some new things about art.

“I draw and paint a lot already,” she said. “I have some of my owls hung up in our guest room.

“They’re going to teach me new things about drawing.”

Slippin’ and slidin’

Kwasba Nichols had a difficult time deciding what was better: not having to go to school or getting to visit a water park this summer.

Luckily, the first-grade West Elementary School student doesn’t have to choose.

“This summer is going to be awesome,” Nichols said. “I’m going to Vicksburg and New Orleans.

“Hopefully, I can be swimming in the pool the whole time.”

Nichols said he’ll be visiting a cousin in New Orleans, where the two will likely visit some water and amusement parks in the area.

“I’m going to go fast down the water slides,” Nichols said. “I can’t wait.”

When he’s not traveling, visiting family or swimming, Nichols said he’ll spend his time playing his PlayStation 3 at home.

“I’m really good at Call of Duty 4,” Nichols said. “I’ll get even better because I can play more this summer.

“Not going to school is cool.”