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Two recent graduates from St. Mary’s Ryken High School in Leonardtown were each presented last week with an $1,800 college scholarship from the St. Mary’s Bar Association, local lawyers whose support was welcomed by the pair of potential peers.

Keara Schmeiser, 18, of Leonardtown will enter Georgetown University next month, to continue balancing her interests in history and science as she progresses toward a legal career. Her scholarship application essay dealt with the U.S. Supreme Court’s handling of a 2005 eminent domain case from Connecticut, centered on a government’s right to acquire private land to sell it for a corporate venture that would generate tax revenue.

“I really enjoy reading about Supreme Court cases,” Schmeiser said this week, but she’ll also focus on science in college. “I plan to major in chemistry,” she said, “and then I would like to go to law school, to pursue patent law.”

John Sterling Houser, 17, of Chaptico is in his third summer interning at the Lexington Park law firm of Baldwin and Briscoe.

“It’s just to get my feet wet in the profession and see if I like it,” he said this week. He observes the firm’s lawyers at work in and out of the office. “I’ll watch them in court a couple days [every other] week,” he said.

Houser took part throughout high school in mock trials that won top honors all four years in the state’s 7th judicial circuit, the first time a school outside Prince George’s County won the regional contest. He’ll begin his freshman year next month at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, studying politics while aiming at law school.

Hammett to celebrate 100 years today

Mary Hammett will celebrate her 100th birthday today, Friday, at the Cedar Lane senior living community in Leonardtown, its staff members report, where she’ll mark the occasion with them and other residents.

Hammett was born in the Ijamsville community in Frederick County, in the manager’s house of Price’s Distillery, where her father was the manager. The distillery was shut down in 1919, because all the grain was going to the war effort of World War I, and at the age of 8, Hammett moved with her family to Morgantown, W.Va., where she finished high school.

Her father died while she was a senior in high school, and her mother moved the family to Pennsylvania to be closer to other relatives. Hammett attended Allegheny College in Pittsburgh and completed its nursing program in 1933. She passed the state board in Pennsylvania and moved to Washington, D.C. Despite the Depression, she found a job at a hospital where she worked for 10 years.

Hammett married her husband, David, in 1938 in Washington, D.C. She worked the day shift and took night calls in the operating room, until she retired in 1945 because she couldn’t find adequate care for the couple’s two daughters, Suzanne and Elizabeth. The family moved to St. Mary’s County, where David was employed at the new Patuxent River Naval Air Station and their two sons, David Jr. and Thomas, were born.

Hammett’s childhood memories include visiting a coal mine in Western Maryland that was owned by her grandfather and his brother. Women were not allowed in the mines but Hammett was able to sneak in at the age of 10 by dressing as a young boy in overalls.

Hammett attributes her longevity to being a picky eater, and if she had to do it all over again, she would still become a nurse and would especially like to work in the operating room.

Higher education center features artist’s work

Gordon Johnson currently has on display 52 original paintings at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center in California, a collection of acrylic-on-canvas pieces featuring a variety of seasons, animals and landscapes. Seven of the paintings on display have won first, second or third ribbons in the Calvert, Charles or St. Mary’s county fairs. For more information, call 301-737-2500, ext. 203, or send email to The Southern Maryland Higher Education Center is located at 44219 Airport Road, in California’s Wildewood Technology Park.

Youth clubs offer day camps at two sites

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maryland will operate a summer day camp at its Bayside and Lusby sites for young people 6 to 14 years of age, from next Monday, July 11, through Aug. 19, from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. The six weeks of camp will allow children to participate in traditional summer activities, attend field trips, receive nutritious snacks daily, make new friends and have new experiences. For more information, call 410-257-0007 or send email to

Young Professionals plan crab feast

The Young Professionals Initiative of St. Mary’s County will host a crab feast from 2-6 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, at Patuxent River Naval Air Station’s Cedar Point Beach Pavilion, located off Cedar Point Road. Young professionals living or working in St. Mary’s County are invited to network with professional peers while enjoying crabs and corn, and playing volleyball, horseshoes, Frisbee and badminton. For more information and to RSVP, send email to Anyone interested in attending without regular base access must RSVP 72 hours in advance.

Golf tournament on July 21 will benefit nursing center

The third annual St. Mary’s Nursing Center Foundation Golf Tournament will be held on Thursday, July 21, at Wicomico Shores Municipal Golf Course.

Check-in will begin at 8 a.m., followed by a putting contest and shotgun start. Registration includes greens fees, cart, beverages on the course and a buffet lunch provided by Kevin Thompson. The tournament format will be captain’s choice. Non-golfers can sponsor lunch, a hole on the course, a golf cart, a tee or the inclusion of their business cards in the players’ gift bags. For more information, go online to or call Patricia Bowles-Buckler at 301-481-6898. The registration deadline is next Friday, July 15.

DARE camp full, donations sought

St. Mary’s sheriff’s deputies report that this summer’s Camp DARE is overflowing in registrations, and that no additional applications are being accepted. The program that gives children information on making the choices that lie before them still needs financial support, and individuals, businesses or organizations wishing to make a contribution should contact sheriff’s Cpl. Angela Delozier by calling 301-475-4200, ext. 9094, or sending email to

Greenwell adds August camp session

The Greenwell Foundation in Hollywood has added another session of its mini-adventure camp from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday, Aug. 1, through Friday, Aug. 5, with before and after care available.

The mini-adventure camp is a new offering from Greenwell State Park, and is designed for children and young teens age 10 to 15. The camp provides instruction on camping skills such as building a shelter, building and cooking on a campfire and using compass skills. The camp also includes beginner kayak instruction, how to pack a kayak and how to navigate on a trip. Additional activities include geocaching, team-building exercises and an overnight campout.

Two originally scheduled sessions of the camp filled up quickly. Sessions are still available for some of Greenwell’s other camp offerings including Camp Greenwell, a traditional outdoor day camp, and Kayak Camp, a week of thrills and skills on the river. For more information, go online to

Soccer camp starts Aug. 8 at park

D.C. United will host a soccer camp from Aug. 8 to Aug. 12 at Chancellor’s Run Regional Park in Great Mills. All participants will receive an official D.C. United camp ball, an official camp T-shirt, a ticket voucher to a D.C. United regular season home match and discount offers on D.C. United ticket packages. D.C. United offers summer camps for players of all skill levels, from beginner to elite athlete. Each program is designed to provide a better understanding of the game’s overall tactics, in a safe and fun environment. The camp coaches use age-appropriate technical and tactical exercises designed to maximize growth. Players take part in modern camp exercises, high-level skills demonstrations and small-sided competitions. For more information, go online to, or contact Kendra Hansen by calling 202-587-5468 or sending email to

Benefit planned to assist local musician

Danny Ryce, a local musician who has been fighting an ongoing battle with diabetes and was recently diagnosed with bone marrow cancer, has had to endure many operations and will be in need of several treatments in the near future. A benefit for Ryce will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28, at Bowles Farms at 22880 Budds Creek Road in Clements, featuring music by No Green Jellybeenz, The Wanderers, Country Memories, Southern Traditions and other special guests. There will be raffles, a silent auction, door prizes, a corn hole tournament, a bake table and food available for purchase. Children 12 and younger will be admitted at no charge. For more information, call Barbara Ryce at 301-481-6486 or Kathy Owens at 301-633-8488.

Greenwell seeks volunteer coordinators

The Greenwell Foundation in Hollywood is recruiting Volunteer Maryland coordinators to organize volunteers helping with the many inclusive and accessible programs at the state park, including assisting with the Therapeutic Riding Program, a summer camp, kayaking and nature programs and beautification projects. The 11-month commitment as a member of AmeriCorps begins Sept. 14, and includes extensive training, a modest living allowance and a post-service education award. For more information and an application, go online to or call 301-373-9775.

Vendors sought for rockfish festival

The Greenwell Foundation is seeking food and commercial vendors, artists and crafters for this year’s Monster Rockfish Festival scheduled for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30, at the state park in Hollywood. The festival will feature the return of the rockfish cook-off, including restaurants from throughout Maryland vying for an opportunity to win the people's choice award. This year, the event will focus on the great outdoors, and Greenwell is seeking commercial vendors that have products or services to offer that may enhance someone’s appreciation of kayaking, horseback riding, fishing, swimming, hunting or camping. Information and applications are available on Greenwell’s website at The Monster Rockfish Festival is being held in conjunction with the Monster Rockfish Tournament to be held a day earlier, on Saturday, Oct. 29. Tournament registration now is open online at