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Sounds of the Woods

Splashing water and giggles could be heard all about Lake Vesuvius Thursday as members of South Point High School's band cruised the lake as pay for a performance.

They were there to play for the campers as part of "Music in the Woods," an activity planned for campers at Wayne National Forest.

"This is a way for them to see the lake in a new way by being on it in a canoe," said Merri Warden, Ohio University Southern's Nature Center coordinator. "They also get to showcase their talent."

In exchange for their performance, they got a few free hours on Lake Vesuvius with canoes or paddle boats. They also had time to play volleyball, horse shoes, badminton, hiking and other outdoor activities before their concert at 7 p.m.

Apparently, it is a good trade off because this is the second year the group has participated.

Band director Lisa Ashworth said she went canoeing last year. She said she got soaking wet and did not want to repeat history.

"I don't want to get wet today," Ashworth said.

In the end, after the pleading of the students, she got in a canoe.

"I'm a sucker," Ashworth said.

Amanda Dowdy, 16, and Kayla Smith, 16, were the two students who got their director on the lake. They said they wanted her out there with them because they love her.

"She's our big momma," Smith said.

Drum major Gracie Hunt held out, not taking advantage of the free canoes.

"Last year we tipped, so I'm not going canoeing anymore," Hunt said.

Instead, she opted for sitting in the boat house reading a book.

Dowdy, though she went out on the lake, said she was looking forward to a different part of the day, one where they would learn about reptiles.

"We get to go play with snakes," she said.

Warden said last year they got to watch a snake eat a mouse. She said it was so popular, instead of getting a different program, the group requested reptiles again.

Music in the Woods occurs every Thursday at the forest.

Warden said they cannot pay the bands so the compensation is free canoe or paddle boat time whatever day the band wants it and an educational program of their choice.

"It's our privilege to host them and have them out, so we'll do whatever we can do for them because they're doing the favor for us," she said.

Any type of band is welcome, not just school bands.

Warden said if there is not a band, campers will be subject to karaoke.

"Save the woods, bring a band," she said. "Karaoke could be scary."

Anyone interested in performing can contact Warden at 532-4600.