Marco kids celebrate end of school year at 'Beach Bash'

Marco kids celebrate end of school year at 'Beach Bash'

Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
Girls rule at tug of war. Marco Island middle schoolers gathered on South Beach Wednesday afternoon for the city's "Beach Bash," celebrating the end of the school year.

Photo by LANCE SHEARER

Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent Girls rule at tug of war. Marco Island middle schoolers gathered on South Beach Wednesday afternoon for the city's "Beach Bash," celebrating the end of the school year.

Michael Cruice, left, schools the other kids with his dance moves.

Photo by LANCE SHEARER

Michael Cruice, left, schools the other kids with his dance moves.

Michael Cruice, left, schools the other kids with his dance moves. Marco Island middle schoolers gathered on South Beach Wednesday afternoon for the city's 'Beach Bash,' celebrating the end of the school year. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Photo by LANCE SHEARER

Michael Cruice, left, schools the other kids with his dance moves. Marco Island middle schoolers gathered on South Beach Wednesday afternoon for the city's "Beach Bash," celebrating the end of the school year. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

The scene was kind of chaotic, and that was kind of the point. After a year of hitting the books, Marco's schoolchildren got a chance to hit the beach Wednesday, and they took the most of it.

Once again, the City of Marco Island Parks & Recreation Dept. held "Teen Beach Bash" for local students, from sixth grade to 12th, giving the kids a chance to have some fun in the sand, and maybe make a splash in the Gulf.

"This is so much fun. We do it every year," said the city's teen recreation leader Lola Dial. "This is our way of thanking the kids for making the park a fun place to be all year."

The younger generation participated in a variety of games and activities organized by the adults, including tug of war, hula hoop contests, and "thread the needle," but mostly they just swarmed around in ever-changing groups, talking with their friends, tossing footballs or batting volleyballs, eating pizza and cookies and having a good time. The sky provided some sunscreen, with a solid overcast, which only produced a drop or two of rain, giving a good SPF and making for a comfortable day at the beach for teens and chaperones alike. The chaperones, in addition to Parks & Rec staffers and parent volunteers, included the Marco Island Police Dept., who showed up with their ATV, and had a patrol boat cruising just offshore.

The activities all had a soundtrack, a thumping beat from the tunes of DJ Dominick Buonantuano, who set up his sound system under a tent and emceed. Impromptu dancing took place all over the beach, and up on the stage under the tent, the boys got serious about their moves. Sixth grader Michael Cruice got seriously funky, going from deep squats to highlighting his fellow dancers, presumably preparing for his audition for "Dancing with the Stars."

When the tug of war was announced, it was girls against boys. The females, who admittedly outnumbered the guys – and even had a few ringers on their side of the mark – triumphed handily. The seventh grade took on and beat the eighth, the seventh grade boys beat the seventh grade girls, but no one got too worked up about any of it.

The kids, done with the school year for all of an hour, already identified themselves by the grade they will be entering in the fall. While high school students were welcome, Beach Bash was overwhelmingly a middle school affair.

"The Tommie Barfield kids will have to wait till next year" before they are allowed to be part of the fun, said Dial. She said that some of the girls, attending their MICMS graduation that evening, had told her they couldn't attend the Beach Bash, with their presence required to get their hair and nails done for the night's festivities, but there was no shortage of kids milling around on South Beach.

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