Young & Restless

Kid-friendly activities that you’ll enjoy too.

Smokey Bear’s 73rd B-Day

On Saturday, Aug. 12, the US Forest Service, Friends of Fort Vancouver, and National Park Service will celebrate Smokey Bear’s 73rd birthday  at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center. This free event will begin at 1 p.m. A short film about Mount St. Helens’ return to life after its 1980 eruption will be shown in the Visitor Center theater. Smokey Bear-themed items will also be for sale in the Friends of Fort Vancouver Bookstore. The Friends will provide cake and lemonade as part of the celebration. Smokey Bear himself will also be in attendance.

The real Smokey Bear was saved in a wildfire in New Mexico and was first called “Hotfoot Teddy,” because his paws were badly burned when he clung to a smoking, burned-out tree. Since then, Smokey has been promoting fire safety in our public lands for several decades and has become a national icon in doing so.

The event lasts until 3 p.m. The Visitor Center is located at 1501 E. Evergreen Blvd., not far from the entrance to the restored Fort. Ample free parking is available in the lot.

A Bubbly Second Saturday at the Water Center

Your kids will bubble over with excitement (and maybe you will, too!) during Second Saturday at the Water Resources Education Center, happening on Saturday, Aug. 12. This Saturday is all about bubbles, with plenty of blowing bubbles, floating bubbles, popping bubbles, and learning about what makes bubbles so wonderfully bubbly. Add plenty of amusing activities, mix well with kids, and presto! You’ve got an afternoon to remember.

The Water Center’s Second Saturday series is an fun, free way for kids and their families to explore a different topic each month through hands-on activities, games and stories. Each second Saturday lasts from 1 to 3 p.m. There’s no admission charge and no RSVP necessary.

The Water Resources Education Center is located at 4600 S.E. Columbia Way. For more information about the services and programs provided by the Water Center—which is part of the City of Vancouver’s Public Works program—visit

Clark County Fair: Now thru Aug. 13!

The Clark County Fair—one of the country’s top-rated fairs for cleanliness, accessibility, amazingness, awesomeness, and just plain FUN–opened on Aug. 4 will be open every day until Sunday, Aug. 13. Regular admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $7 for kids ages seven to 12. Kids under six are free. In fact, you can purchase tickets online right now and avoid standing in line. Parking is $6 per vehicle. To help you plan your day at the fair, here’s the 2017 schedule, in a nutshell—or maybe in a waffle cone, whichever you prefer:

  • Wednesday & Thursday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Carnival opens at noon daily
  • Wednesday is Prime of Your Life Day (senior discounts!)
  • Thursday is Kids’ Day

Bands scheduled to perform this year are the B52s, Melissa Etheridge, the Marshall Tucker Band, and Old Dominion; buy concert tickets online by clicking here. Fair highlights include exhibits, entertainment, concerts, adorable farm animals, incredible handmade quilts, and Clark County’s finest examples of the country craftsmanship and artistry that have been the backbone of American farm life for generations. There are also several days on which reduced entrance fees are offered for families, the military, kids and seniors. For more information about everything, visit

Soap Carving for Teens

Here’s something we bet your teen has never tried: soap carving! Bring your favorite restless summer teen to the Camas Public Library at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 8, for a free soap carving workshop—an unusual and artistic event that’s part of the library’s Summer Reading Program. All supplies are provided, including soap, carving tools, and construction paper with which to cover your work area. The class is for teens entering grades seven to 12.

What each person makes out of the soap is only limited by his or her imagination. Experienced carvers make highly detailed flowers and animals. For beginners, block shapes such as turtles, fish, or hearts work well. These patterns fit the shape of the soap bar and don’t require much detail work. However, if your teen is feeling artistic and adventurous, he or she can get guidance and instruction in different projects, such as layered flowers and character profiles made out of scented soaps.

The Camas Public Library is located at 625 N.E. 4th Ave. in downtown Camas. Free parking is available on the street. All library events are free and no registration is necessary. For more information about happenings at the Camas Library, call 360-834-4692 or visit

Clark County Fair, Aug. 4-13: Game On!

The Clark County Fair—one of the country’s top-rated fairs for cleanliness, accessibility, amazingness, awesomeness, and just plain FUN–is opening its gates to excited fairgoers on Friday, Aug. 4, and will be open every day until Sunday, Aug. 13. Regular admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $7 for kids ages seven to 12. Kids under six are free. In fact, you can purchase tickets online right now and avoid standing in line. Parking is $6 per vehicle. To help you plan your day at the fair, here’s the 2017 schedule, in a nutshell—or maybe in a waffle cone, whichever you prefer:

  • Opening Friday: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Sunday to Thursday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Carnival opens at noon daily (except opening day, Aug. 4, when it opens at 9 a.m.)
  • Monday is Family Day
  • Tuesday is Military Day
  • Wednesday is Prime of Your Life Day
  • Thursday is Kids’ Day

Bands scheduled to perform this year are the B52s, Melissa Etheridge, the Marshall Tucker Band, and Old Dominion; buy concert tickets online by clicking here. Fair highlights include exhibits, entertainment, concerts, adorable farm animals, incredible handmade quilts, and Clark County’s finest examples of the country craftsmanship and artistry that have been the backbone of American farm life for generations. There are also several days on which reduced entrance fees are offered for families, the military, kids and seniors. For more information about everything, visit

Art in the Family: Father-Daughter Art Show + Kids’ Art Show at Boomerang

“Clementines,” by Monika Spykerman

Boomerang is hosting two art shows this August, with a huge, family-friendly launch party on First Friday, Aug. 4, from 5 to 9 p.m., featuring live music by Randy Cate, complimentary refreshments, and cranked-up air conditioning!

The first show, “Art in the Family: Systems Meet Chaos,” is a father-daughter show featuring the far-out art of nationally syndicated political cartoonist and fine artist Monte Wolverton. His small- and large-scale mixed media and ceramic pieces are vivid, playful, and abstract yet utterly engaging. His cartoons and other works can be seen at His daughter, Monika Spykerman (full disclosure: that’s me, the editor of North Bank Now!) has joined him for her first gallery show featuring vibrantly colored archival-quality prints and cards of her original works: lively patterns and repeating motifs, focusing on fruits, flowers, fungi, sea life, and everyday objects. More of her work can be seen at Tom Relth, Boomerang’s gallery curator, calls the show “brain science vs. rocket surgery.”

“Purpley,” by Lili P, age nine

Launching on the same day is the much-anticipated Kids’ Art Show, featuring original artwork by toddlers up through age 18. Boomerang and Vancouver’s Downtown Association are jointly hosting a giant Kids’ Art Party in Boomerang’s lower level, with free treats from the VDA and prizes for kids in several age categories. Don’t miss this joyful and varied exhibit showcasing our budding young artists!

Boomerang—a coffee house, home décor store, and family hang out with two full floors of gallery space—is located at 808 Main St. in downtown Vancouver. All revenue generated by the volunteer-staffed store (including sales of coffee) is donated to local charities and community organizations. To learn more, visit

Above image: detail from “Transdimensional Entity Catcher,” by Monte Wolverton


19th Century Black Powder Demo at Fort Vancouver

Step back into a time when the Vancouver Barracks served as one of the most important U.S. Army posts in the Far West. Uniformed interpreters will demonstrate several historic weapons, covering the time from the Civil War through the 1880s, a period of great technological change. The program will cover both muzzle-loading and breech-loading rifles, as well as an 1841 Mountain Howitzer (a lighter weight, more portable type of cannon, to be carried over rough terrain).

The demonstration will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5, and again on Saturday, Sept. 2. Guests should gather at the Fort Vancouver Parade Ground, near the traffic circle that connects East Evergreen Blvd. with Fort Vancouver Way. The event is free to attend and open to all ages (and what kid doesn’t love something that goes BOOM?!)

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is located at 1501 E. Evergreen Blvd. in Vancouver. To keep up-to-date about events and happenings at the Fort, follow them on Facebook at

Above image: park ranger demonstrates a bit of 1800s state-of-the-art military technology. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service at Fort Vancouver.

Veggie Derby at the Camas Farmers Market

UPDATE:  Oh no! This event has been cancelled due to the forecasted extreme heat. Well, more time for you to perfect your zucchini car for next year!

Just when you thought you’d seen everything, along comes…the Veggie Derby. I know, I know; your mother told you not to play with your vegetables, but Wednesday, Aug. 2, at the Camas Farmer’s Market, we promise to make an exception.

Here’s the deal: kids design, build and race their very own fruit-and-veggie vehicles for a chance to win big prizes! (Our only question is: can grown-ups play, too?) Each car should be made entirely from any combination of fruit and vegetables—held together with toothpicks or whatever other brilliant engineering ideas our local young minds can conjure up—and it has to actually work. The fastest veggie mobile wins!

The Camas Farmers Market runs from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Veggie engines are set to rev at 5:30 p.m., but those interested in participating should come early to register and to construct their winning automobiles. What are the “big prizes”? We don’t know, but it’s got to be good. This event is sponsored by Whole Foods Market. To learn more, visit

Above image: this local boy is serious about his veggies. Very, very serious. Photo courtesy of the Camas Farmers Market.

Small Town Summer Fun in Camas

Stay cool in downtown Camas at the next Camas First Friday during “Small Town Summer Fun,” happening from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4. Highlights include:

  • Outdoor fun and games with prizes, including duckie race, marble grab, corn hole, ring toss, and more
  • Street party sponsored by Nuestra Mesa with outdoor seating and live music by Lance Kinnaird and Lauren Abraham. Fourth Ave. from Adams to Birch will be closed for the party.
  • Munch on Doug’s Kettle Corn and get free Otter Pops for your kids
  • Make a paper boat and see if it floats
  • Play the “Guess the Missing Word” game in downtown businesses and earn tickets to win prizes from the merchants
  • Art receptions with refreshments and live music at Attic Gallery, Camas Gallery, and Second Story Gallery
  • The Liberty Theatre will be showing “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”—a 25th anniversary re-release—at 8:30 p.m.
  • The Paint Roller Mobile Paint Party will offer painting activities for kids
  • Ribbon cuttings and grand opening celebrations for Camas Beauty Bar and Salud! Wine Bar 
  • After hours shopping and dining

For more information, click here or check out To find out more about all the fun stuff to do in downtown Camas all year round, visit the Downtown Camas Association website at

Photo Scavenger Hunt

The Fort Vancouver Regional Library District is doing a Photo Scavenger Hunt during the entire month of August, and you’re invited to join the hunt! You can play and post on Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #FVRLPhotoScavengerHunt. Here’s what you do: post your photos of the daily item (see the entire list in the box to your right or on the Library’s Instagram account) and include the hashtag. One lucky winner each week will receive a $10 Amazon gift card!

You can follow the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District on Instagram at @fvrlibrary or on Facebook at You can do all 31 items, or just a few, or just one. (I included a photo of my favorite statue, above—it’s Ilchee, who paddled her own canoe, and you can see her overlooking the Columbia River not too far from McMenamin’s and Beaches.)



Eastside Community Picnic

The Fircrest Neighborhood Association—along with help from several other neighborhood associations—is hosting the Eastside Community Picnic and National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 2, at LeRoy Haagen Memorial Community Park from 5 p.m. until dark.

Activities include a giant bounce house and obstacle course (25 cents a turn, or $5 for unlimited turns), corn hole game, turtle scooter, bubble wands, craft table, Ogodisks, and brain puzzles. Bring your own food or enjoy food from local food carts, like Getta Gyro, Esoteric BBQ, Chunney Pop, Sutton’s Tropical Sno Cones, and Popcorn Cove. There will also be a movie in the park (Disney’s “Moana”) that will begin at approximately 8:45 p.m.

National Night Out is a nationwide effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, and neighborhood camaraderie. LeRoy Haagen Memorial Community Park is located at the northwest corner of N.E. 9th St. and N.E. 136th Ave. and plenty of extra parking across 9th St. at the DSHS building. For more information, contact Margaret Milem at 360-836-6736 or or check out the event’s Facebook page.

FVRL Solar Eclipse Events

The Fort Vancouver Regional Library District is excited about the upcoming solar eclipse, which will happen at a little after 9 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 21. The total phase of this total solar eclipse will be visible from a narrow path spanning all across the USA from the West Coast to the East Coast, weather permitting. This is the first total solar eclipse in 38 years, a once-in-a-lifetime event that most North Americans will be able to see at least a little of. (In fact, the last time a total solar eclipse was visible from coast to coast was almost 100 years ago, on June 8, 1918.) Parts of 14 states will go dark, and the temperature will drop about 10 degrees. In the Northwest, visibility will be best around Salem and Madras, Oregon, near Bend. If you plan to watch the solar eclipse, you will need eye protection!

Would you like to know more about this fascinating occurrence? Yes? Well, you can count on your local library to give you lots of information and fill you in on everything you need to know. There are several library-hosted events happening from Aug. 2 all the way through until the day of the eclipse on Aug. 21. Here’s a list of what’s happening and where:

“On the Water” Boat Building Workshop for Kids

Wind & Oar Boat School and the National Park Service at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site will be offering “On the Water,” a hands-on workshop exploring maritime history for youth ages 10 to 15. Participants will apply math and science skills to build a simple skiff, rotating through several stations over the course of the week-long workshop. Along with the boat building activities, they will learn about the maritime heritage of the Pacific Northwest, with topics including waterways as transportation routes, early Euro-American exploration, maritime fur trade, 19th century carpentry and blacksmithing, and human manipulation of the Columbia River.

The workshop will take place at the Historic Hangar at Pearson Air Museum, Monday, July 31, through Friday, August 4. Two sessions will be offered: Session A (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) or Session B (12 p.m. to 4 p.m.). The final day of the workshop will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for all participants, and will include launching the boat at Vancouver Lake. Each session is limited to 10 participants, with reservations on a first-come, first-served basis.

The workshop is free but registration is required. To sign up, call 360-816-6244. Participants should bring a sack lunch each day and closed-toed shoes. Safety glasses and life jackets will be provided. Parents or guardians MUST provide all transportation, including to Vancouver Lake the afternoon of the final day. This project is supported by the Washington State Historical Society with funds provided by the James B. Castles Endowment.

Pro Motocross Championship

The 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will be held at the Washougal Motocross Park on Saturday, July 29. Thousands of spectators will gather to watch the best motocross athletes in the world race for the championship title. Admission starts at $40 per person. Pro Pit Passes are available, as well as tickets for early parking and overnight camping. Children under six are free. Purchase tickets online now by clicking here.

Washougal Motocross is located at 40202 N.E. Borin Rd. in Washougal. The motocross park—known as America’s Most Scenic Raceway—is one of three natural terrain raceways in the country. Washougal MX Park annually hosts the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Series, as well as being the location for television commercials and brochure photography. To learn more, visit

Midsummer Steam Train Rides

What’s the best way to bask in the glory of a North Bank summer? Aboard a chug-chug-chugging steam train, of course! The Chelatchie Prairie Railroad will operate its Midsummer Steam Train Rides this weekend, departing at noon and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 29, and Sunday, July 30. With the summer’s lush greenery and wildflower blooms to delight your eyes, this train ride will offer you moving views of north Clark County’s most beautiful countryside. The steam engine will make an enchanting excursion through a 330-foot solid rock tunnel to the Heisson area with a stop at Moulton Station to visit Yacolt Falls.

All trains depart from the train station in Yacolt at 207 N. Railroad Ave. Passengers should plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure to allow sufficient time to pick up your tickets and board the train. Tickets for the steam train are $20 for adults, $19 for those aged 60 and better, $15 for children ages five to 12, and $13 for little ones ages two to four. Children under two years old are free. For more information, reservations, and directions to the train station, visit or call 360-686-3559.

Youth Volunteers’ Open House at Fort Vancouver

On Saturday, July 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Fort Vancouver National Historic Site’s Youth Volunteer Program will host an open house at the reconstructed Fort Vancouver. At the open house, students and adult aides from the program will demonstrate historic skills they have learned, and share what the school program has to offer for youth participants. Teens and kids ages 15 under are free to come inside the Fort with no admission fee, although there is a $5 fee for adults.

The Youth Volunteer Program is designed for young people ages 10 to 18, and is divided into two interacting tracks: the Dame School and the Young Engagé School. Both tracks are modeled after historic schools and other ways in which youth learned and developed skills at the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Fort Vancouver in the 1840s. Students in the program learn about the history of Fort Vancouver, and about everyday life in the 1800s. Students also develop hands-on skills in costumed and basic interpretation and gain practical experience in cultural demonstrations and other public programs. To learn more about the Youth Volunteer Program, visit

Above image: Living History School participants demonstrate 19th Century dance techniques at a special event. National Park Service photo by Troy Wayrynen.

Metropolitan Performing Arts presents Aladdin, Jr.

Welcome to Agrabah, City of Enchantment. Join Aladdin, Jasmine, Jafar, a Genie and 20 more of Vancouver’s singing and dancing youth as they retell the story of a young man who finds a magic lamp, triumphs over evil, and discovers true love—all in classic Disney musical style!

Metropolitan Performing Arts presents its production of Disney’s Aladdin Jr. that’s sure send audiences soaring on a flying carpet ride. There are only four shows, opening at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 28, and continuing through the weekend. Additional performances are at 2 and and 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 29, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 30. Tickets are $12 in advance and can be purchased at or by calling 360-975-1585. Performances are at the Camas High School auditorium located at 26900 S.E. 15th St. in Camas.

Disney’s Aladdin Jr. is based on the iconic animated film, with an Academy Award-winning score by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice. The show is directed by Sean Kelly (Camas High School drama teacher), with music direction by Barbara Richardson (MPA’s Executive Director) and choreography by Shannon Jung (MPA alumni).

Vancouver Mall’s 40th Anniversary Celebration

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the opening of Vancouver Mall, the largest, and only, enclosed retail destination in Clark County. The mall is celebrating the Big Four-Oh in style by hosting a fun-filled day of events for the community which will showcase a mix of retail offerings, entertainment, and exciting experiences that will make 2017 a milestone to remember. The family-friendly celebration, which will take place from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 29, features a variety of events and activities is completely free and open to everyone. Here’s a peek at the schedule:

  • Fashion Show, noon, H&M Court: View the latest fashions from your favorite stores, featuring looks inspired through the decades.  The first 100 to check in will receive a complimentary swag bag.
  • Giveaways on the 40s at 12:40 p.m., 1:40 p.m., and 2:40 p.m., H&M Court: Enter for the chance to win a shopping spree, concert tickets, and retailer gift cards and merchandise with drawings held at 40 past the hour.
  • Hit Machine concert, 3 p.m., Southeast parking lot: Hit Machine is a band you will never forget, performing all your favorite hits.

Guests will also enjoy exclusive retailer offers, family-friendly entertainment, nostalgic activities, and more. Vancouver Mall (as though you don’t already know) is located at 8700 N.E. Vancouver Mall Drive in Vancouver. It is Southwest Washington’s largest retailer, with over 140 retail stores and eateries, alongside the state-of-the-art 23-screen Cinetopia, a Fort Vancouver Library branch, and the popular Mythic Escapes interactive adventure experience. Through family programming, family-friendly stores, seasonal events, a robust mall walking program and family parking, Vancouver Mall offers a community-focused environment. For more information, call 360-892-6255 or visit

Above image: Vancouver Mall, circa early 90s

“Three Days of Aloha” Hawaiian Festival

Grab your ukulele and your grass skirt and head on over to Three Days of Aloha, Thursday, July 27, through Saturday, July 29. This festival—hosted by the Ke Kukui Foundation, and the biggest Hawaiian cultural festival in the Northwest—kicks off with a Hawaiian Arts Workshops on Thursday and Friday. Participants travel from around the globe to attend this one-of-a-kind workshop led by master craftsman and artists from Hawaii as they give instruction on dance, language, chant, history, current Hawaiian issues, music, cultural crafts, storytelling, and more.

On Friday evening, enjoy the sights and sounds of the Hapa Haole Hula Competition in Esther Short Park. Live music starts at 3 p.m. featuring classic Hawaiin tunes from 1900 to 1959, and the hula competition starts at 5 p.m. Or, if you simply want to pretend you’re in Hawaii for a day, there’s no better place than Esther Short Park from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 29, for the Ho’ike and Hawaiian Festival. The outdoor event offers kids’ activities, arts and crafts vendors, and delicious traditional Hawaiian food. Bring a low-backed chair or blanket and enjoy the tropical festivities—and don’t forget to buy a raffle ticket to benefit the Ke Kukui Foundation.

The third annual Aloha Fun Run/Walk—created to bring awareness to health and exercise in the Hawaiian (and Hawaiian-at-heart) community—will commence at 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 29, starting from Esther Short Park. Registration opens at 7 a.m. on the day or you can register online at Eventbrite. Whether you’re a serious runner or walking with your family, this beautiful course along the Columbia River will bring out your Aloha spirit. Kids under 10 are free and strollers are allowed (sorry, though—no doggies).

For complete details about Three Days of Aloha—or to register for the workshops or the fun run—visit or send an email to


Fourth Plain Multicultural Festival

Join Vancouver’s Fourth Plain community for a wonderful afternoon of delicious food, lively music, energetic dancing, and family-friendly fun at the annual Fourth Plain Multicultural Festival from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 30. There will be activities for kids, families, and community members of all ages. The festival will be held at Fort Vancouver High School Center for International Studies, 5700 E. 18th St. in Vancouver. Plenty of free parking is available on site.

The festival is an opportunity to bring together Fourth Plain residents, businesses, and visitors to celebrate the community’s diversity and strengths, and to build relationships across cultures. There will be local artists, craft vendors selling unique and handmade items, and a loads of food vendors selling everything from noodles to tacos to sweet treats.  There will be live music, dancing demonstrations with opportunities to join in, games, soccer clinics, and an organized walk-and-bike event along the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail.

For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page at Follow and post about the Festival using the hashtag: #4thPlainFest. For questions, contact Diana Avalos Leos at 360-852-3605 or