Category Archives: Play

Student Art takes center stage at the annual Jr. Salmon Auction

JrSalmonChair            Each spring the Vernonia Hands On Art Center, the local non-profit arts and culture support group, presents their annual Jr. Salmon Auction.

A fundraiser for the Vernonia Schools arts programs, the auction features the amazing salmon creations of Vernonia art students. The students are supplied with blank pressboard salmon on which to craft their own unique visions. In addition to salmon, students have worked their magic on small furniture items that are also to be included in the auction.

The event is held at the Vernonia Schools on Missouri Avenue. Salmon are auctioned off with a minimum starting bid of  $10.00. Profits go to support Vernonia School Arts and Hands On Art programs.

Right Mate – Let’s Play Futbol!

“Right, Mate—Let’s Play Futball!”


            “Grab that gear from the boot!”

                “Right, once around the grid you go!”

                “Your not telling us any porkies, are ya?”

                “That was a brilliant, Riri!”

 SoccerTorres2           Those were some of the strange phrases heard on the Vernonia school field a few weeks ago, as the Vernonia Soccer Club (VSC) spent a week training with Jack Walsh and Tim Drohan.   Walsh and Drohan are two young gents from England who spent the week schooling Vernonia youth in soccer skills, training drills and soccer (or as they like to call it, futbol) culture. It was all part of the Challenger Soccer Camp hosted by VSC.

            Challenger Soccer Camps provide a British style, day camp experience that teaches young soccer players new skills and builds confidence, while having fun at the same time. In Vernonia, about twenty-five players ranging in age from four to twelve participated.

            Not only did the students learn discipline and how to dribble, trap, shoot and head the ball, they also learned about the English Premiership (the top league in England), Major League Soccer (the top league in the United States) and about some of the most famous soccer players in the world.   And they learned lots of British slang and soccer terms along the way.

            The puzzled looks from the kids when they were first told to get on the “pitch” or tuck in their “kit” were priceless, but they sure caught on quickly, especially when they had to run around the “grid” or do pushups when they didn’t hustle or were caught fooling around. By the end of the week, four year olds were sprinting across the “pitch” to avoid punishment.

            Don’t get the wrong idea; this was not like boot camp. A little discipline seemed to work for the kids and the players really seemed to enjoy their time with their new English friends. Besides using games to teach skills, and scrimmages for practice, the coaches gave many of the kids nicknames and played elimination trivia games to teach them more about the world of soccer.

            “What country is Lionel Messi from—Portugal, Spain, Argentina, or England?” (Messi, considered the world’s best player, plays for Spanish club Barcelona, but is from Argentina. Those that answered England were greeted in mock disbelief by Walsh: “Lionel Messi!—does that sound English to you? Tim Drohan? Jack Walsh? Lionel Messi!? Right, you’re out!”

            It was all in fun and the kids really enjoyed working with such knowledgeable coaches, and learning the slang and soccer terms. Don’t be surprised if you start hearing kids around Vernonia in the next few weeks constantly saying “Brilliant!”

            At the end of camp, each player received an individual evaluation from Coach Jack and Coach Tim. One of the young girls was having trouble reading the handwriting on her evaluation and asked Tim to read it to her. Another girl stood in line behind her. “Can you read mine too, please,” she asked after Tim read the first card. “I know what you wrote; I just want to hear you say it.” she said.

            After working with the kids, Walsh and Drohan held a two hour Coaches Clinic on the last day of camp for adults who want to coach Vernonia youth. “We’ll teach them basic warm ups, basic drills—footwork, positional play–so they can improve the kids,” says Walsh.

            It’s a great trade off. For the young English coaches, the Challenger camps are a fun way to spend the summer, traveling the United States and teaching American kids about the game of soccer.

            “It’s a really good experience, you get to see the world,” explains Walsh about working for Challenger. “I could come over here and get paid to coach soccer or work in the supermarket at home.”

            Hope to see you on the pitch this summer!

Vernonia Golf Course is ready for another season

Now that the sun is back and the weather is warming up, it’s time to dust off those golf clubs and hit the links again. And the Vernonia Golf Club is just the place to head.

            Owners, and brothers, Nick and Bob Zavales took over the nine-hole club two years ago and have been doing a great job sprucing up the place and getting ready for another great season.

            Bob and Nick say the course is in “phenomenal shape” right now; the greens are alive and putting really well and things are dry throughout.

            During the winter of 2012 the Zavales’s thinned a number of large trees which opened up the course quite a bit and allowed a lot more sunlight to reach the grass and dry things out. “Our regular players tell us it’s a big improvement,” says Nick. A new gravel cart path was another major improvement. Some newly installed culverts have also helped improve drainage.

            The club has hosted several tournaments including the annual “Midnight Madness” tournament on July 3rd. Play starts at dark with glow-in-the-dark balls and has been a highlight of each of the past two seasons. The Vernonia Rural Fire Volunteers will also hold their fundraising tournament on the Sunday of Jamboree weekend, starting at 7:00 AM.

GolfClub1            A Men’s Club continues to meet every Wednesday evening, a chance to play with locals and other players. The Club also hosted the Vernonia High School Golf Team for practice all season.

            You don’t have to play golf to enjoy the Vernonia Golf Club. The Club House is seeing a lot of activity. The restaurant features breakfast and lunch as well as a full dinner menu on Friday nights, including steak, seafood, pasta and prime rib. The regular menu has burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, chicken strips and other items. They are currently serving beer and wine. The clubhouse is also available for private parties, including class reunions, family gatherings, business meetings and more.

            Prices to play remain a great deal: $12 for nine holes, $20 for eighteen on weekdays; $14 and $24 on weekends; $2 off for seniors and junior players. Pull carts and power carts are available for rent.

            Memberships are also available: $550 for an annual unlimited membership, $950 for a couple, (and you don’t have to be man and wife, so grab your buddy, sign up and save a few bucks!) $400 for weekdays only, non-resident outside thirty miles is $475.

            The course is in great shape, the restaurant and bar are open and the weather is great. So head out the Vernonia Golf Club and enjoy!


The Vernonia Golf Club is located at 15961 Timber Road, Vernonia OR. Phone them at 503-429-6811