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Snakes, lizards make for creepy Kids Night Out

Alaina Howell, a ninth grade student from Ridgetop Junior High School, paints a pattern on Emily Parrish’s cheek. Emily, a fourth-grader at Woodlands Elementary School, attended Kids Night Out at Olympic High School this weekend.  - Photo by Valentina Petrova
Alaina Howell, a ninth grade student from Ridgetop Junior High School, paints a pattern on Emily Parrish’s cheek. Emily, a fourth-grader at Woodlands Elementary School, attended Kids Night Out at Olympic High School this weekend.
— image credit: Photo by Valentina Petrova

Friday evening, some 200 elementary school kids in first through fourth grade, descended upon Olympic High School for 24 hours of games, entertainment, arts and crafts, swimming, movies, petting live snakes and lizards, and a little bit of sleep — maybe — thrown into the mix.

Kids Night Out is a bi-annual event hosted in November and in February by the OHS Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) club.

About 100 high school students volunteer to look after small groups of wee students from around the Central Kitsap School District. The idea is that pupils will spend time with their friends and peers from other CK elementary schools, while their parents take the night for themselves in exchange for the $30 registration fee.

That’s not how it always plays out, however. Some parents dropped off their youngest students but hurried home to still younger or some older children who were not eligible for the event.

Then there were others, like Navy chief Rob Tonkin, who left his wife and older kids at their East Bremerton home and spent the night at the high school as a parent chaperone.

During the first of four rotations, Tonkin was pacing inside the Trojans’ gym, watching his son Josh play dodgeball, and sipping coffee from a shiny silver-colored Starbucks travel mug.

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