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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Woodland Hills

Winter Wonderland Arrives in August


More than 200 kids pelted each other with snowballs, built tiny snowmen and rode plastic toboggans down an icy bank Thursday at Camp Sharwood.

From 9 a.m. until noon, it was Snow Play Day at the Woodland Hills Recreation Center.

Union Ice dumped 11 tons of shredded ice, creating a rectangle about 30 by 60 feet. The play area was surrounded by bales of hay, some of which were arranged in steps leading up to the summit of a 7-foot slide.

Small groups of campers ranging in age from 5 to 13 were given 25 minutes of snow play.

Many children were ill-equipped for the cold stuff, wearing their usual summer shorts and sandals. The cold didn't hamper their enthusiasm, however.

Playing in the snow was a fine way for the children to fight the heat, as temperatures climbed into the 90s.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday August 8, 2000 Valley Edition Metro Part B Page 2 Zones Desk 1 inches; 20 words Type of Material: Correction
Snow picture--A photo caption Friday incorrectly identified a child shown riding a snow saucer. The child in the photo was Courtney Lotto.

The idea was conceived by Camp Sharwood program director Brendon "Wiley" Gerisch. An avid skier, he thought up the plan to bring snow to the kids more than a month ago, while making plans for the annual summer camp operated by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.

He hopes Snow Play Day will become a yearly event there, particularly because he discovered many kids had never been to the snow.

"It was hot out, and we decided we needed to cool them off a little," Gerisch said. "What's better than snow to cool people off?"

It was fun playing in the snow, said 7-year-old Alex Woznick.

"I think I've been to the snow once," he said. "It's colder than I thought--icy. We've been having a snowball fight. It's good."

The snow, deposited under some shade trees, is expected to last until today, Gerisch said.

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