Thursday 17

LAUREL BIRDING PROGRAM, for ages 16 and older, short walks on a guided tour, learn how to identify birds in refuge habitats; field guides and binoculars are recommended; 8:15-10:45 a.m., Patuxent Research Refuge, North Tract, Route 198, between Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 32, Laurel. Free; preregistration required. 301-497-5887.

ELKRIDGE LIBRARY PROGRAM, for ages 2-5, children age 2 must be accompanied by an adult, a drop-in program, songs, games and activities, 10 and 11 a.m. Thursdays, through July 29, Elkridge Branch Library, 6540 Washington Blvd. Free. 410-313-5085.

COLUMBIA CARD GAMES, for ages 11-17, play card games, plus refreshments, 3-5 p.m., East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Free. 410-313-7700.

COOKSVILLE CHESS CLUB, for players ages 9-17 of all abilities, 5-7 p.m. Thursdays, Glenwood Branch Library, 2350 Route 97 (Roxbury Mills Road), Cooksville. Free. 410-313-5577.

Friday 18

ELLICOTT CITY BRIDGE PROGRAM, play the game and improve skills, bring a bag lunch, coffee and tea available, sponsored by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Fridays, Kiwanis-Wallas Recreation Center, 10481 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-7279.

COLUMBIA ROLLER AND IN-LINE SKATING, sponsored by the Columbia Association, noon-3 p.m. and 7-10 p.m. Fridays, through Aug. 20, Supreme Sports Club, 7080 Deepage Dr. $6; members, free; roller skate rental, $2.50; in-line skate rental, $5. 410-381-3619.

COLUMBIA YOUTH TENNIS CLASS, for ages 6-18, learn basic strokes and strategy; non-scuff-mark tennis shoes required; balls and rackets supplied; sponsored by the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section/Maryland District, the American Tennis Association/Mid-Eastern Tennis Association, East Columbia Branch Library and the Columbia Association, 2-4 p.m., Owen Brown Tennis Club, 7150 Cradlerock Way. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7704.

Saturday 19

COLUMBIA BABY-SITTING CLASS, for current or prospective babysitters ages 11-14, learn about first aid, emergency procedures, age-appropriate activities and other baby-sitting skills, participants will receive a certificate of attendance, sponsored by the Columbia Association Teen Center, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. the third Saturday of each month, the Barn, Oakland Mills Village Center, 5800 Robert Oliver Pl. $48; Columbia residents, $40; preregistration required. 410-992-3726.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE GROUP, for those who speak English as a second or third language, practice speaking English and more in a group setting, sponsored by the English Conversation Club, 9:30-10:30 a.m. the third Saturday of each month, Savage Branch Library, Gorman and Knights Bridge roads, Laurel. Free. 410-880-5975.

WIDOWS AND WIDOWERS SUPPORT GROUP, for those who have experienced the death of a spouse, learn about the meaning and process of grief, 10-11:30 a.m. Saturdays, through July 10, Hospice of Howard County, 5537 Twin Knolls Rd., Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-730-5072.

STEVENSON GARDENING PROGRAM, for ages 14 and older, "Making Your Garden Your Own," a discussion on the use of benches, bird feeders and more, plus a workshop to make concrete stepping stones for your garden, materials provided, 10 a.m.-noon, Irvine Nature Center, 8400 Greenspring Ave., Stevenson. $8; members, $5; preregistration required. 410-484-2413, Ext 10.

LAUREL CHILDREN'S NATURE PROGRAM, for ages 8-10, "Romp in the Swamp," search for frogs, fish, insects and more on a wetlands walk, a hands-on program; dress to get wet and muddy; 1-2:30 p.m., Patuxent Research Refuge, National Wildlife Visitor Center, off Powder Mill Road, between Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 197, Laurel. 301-497-5887.

Monday 21

ELLICOTT CITY PIANO CAMPS, for beginners ages 7-14, sponsored by Piano Perspectives School of Music.

* For ages 7-10: 9 a.m.-noon Monday-June 25 or Aug. 16-20 (one-week camps), or July 19-30 or Aug. 2-13 (two-week camps).

* For ages 11-14, 12:30-3:30 p.m. Aug. 16-20.

Camps held at Howard County Center for the Arts, 8510 High Ridge Rd., Ellicott City. One-week camps, $120; two-week camps, $225; preregistration required. 410-465-6729.

CHILDRENS NATURE PROGRAMS, sponsored by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks.

* Tiny Tykes Nature Adventures, for ages 4-5, four-day sessions, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Mondays-Thursdays, through July 22, no session week of July 5, learn about animals and insects through songs, stories, games and more.

* Junior Ranger Nature Camp, for ages 6-9, one-week sessions, 9 a.m.-noon Mondays-Fridays, through Aug. 6, no session week of July 5, camp includes hiking, visiting a swamp, searching for bugs, identifying trees, flowers and plants, and a visit from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' Scales and Tales program, which will exhibit reptiles, birds and other animals.

Programs held at Centennial Park, Route 108, Ellicott City. Tiny Tykes program, $51; Junior Ranger camp, $77; preregistration required. 410-313-7275 or www.co.ho.md.us/RAP.

AQUATIC ADVENTURE CAMPS, for children in grades 5-7, a hands-on program exploring lakes, streams and wetlands; camps include biking along county pathways in search of animals along the trails, making your own fishing pole to catch and release fish at a wetland park, simulating an oil spill, searching for aquatic life while canoeing on Centennial Lake and taking field trips; sponsored by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, camps meet 8:30-11:30 a.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Wednesday and Fridays for one week beginning June 21, July 5 or July 12, Centennial Park, Route 108, Ellicott City. $99; preregistration required. 410-313-7275 or www.co.ho.md.us/RAP.

BATTERED WOMEN SUPPORT GROUP, a drop-in program, 7 p.m. Mondays, Domestic Violence Center of Howard County, 8950 Route 108, Suite 116, Columbia. Free. 410-997-0304.

COOKSVILLE STRESS REDUCTION TALK, learn about meditation techniques intended to reduce stress, 7 p.m., Glenwood Branch Library, 2350 Route 97 (Roxbury Mills Road), Cooksville. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-5577.

COLUMBIA LIBRARY HULA PROGRAM, for ages 7-10, "SpongeBob Squarepants Hula Party," nautical stories, learn about the hula and more, 7 p.m., East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7730.

ELLICOTT CITY LANGUAGE PROGRAM, for those with English as a second or third language, practice English skills in a group setting, presented by the English Conversation Club, 7:45-8:45 p.m., Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-1950.

Tuesday 22

COLUMBIA YOGA CLASS, for adults, learn about breathing techniques and postures and movement intended to increase strength, flexibility and relaxation, sponsored by Long Reach Community Association, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, through Aug. 10, Stonehouse, Long Reach Village Center, 8775 Cloudleap Ct., Columbia. $84; preregistration required. 410-730-8113

ELKRIDGE KIDS BOOK DISCUSSION, for children ages 10-13 accompanied by an adult, "Interstellar Pig," by William Sleator, sponsored by the Elkridge Branch Library's Parent-Teen Book Club, 7-8:30 p.m., the library, 6540 Washington Blvd. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-5085.

Wednesday 23

ELLICOTT CITY KNITTING GROUP, a drop-in program, group will knit and crochet afghans, blankets, baby clothes and more for local charities, hospitals and senior centers, sponsored by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, Kiwanis-Wallas Recreation Center, 10481 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-7279.

COLUMBIA PICTURE BOOK DISCUSSIONS, for ages 5-8, bring a picture book on a different topic each week: Wednesday, "Knights"; June 30, "Dragons"; July 7, "Giants"; July 14, "Wishes"; 1:30 p.m., East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7730.

SENIORS PRESCRIPTION DRUG SEMINAR, "Uncap the Mystery of the Drug Prescription Program," led by an AARP representative, sponsored by the Oakland Mills Community Association, 2-3 p.m., the Other Barn, Oakland Mills Village Center, 5851 Robert Oliver Pl., Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-730-4610

DIVORCE SUPPORT GROUP, for men who are contemplating or experiencing a separation or divorce, led by a therapist, sponsored by the National Family Resiliency Center, 7-8:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, 10632 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Suite 121, Columbia. $10-$50, sliding fee scale; preregistration required. 410-740-9553.

CATONSVILLE MOTHERS SUPPORT GROUP, for working and at-home mothers, discussion of the personal needs and interests of women during their active parenting years and acknowledgement of the value of the work of mothers, sponsored by Mothers and More, Southwest Baltimore Chapter, 7 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, Immanuel United Church of Christ, 1905 Edmondson Ave., Catonsville. Admission, free. 410-455-0498.

Thursday 24

COLUMBIA AFTERNOON TEA, teas accompanied by scones, sandwiches, dessert and fresh fruit, 4:30-6 p.m. the last Thursday of each month, Historic Oakland, 5430 Vantage Point Rd., Columbia. $18.90; preregistration required. 410-730-4801 or www.historic-oakland.com.

-- Compiled by LINDA JAMES

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