Bob Simons has been a positive presence on the local youth sports scene for more years than he cares to count.
Wallenpaupack Area's legendary links guru is dean of the Lackawanna League, the winningest high school golf coach in Pennsylvania history and a Hall of Fame player in his own right.
Over the course of the last three weeks, Coach Simons has once again dedicated himself to sharing a life's worth of knowledge with local kids.
Each Monday morning in July, dozens of boys and girls gathered at Honesdale Golf Club to participate in the 2013 youth program.
This marks the 10th year for the clinic, which is open to children ages six to 14.
Nearly 40 youngsters were on hand each day to learn the fundamentals of the sport and hone the skills they already possess.
"I look around here at these kids and you know what I see?" Coach Simons asked. "I see good kids who might one day be future members of the golf teams at Wallenpaupack, Western Wayne or Honesdale."
The clinics began every week at 8:30 a.m. and continued right up until noon. Coach Simons and his merry band of volunteer clinicians stressed the most basic tenets: grip, set-up, posture and swing.
"We had a good time this year," Coach Simons said.
"The kids were great, they had a lot of fun and I think they learned a little bit, too. I think I speak for all our volunteer instructors when I say that a good time was had by all."
Words of Wisdom
Page 2 of 2 - As has become tradition, the all three Wayne County Commissioners paid a visit on the camp's final day.
Wendell Kay, Jonathan Fritz and Brian Smith each spoke to the group about the importance of hard work, good sportsmanship and always being honest.
"I think the sport of golf really teaches us some good lessons that can be carried all through our lives," Commissioner Kay said.
"Golf teaches honesty and integrity. There are no umpires or referees out on the course. You have to be responsible for every single thing you do out there."
Commissioner Fritz agreed wholeheartedly with his colleague.
"Regardless of which sport you're talking about, the qualities of discipline, teamwork and dedication will serve these kids well as they go through life," he said. "Hats off to all the coaches and parents who worked so hard to make this youth program a success."
Among this year's youth golf program participants were...
•Jack Higgins, Benjamin Krause, Lucas Murray, Kaiden Robinson, Jake Mundy, Christian Krasniak, Matthew Becker and Sadie Nahman.
•Jack Firmstone, Carter Odell, Dale Soden, Jack Cavanaugh, Luke Schwab, Danny Becker and Adam Blake.
•Dennis Putzi, Jason Hunter, Logan Robinson, Nick Theobald, Landon Firmstone, Lucas Flederbach, Steven Soden, Collin Ennis, Eric Odell, Alex Atcavage, Nathaniel Cousineau.
Volunteer counselors who worked tirelessly to help their young charges become better golfers were...
•Bridget Simons, Jeanette Krause, Judy Goyette, Tristan Krause, Linda Soden, Joanne Kropf, Jim Pellington, Dwight Gregory.