Story by Katie Drake

As a child, I distinctly remember what it was like to be a kid on the last day of school.   It was so exciting, that last day, getting off the school bus with my brothers and sisters.  The anticipation of summer vacation felt like winning the lottery!

We had big plans.  Making forts, going fishing, playing outside in all kinds of weather, climbing trees, going camping, and making up imaginary games that we would play in our backyard.

Long before there were child care laws about how many kids one adult could watch, it wasn’t unusual for there to be 15- 20 kids at our house in the summer, which was so much fun.  I’m the oldest of 8 kids.  Then, mix in 3-5 cousins and a handful of friends our mom watched.  We could play baseball with two teams!  We lived in the country and whether the weather was 90 degrees or negative 10 degrees, we always played outside.  This was a requirement, according to my mom, who has the patience of a saint.

Thank goodness for her, country living means riding your bike ‘around the block’ which was almost 5 miles and we would do that just about every day.  We would stay up late with flashlights reading books under our covers way past bedtime.  Summer was our time.  A time to explore and learn new things.

Now that we have had the last snowfall of the year (hopefully), it’s time to start making our plans for this summer.

Signups now open

And speaking of learning new things, there is a great summer opportunity for kids in Little Falls ages 10-17.  Golf For Life is a free program that will include instruction, equipment, and play.  And signups are now open.

Golf For Life stands for:  Learning the game.  Integrity.  Fun!  Encouragement. The vision is to have the game of golf inspire kids so that they take up this lifelong sport, which provides a pathway to a healthy, active lifestyle.

There will be two clinics held at our beautiful city course.  The first will be June 28th – July 2nd from 8:30-10:30 am.  And the second clinic will be run July 5th – July 9th from 8:30-10:30 am.  There are 36 slots available.  There will be three instructors, including Will Grabinski, that will work with six children at a time.

There are already about a dozen kids and young adults signed up, so I recommend you take action soon.

Easy to enroll

It’s super easy to enroll. To sign up a young girl or boy ages 10-17 for Golf For Life, simply call Nick Regan, Clubhouse Manager of the Henry Pelzer Municipal Golf Course of Little Falls at 315-823-4442.  He will be happy to take your information and help you to sign up.

Did I mention this is a FREE program?

Like, totally free. The City of Little Falls is donating free use of the course.  And, you won’t even need to buy equipment.  The clubs and equipment have been donated by Blaise & Ken Carrig and Gary & Beverly Zilkowski.  All the equipment will stay at the golf course and will be available for youth enrolled in this program during the clinic and follow-up play as well.

Golf For LIFE is sponsored by the Blaise & Leslie Carrig Charitable Foundation and the Ken & Lisa Carrig Family Giving Account that has partnered with the Little Falls Youth and Family Center (formerly the YMCA).

Tony DeLuca, Executive Director of the Youth and Family Center says, “We are really excited to launch the Golf For Life program this summer!  Thanks to the generous support and foresight of the Carrig families, this program will provide our local youth with a great opportunity to learn the lifelong sport of golf.  We are so happy to partner with the Carrig’s, the City of Little Falls, and local volunteers in bringing this new program to life.”

So, make the call and sign up.  Summer is a great time to explore and learn new things.  That highly anticipated last day of school is only about a month and a half away, so it’s time to make some new memories!

A few weeks ago, we shared an article about Golf For Life in case you missed it and want to learn more:

Golf For LIFE: Driving the Love of the Game – My Little Falls

Katie Drake moved to Little Falls in 2003 and fell in love with this city. She says she isn’t really a writer, but a storyteller.

The opportunity to highlight the great people of Little Falls, share her personal perspectives and some humor from time to time piqued her interest and here we are.

Just ask her, and she’ll tell you that after growing up in Millers Mills, population 25+ (according to the sign), Little Falls was just the right size. Katie is the oldest of her two brothers and five sisters.

In 2020 Katie and her best friend Chris began their greatest adventure yet in 2020, with the birth of their sweet and sassy son Nolan who makes them laugh every day.

In her free time, Katie loves to snowmobile, golf, hike, and travel.

If you have feedback on one of her articles or an idea for a story, please feel free to reach out to Katie at, she would love to hear from you.

If this article leaves you wanting more, or you are just bored out of your mind, feel free to check out other articles she has contributed by visiting Katie Drake Archives – My Little Falls.