110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Sloane Gilmore and her dog
Daisy enjoy living in DeLand.
By Sloane Gilmore
Living in Volusia County all of my life has been fun. We have great parades, and those art festivals are incredible.
My family owns two canoes, and the six of us have paddled on all sides of the county.
In West Volusia, you are 30 minutes from either Daytona Beach or Orlando. The beach and the theme parks are close, and not too close.
But, how could I forget our sports scene? Sports have been a part of my life since before I can remember, I’m told. My grandfather, Beacon Sports Editor Roger Gilmore, is always up in the press box or out on the field throwing the first pitch. Or my dad, Greg Gilmore, is coaching the game, and my grandmother, my mom, my three brothers and I are "patiently" watching from the bleachers.
Then there is the Volusia County Fair each year, and Oktoberfest at St. Peter Catholic Church in DeLand.
I tried as hard as I could, but I cannot think of anything I dislike about living as a teenager in Volusia County.
I am sure someone out there has a few dislikes about Volusia County, but I am not that person.
“We have some deep roots here,” my mom always says. By my last name, you have probably thought of a family of people. Yes, I’m Roger Gilmore’s granddaughter. Remember the little girl who "made the rounds" with her Papa? I was told I used to sit and watch the athletes' uniforms swirl around in washing machines at the Edmunds Center at Stetson University when I was in my first year of life. I was living the life in Volusia County.
I still am, as a matter of fact. I am 14 years old, and am still being introduced as, “you know, Roger Gilmore’s grandbaby.”
If you don’t know my dad’s family, then you know my mom’s. My grandmother is Joan Carter, a prominent figure in the Volunteers in Public Schools program for ages (now, in retirement, along with traveling the country, she is an accomplished artist).
As for me, a freshman at DeLand High School, I have plenty of homework to occupy my afternoons.
For some strange reason, I was the score-book keeper for the boys' JV Basketball team. My dad is a teacher and coach there and "keeps an eye on me."
One of my favorite things to do in Volusia County is work with the children here. When I was at Orange City Elementary School, I enjoyed mentoring the younger students. In my last year at DeLand Middle School, I was on a team of students that helped incoming sixth-graders with their orientation.
These days, I continue helping children. I teach the children at my church each week on Sunday and Wednesday. Also, on Sundays, I lead the Children’s Moment during worship. It is a three-minute lesson for all the children. I try to cram it with jokes, because I love to make people laugh. Plus, some of the people need to loosen up!
Recently, I helped at the Youth Art Festival at Gemini Springs and gave the invocation.
I almost forgot! I am a brace face! Thanks to Dr. Mac Steen, my favorite part of Volusia County, I have been wearing braces for almost two years. But, I am finally in the home stretch!
From where I stand, Volusia County is an amazing place to live. All of my friends go to the same school as me. Most of my family lives within 20 minutes of where I live.
I am living the life of a teenager in Volusia County. What could be better?
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