, Newburyport, MA

July 1, 2013

Local teen offering self-defense workshops

Rowley Town Notebook
Michelle Pelletier Marshall

---- — Sixteen-year-old Maddie Schmuch is putting her love of martial arts to good use as she hosts self-defense workshops for teens to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve and equivalent to the Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts. The workshops, entitled “Defend Yourself,” will be held at the Rowley Public Library on Thursday, July 11, and Thursday, Aug. 8, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The free, hour-and-a-half classes are open to all teens, girls or boys, and will cover a few basic techniques that just may save a life. The techniques focus on preventing an incident from escalating.

In deciding on her Gold Award project, which had to demonstrate leadership and commitment to a cause, Schmuch watched the news to see what was happening in the world because, she said, she wanted to do a project that was needed.

“I kept seeing terrible events [in the news] where people couldn’t defend themselves to save their life or the lives of people around them,” said Schmuch, who has been practicing martial arts for eight years and is a second degree black belt. “That’s when I decided that I would teach self-defense to a variety of people.”

And she has — having already held two successful classes — one for senior citizens and one for teens.

Schmuch is well on her way to working 80 hours on her project, having taught multiple classes and building her team to help direct the classes. In addition, she is preparing a book and video on self-defense and teaching others how to be instructors. For more information about the classes, contact the library at 978-948-2850.


If you have not secured a 2013 dog license for your pet, the fee, as of today, is $25. Contact the town clerk at for more information.


It’s boating time! Ramp and mooring stickers are available at the town clerk’s office during office hours of Monday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday from 8 to 4:30 p.m. and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. Note that ramp permits are available only to Rowley residents and cost $50; mooring renewals are $3 a foot.


Theater in the Open–Circus Smirkus will be held at Manter Field at 81 Central St. in Newbury with performances on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 2 and 3. Friday shows will be at 2 and 7 p.m. and on Saturday, watch the shows at 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $21 for adults and $17 for kids; children under 2 are free. For tickets or info, call 1-800-SMIRKUS or visit Tickets are also available at Eureka Toys at 50 Water St. in Newburyport, 978-465-9359.


Michelle Pelletier Marshall covers Rowley for The Daily News. She can be reached at