I had another home grown fun adventure this past weekend; I attended the local county fair. As someone who didn’t belong to 4-H, I must first commend the kids for all the time and effort they put into their various projects, especially those that prepare the projects all on their own and do not have their parents or other adults come in and do it for them at the fair. My family and I have some great friends whose 4 children all participate. They are ages 14, 12, 7 and 5. (The five year old is in open class) I so enjoy watching these kids, and I try to help out with suggestions when I can, or they care to listen.
There is something I noticed though throughout the fair. As I’m walking through the various barns, and the show boxes are open, turbo fans are blowing, Cadillac chutes are being used outside, clippers buzzing, combs, brushes, adhesives, bathing stalls are being used….I never once saw siblings fighting. I saw siblings helping each other. I saw them taking their turn at cleaning out the stall or pen. I saw little brothers that wanted so badly to help, that they were carrying future forks three times the size of them, to help muck out a stall. I saw a brother from one family and sister from another show two and three different lambs that made the over-all finals, and younger siblings came in and helped show them for the final title. And when the lamb won, the younger brother graciously traded lambs with his sister so she could walk the champion out. It truly made my heart happy.
As I was watching the beef judging Sunday morning, the judge made a statement that has left me pondering (which is a good thing.) He said many years ago he had been here to Marshall County to judge, and he had brought with him one of his small children. A local lady told the youngster, “You cannot leave here until you have made at least two new friends.” The judge told his class of Senior Showmanship participants that there is not a time that goes by that he doesn’t come through Marshall County that he doesn’t think of that. He told them that while competing and winning are fun, it’s the friends, values and lifelong connections you make now, here today…that’s what really matters and will serve you well for your future.
How whole-heartedly true is that?!?!
This may sound kind of corny, but when all you hear about in the news is how horrible of a society our kids are growing up in and how horrible of a society they are going to make in the future, to know that there are a few kids staying active in something of value ,and it’s not limited to 4-H ,there are many great structured programs out there, it really makes me think that there are a few of us left in the world that can and will make a difference. Good Luck to you all in your own local fairs! Julie