Future 4-Hers get a taste of sheep competition
— At the Cecil County Fair Tuesday, 4-H members took a break from the sheep competition to show future members how it’s done.
Call it “Little Britches” or “Pee-wees,” but it’s a moment in which children not yet old enough to join 4-H get the chance to lead an animal into the ring and go before the judges.
“This is what’s it’s all about,” Cecil County Fair Board Vice President Don Moore said. “Get them in, then get their feet wet and let them enjoy it.”
Membership in 4-H begins at age 8. Ella Barczewski is five years away from
joining, but she happily led a sheep around the ring in the Stafford Pavilion. At the tender age of 3, she wasn’t saying much, but her mother, April Barczewski, called it a good opportunity.
“It gives the littlest kids an experience, to try something new and see if they like it,” she said.
Colton Nordberg did like being in the ring.
“It was a little bit easy and a little bit hard,” said Nordberg, 5, of Conowingo.
While Colton was a few inches taller than his sheep, Ella was face-to-face with the sheep in her charge. Rope in hand, the future 4-H members tried their hand at leading a sheep into the ring and getting it to stand in the proper stance for the judge. Older 4-H members accompanied each of the newbies. Hailey Weaver walked with Ella, while Ruby Garvey aided Colton. They could be seen helping their charges get the sheep in line.
“Keeping the sheep straight was the easy part,” Colton said.
The harder part was keeping his legs from getting tangled with the sheep, he added.
Colton enjoyed the moment so much he was already making plans for the 2017 Cecil County Fair.
“I’m going to show calves next year,” he said.
April Barczewski said children at this age only show lambs and goats, for safety reasons.
Ella Barczewski, 3, helps lead a sheep before the judges during an event at the Cecil County Fair that introduces potential 4-H members to the thrill of showing sheep in competition.