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Franklin Co. 4-H students explore animals

August 07, 2000

Franklin Co. 4-H students explore animals



By DON AINES / Staff Writer, Chambersburg

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

Best of ShowCHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Whether snails have a social life is open to question, but Angel Beaver of Waynesboro, Pa., was playing matchmaker on Monday at the Franklin County 4-H Summer Roundup.

"Sally and Sammy are dating. I made them kiss," Angel, 9, said at the roundup's Snailing Workshop. She identified Sammy the snail by his talent for climbing a plastic terrarium and said snails like chocolate chips and Apple Jacks, but not salt.

"If they get in salt, they'll die," Angel said.

"They had them walking along razor blades to show they don't get cut, and pulling Matchbox cars," said Anna Umbreit, 20, a 4-H summer assistant in charge of the roundup. On the picnic table was a tiny silver Camaro with a string harness attached.

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About 70 4-H members from eight clubs around the county took part in the roundup and day camp at the Franklin County Fairground, Umbreit said. It was the second of two Family Living roundups. One is sponsored by 4-H and the other is held in the spring.

Participants submitted projects in 16 different categories, including macram stools, cake decorating, sewing, glass etching, cooking and braided mats. "The projects are judged more on their own merits than against each other," Umbreit said.

There are several other 4-H roundups held throughout the year, depending on the type of clubs involved. The Dairy Roundup will take place during the annual county fair later this month and Umbreit said there are others for the beef, goat and other clubs, according to Umbreit.

"Our pig roundup is coming in a few weeks," she said.

Julie St. Clair, 9, of Chambersburg, is a member of the Franklin County 4-H Seeing Eye Puppy Club. "We train the dogs, but we only get to keep them a little more than a year," she said.

Club members teach the dogs - mostly German shepherds and Labradors - basic commands before they go on to more complete training to help the blind, she explained. Julie has been in various 4-H clubs since kindergarten.

Mike Bryson of Greencastle, Pa., is interested in entomology, the study of insects. His family "went up to New Hampshire last week and I found some really weird insects," he said.

"This is my last year," said Kara Oliver of Greencastle, a volunteer counselor at the roundup, which is for kids ages 8 to 18. The daughter of a veterinarian, she's been in 4-H since she was 8, but it's now almost time for her to go to Penn State where she will major in engineering sciences.

Like Oliver, Melinda Reichard, 17, of Waynesboro, is a counselor and long-time 4-H member. This summer she's been involved in 4-H events around the state and will be delegate to the organization's National Congress in Atlanta, Ga., later this year.

She'll also be shuttling Holsteins between the Franklin and Adams county fairs for dairy competitions during the same week later this month. "You have to make sure they're clean 24-seven," she said of the cattle in the competitions.

She added that kind of schedule doesn't leave much idle time in her life.

Umbreit said hundreds of county children are 4-H members. The number swells to more than 2,000 when students participating in 4-H-sponsored school events are included, she said.

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