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About 50 attend Traveling Tails Reptile and Arachnid Program

June 15, 2007

Fifty young people and adults turned out at a recent meeting of Washington County's 4-H Reptile Club to see guest speaker Lori Penrod present her Traveling Tails Reptile and Arachnid Program.

While talking about each animal, Penrod said she likes to give all the reptiles human names.

"Not only because they are like members of the family, which they are - but also because I feel it helps the audience remember and relate to the information I am giving them," Penrod said.

The program took place at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center south of Hagerstown, in conjunction with the 4-H youth development program.

After the program, everyone jumped at the opportunity to get up close and personal with the Penrod's "critters."

No fear could be seen as young people shared time with such reptile favorites as: Duckie, the baby alligator; Bazooka, the bubblegum rat snake; Fluffy, the 40-pound red-tailed boa; and Precious, the albino Burmese python.

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Matthew Mose, 7, of Hagerstown, attended with his mom, Angela Mose, and his younger sister, Hannah.

Matthew said he thought the program was "pretty cool." He said holding the big boa was his most memorable part.

Bill Poffenberger, a lifelong resident of the Sharpsburg area, showed reptile interest could span the generations, attending with his grandson and great-grandson.

"I didn't realize 4-H had events like this," Poffenberger said with a smile. "I'm going to have to watch their schedule closer."

Penrod and her husband, Barry, do reptile educational programs and parties.

The special 4-H program was sponsored by Bill Green, 4-H resource leader for reptiles and leader of the local Reptile Club. It meets at the Extension office.

Anyone interested in joining the club should contact Green at 301-331-6124 or the Extension office at 301-791-1404.

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