by Nancy Hill
GREENSBORO – Emma Rowell of the Caspian Critters 4-H Club of Greensboro was asked to create a mural for the 2021 Fair in the swine/poultry barn at the Champlain Valley Exposition.
Before the fair opened, she sketched a design on the wall of the building and asked her fellow club members to join her in painting it. Each day at the fair an award is given to one person or group that goes “above and beyond” in their participation, and at the close of the fair on September 12, the fair director presented the “Star of the Day” award to the Caspian Critters club, with Rowell as the leader, on stage in front of an audience. The club won another award this past weekend at Orleans County Fair for going above and beyond to help others while at the fair.
The club members focus on cows and chickens, but they also tend to many other animals at home, including sheep, pigs, birds, horses and rabbits. They have traveled this year with their cows and chickens to local county fairs in Caledonia, Lamoille, and most recently the Orleans County Fair, where they also have their crafts on display in the floral hall. The coming weekend they will attend the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, Mass. (The Big E), where they will present demonstrations on how to make mozzarella cheese and butter.
Their community service is well known in Greensboro. For the past two years, they have provided holiday wreaths for town buildings, and previously they made holiday decorations for the Greensboro Lauredon Apartments. They have also made Valentine cards for the Greensboro Nursing Home, and this summer they shared their animals at story-time at the Greensboro Library. They also presented their club activities, including many award ribbons, at the Greensboro Historical Society summer exhibit.
Heather Lumsden leads the club, which was formed in 2018. The Caspian Critters continue a long history of 4-H clubs in Greensboro. Lewis Hill was the leader of the boys Caspian Lake Forestry 4-H club from 1946 until 1977. When that club celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in 1976, they had had 181 members. Other clubs flourished during that period: a dairy club led by Wayne Richardson, a woodworking club led by Henry Merrill, and at least one club for girls, the Red Clover Club, led by Dorothy Ling.