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Area youth find fun competing in 4-H 'Battle of the Barns'

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

(Photo)
The goat barn team won the first Battle of the Barns event, a scavenger hunt, at the Clay County 4-H Fair Monday evening. Team members Levi Seymour, Braeden Jones and 4-H Fair Queen Rebecca Seymour are pictured with Bill Harshbarger, an unexpected participant in the game.
When all the activities at the Clay County 4-H Fair end and visitors start for home, that's when the fun begins for 4-H members participating in the Battle of the Barns.

"We don't have a real start time, it's usually after all the events are completed and the members have some time to relax that the competition begins," 4-H Program Assistant Sue Urban said of the little-known event she organizes. "It's a way for the members from all the different exhibit barns to get to know a little more about each other while having fun."

In the past six years, 4-H members from the horse, cattle, swine, sheep, goat, poultry, rabbit and special exhibit barns have competed against each other over three days during the fair in sports activities and wacky games ranging from volleyball tournaments to mud wrestling.

"The mud wrestling got a little wild, it was fun, but we don't do that anymore," Urban said, laughing.

The barns are also decorated with individual themes for another friendly competition.

On Monday, members of the goat barn won a scavenger hunt with a little help from Bill Harshbarger, who is a nightly fixture at the fair.

"All I know is they ran up, grabbed me and said something about wearing bibs and being old," Harshbarger said about being an unexpected participant in the game. "I didn't know what was going on at first, but I went with them. Anything for the kids."

Braeden Jones, Levi Seymour and 4-H Fair Queen Rebecca Seymour were members of the winning team.

"Mr. Harshbarger was almost half of our scavenger points all rolled into one person," Rebecca said. "He would have been worth another if he'd had his wife with him."

Capturing the first event is not the end for the goat barn team, they're ready for the next challenge--which is rumored to be a human version of Tic-Tac-Toe or an ultimate game of musical chairs.

"We're one for three," Levi said with the nodding approval of Rebecca and Braeden. "We will repeat our victory tonight. We're going all out for all three events. The goat barn is taking it all this year."

Urban said the public is welcome to watch 4-H members participate in Wednesday night's Barnyard Olympics, but only after all the other events for the evening are done.

"It's the last night of the Battle of the Barns because on Thursday most of the members are preparing to go home," Urban said. "It will be a lot of fun for everyone. There will be pie eating contests and all kinds of other fun games to watch."



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