Well, not really, but it sure felt like it recently when Guelph Lake Vet Hospital hosted 22 up and coming children between the ages of 6-8. Thank goodness for our open concept design! The Cloverbuds program is an opportunity for youth to learn about all facets of 4-H Ontario projects with a hands-on, activity-based approach. It covers a wide variety of topics, including agriculture, food, crafts, lifeskills, environment and science. By participating in Cloverbuds, the kids are able to get a taste for the topics covered in 4-H projects while developing an understanding of 4-H values.
We started with a slide show showing some of the work we had done in recent months (because we have to entertain the parents too). We discussed vaccination and learned the difference between a syringe and a needle. We examined a real live cat named “Sunflower” and determined that we were having a lot more fun than she was. The good news is Sunflower is a very healthy cat. We let the smell of manure waft through the treatment area as we took a break to display some unusual large animal tools that a farmer or veterinarian might need and fortunately I knew what they all were. We then sealed the tools (and the smell) up to learn how to properly splint an injured or fractured limb. This was certainly the highlight of the day as the participants had all brought a stuffed animal and each received limb sparing splints from their reliable owners. The only victim was a rabbit that lost an ear. Our only caution is that next time there is a broken bone at home and contrary to what the eight year old insists, tongue depressors and vetwrap may not be enough!
I hope everyone learned something but most importantly had fun. I learned that it is possible to capture the attention of 22 children for 2 hours, but then again these are Cloverbuds. Thanks for coming out and asking all those challenging questions.