It was the perfect day for an Easter Egg Hunt. The sky was blue, the air clear and crisp; not too hot, not too cold, and not a chance of rain in sight. The wind laid low as the morning sun danced through the trees, down the long lush driveway to the Sherwood House. Hundreds of anxious Baltimore County children had ants in their pants as their cars were being parked, baskets gathered, and they eagerly awaited their turn for an old fashioned hunt!
Good thing they had something to do while they waited. With the various start times for each age group, there was ample opportunity to explore the grounds and tour Sherwood house.After meeting the Easter Bunny with her basket full of candy, attendees could see chicks in one room, do crafts outside, or come face to face with the real animals that have somehow come to be associated with this Christian holiday. The rabbits
Once again the Baltimore County 4-H Rabbit Club was in attendance at Cromwell Valley Park’s Easter Egg Hunt. A tradition that goes back long before even the oldest egg hunter attending was born. The Rabbit Club members (and their faithful parents) have been showing up with their best bunnies to share the joy of rabbits with the grand public for nearly 20 years. And enjoy those bunnies the people did! Children of all shapes and sizes walked along two long tables to encounter rabbits of all shapes and sizes. They pet them, patted them, one-finger tapped them, and some just stared, unconvinced by their parents that touching was a good idea. But that’s why we’re here! To expose, educate, and encourage animal interactions that might not have happened otherwise.
There were many questions, and the children visited with many breeds. There was big Delilah, the English Lop, little Hope, the tiny Hotot, shaggy Cotton, the snow-loving Mini Lop, and tiny Bella, who was still just a baby. The kids wanted to know what rabbits ate, what they didn’t eat, are they nice, do they bite, and how hard are they to take care of? The parents often seemed to remember rabbits were a pet option they had forgotten about, in the battle of getting a dog or not getting a dog. Why not get a rabbit for your tiny humans? Loving pets don’t have to bark!
A blink of an eye the day was over. What seemed to have been hours and hours of planning flew by in the 2-hour timeslot. Soon the last hunt was over, the last kid pet the rabbits, and it was time to go home. But the impact of having shared what you had with others, one of your most prized possessions, would not be erased. The pride of ownership, the confidence in educating, and the comradery of showing up together has instilled more in these 4-H members then they have given away. We are making men and women of purpose for tomorrow, by giving and sharing today. That is one tradition that must go on indefinitely!
By Beth Schmidt, 4-H Parent