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Show Sheep Camp held in Wessington Springs

BROOKINGS — 4-H Show Sheep Camp was held at the 4-H grounds in Wessington Springs July 10-11.

Twenty-one 4-H members, ages eight to 18 from Beadle, Sanborn, Jerauld, Hughes/Stanley, Brookings and Brule Counties attended the event.

"This is the first camp of this kind to be held in South Dakota," said Audra Scheel, SDSU Extension 4-H youth program advisor.

Instructors Chris McGolden and Allison McGolden-Taylor, a father-daughter team, traveled in from Arapahoe, Okla. and Bryan, Texas to lead the event.

McGolden is a vocational agriculture instructor who has instructed show lamb camps across the United States.

His daughter, McGolden-Taylor, was named the 2005 Champion Showman at the National Western in Denver.

The McGolden family raises club lambs in Arapahoe.

4-H members who attended the two-day camp brought one to two lambs with them for hands-on training, which included; fitting, clipping and showmanship.

"Having the one-on-one instruction was huge," Scheel said. "This was a family atmosphere camp. Youth were required to bring one parent with them, so moms and dads learned right along with the kids."

The event was held a few weeks in advance of area Achievement Days and the South Dakota State Fair, providing youth with the opportunity to practice and hone their skills before they appear in the show ring.

"If you're not showing, you're not winning," McGolden said.

"Good showmanship skills will move you up a couple spots in those tougher classes, every time."

During her presentation, McGolden-Taylor focused on the mechanics of showmanship with the younger 4-Hers.

"Allison even had the kids practice with imaginary sheep. It sounds goofy, but the placement of your body and how you use it is huge," Scheel said.

Each child received a camp T-shirt sponsored by Aurora, Jerauld-Buffalo and Sanborn 4-H Leader Associations.

Door prizes were won by campers and included wool cards, brushes, halters and feed additives.

"I'm looking forward to how these youth and their families put all we learned into action. Camp will be something that we look to host again, and 100 percent of our campers reported that they would like to return to camp in two years' time," Scheel said.