The Cape May County 4-H Youth Development Program is keeping consistent with its usual offerings, although some changes are under way for the popular program.

"There's always clubs that come and go, but we are really excited that we have the new herpetology club," said 4-H program associate Linda Horner, who cited changes to the Shore Shooters and Leather and Lace clubs, as well.

The herpetology club, aptly titled Scales and Tails, will focus on all things reptilian and amphibian. Members of the club will learn which reptiles and amphibians are legal to own in New Jersey, which you need a state permit to own and how to properly care for the animals once you have them.

"We have new leaders for our Shore Shooters 4-H club, which is an archery club," Horner said. Horner said there was concern that the Shore Shooters would not be able to continue with the absence of leadership.

"Kelsey Champion, who is an alumna of 4-H, and Scott Cooley are the new Shore Shooter leaders. She and Scott both enjoy archery, and they felt this was a great way for them to get involved," Horner said.

The Shore Shooters are accepting new members. In addition to archery, this year the club will include other shooting sports such as air rifle, and shotgun and muzzleloader.

The 4-H horse club, Leather and Lace, also is seeing some changes this year.

"Leather and Lace has changed focus to be for horseless kids," Horner said. "It's really hard for a kid to come in and not have their own horse."

"They will do field trips to see horses," Horner said. They will visit farms. They will be able to work around horses. There is just no guarantee that they will get to ride."

Amanda, 25, and Melissa Burnell, 24, are the sisters that lead Leather and Lace. Both are excited about the prospect of teaching kids more about the fundamentals of working with horses.

"We will be learning a lot about the care of horses, health, different techniques in riding discipline, anything that would maybe get them interested in one day owning a horse if they wanted," Amanda Burnell said.

The sisters, both of Seaville in Upper Township, have been involved with 4-H since their childhood. They said that there are opportunities for the kids in Leather and Lace to travel and compete in national 4-H hippology bowls if they want.

"We are trying to get kids interested in doing a hippology or horse bowl team," Burnell said. "Basically, it's a lot of trivia questions, you have a team of four, and whoever buzzes in answers the question. (The team) can advance into the final round in state competition. We'll dip into that to try to get them interested."

4-H is free for anyone interested in joining who is in fourth grade through one year out of high school. There is also a Cloverbud 4-H program for kids in kindergarten through third grade.

"We're excited about our open house on Sept. 25. All of the families can come in and see what works for them," Horner said.

Contact Devin Loring:


If you go

What: 4-H open house

When: 6:30 p.m., Sept. 25

Where: Lockwood 4-H Youth Center on the 4-H fairgrounds at 355 Courthouse-S. Dennis Road in Cape May Court House