WESTMINSTER — Did you know that George M. Cohan's patriotic song, "You're a Grand Old Flag," was originally titled "You're a Grand Old Rag"?
Did youknow there are three kinds of arrows in archery, for three kinds of shooting?
Depending on your interest, you could have learned about Cohan's song, bows and arrows, or any number of other topics at Saturday's annual 4-H Demonstration Day at the Ag Center.
Some 75 4-H'ers ranging in age from 7 to 18 showed their various skills in 22 areas. Whilemost 4-H'ers gave only one demonstration, a few gave three or four.
Sixteen judges, in eight teams of two, rated demonstrations on theDanish system of colored ribbons, purple being the champion. Demonstrations were 15 minutes apart to accommodate all the 4-H'ers in the allotted four-hour time limit.
"The main purpose of Demonstration Day is to teach these kids to stand up on their own two feet and tell people what they're doing," said 4-H Extension Service Agent Robert M. Shirley. "And it's a skill they can use and they'll need throughouttheir lives."
It was Hattie Kelly, 12, who explained to judges, one of them Commissioner Vice President Elmer C. Lippy Jr., that Cohancame to write his song while watching a parade and overhearing a Civil War veteran exclaim, "Sure, that's a grand old rag!"
"Mr. Cohantook the words and made them into a song, but the first time it was played, people said it was disrespectful," Hattie said. "So he changed it to 'You're a Grand Old Flag," and now it's one of the most popular of all patriotic songs."
Hattie, the daughter of Michele and Calvin Kelly of Hampstead and a member of the Carrollton 4-H Club, alsotold how to show proper respect to the flag and how to display and fold it correctly.
Lippy said he was impressed with Hattie's demonstration and those of other 4-H'ers.
"Guess we'll have to give themall the top award. There's nothing wrong with that is there?"
Forher efforts, Hattie received a blue ribbon.
Down the hall, Kimberly Higgs, also 12, was explaining the different parts of a compound bow and types of arrows, and demonstrating shooting safety.
One judge asked how the petite pre-teen became interested in archery and what kind of shooting she did.
"My whole family shoots archery, and Ijust decided when I got old enough to do it," said the daughter of Rose and Steve Weidman of Westminster. "I do target practice mostly, but I'd like to learn hunting."
Kimberly, a member of the Mayberry Archery 4-H Club, has been shooting a bow for three years. Among her achievements are awards from the Maryland State Archery Association tournaments in the cub shoot for those under 12 and a white ribbon forSaturday's demonstration.
Throughout the event, Shirley and his assistant, Rita Zimmerman, wandered between rooms, taking pictures andmaking sure things ran smoothly.
"This a major phase of their project that they have to do to complete their unit," Zimmerman said. "Some of them go on to the state contest, and some (demonstrations), like the livestock, have national contests."
In Burns Hall, a nervous 13-year-old Louis Bernier III was giving his very first demonstration on how to start seeds for a garden.
Using his seed pack, potting soil and water, he planted several seeds that he would later transplant into his garden at home.
Louis, son of Linda and Louis Bernier Jr. of Silver Run and second-year member of the Cheetahs 4-H Club, earned a red ribbon.
Across the room, Marti Fair, 16, and Lisa Baublitz, 15, were telling and showing, step by step, "What's Going Down" -- a horse's digestive tract, that is, from beginning to end.
Afterward, Commissioner President Donald I. Dell, one of the judges, shook his head at the difficulty of his task.
"I think I'll go back to being a county commissioner -- it's easier," he said.
Lisa, a member of the Hoofbeat 4-H Saddle Club, and Marti, of the Horse Force 4-H Club, told the judges they hope to become veterinarians, and thatthey did the team project because it was something they knew little about.
Lisa, daughter of Ben and Carol Baublitz of Silver Run, andMarti, the daughter of Virginia and Melvin Fair of Manchester, took home the champion purple ribbon for their team effort.
Of course, there were many food demonstrations, from chocolate chip cookies to packed lunches to complete meals, to specialty dishes, like the orangesmoothie.
Christine Spurrier and Nikki Keffer, both 11 and from Frizzelburg, showed how to mix milk, orange juice, water and vanilla in a blender for a nutritious, filling, after-school drink.
"We're real good friends, and we make this a lot after school and thought itwould be fun (to team up)," said the girls, members of the Lucky Clovers 4-H Club and winners of a blue ribbon.
Christine is the daughter of Shirley and Everly Spurrier. Nikki is the daughter of Robert and Aurora Keffer.
Meanwhile, Debbie Tasto, 15, was showing her audience and judges how to do an embroidery stitch called snowflaking, formerly known as chicken scratch.
"The name was changed because people said it also looked like snowflakes," she explained, while demonstrating the delicate needlework and then displaying a finished product to earn a champion's purple ribbon.
Debbie is a member of the Deep Run 4-H Club and the daughter of Dixie and Nevin Tasto of Westminster.
Seven-year-old Angie Crew, daughter of Charles and Janne Crew of New Windsor, received the Clover award for younger 4-H'ers.
Amember of the Lucky Clovers 4-H Club, Angie demonstrated how to takeyarn, measure it, cut it and tie it into a yarn doll, then decorate it for either a boy or girl.
After the demonstrations were finished and judging completed, awards were handed out to all participants.