Saturday, November 5, 2011

Calf Club

Calf Club began in the early 1900's, when nearly every rural school and community in New Zealand drew together, once a year, to celebrate the special bond which develops between children and young animals.

Today, with fewer children having access to 'farm animals' and the space to raise a larger animal, the day has become known by other names - Country, Pet, Livestock or Agriculture Day, with events for all classes of animals, pets and handcrafts.

One of the many joys of living in a rural community is giving our children the opportunity to learn to love and care for animals.  Aside from owning and caring for an animal, Calf Club is about fostering human values like motivation, commitment, responsibility and compassion, which will stand our children in good stead for the rest of their lives.
Calf Club is a very special day on the local school calendar.  Not only is it counted as a school day, it is also a chance for all of the community, pupils, family and friends to celebrate the efforts of our local children.  Indoor exhibits are displayed in the classrooms.

Raising an animal can be great fun and very rewarding but is a lot of hard work and a large commitment for the child to develop a partnership with their animal.

When my children went to school it was all about calves and lambs and I remember very clearly the pride a child feels when their animal wins.  Prizes aren’t won just by selecting animals that are well bred.  They are also judged on the grooming of their pet and how it leads.  Winning a prize is invariably about the hours the child has put in feeding, caring for and training their animal. 

Shayde didn't win any prizes with her calf but then the judges weren't around when she was just hanging out with her calf.

Krystal wears her lamb like an accessory:
Georgia's lamb came to an unfortunate end a couple of weeks ago.  Her father backed the car over it as it slept, not knowing it was in harms way.  She took it well, accepting it was an accident.  And became an enthusiastic entrant in the indoor competitions.  I loved her muddy pigs in her Edible Scene.

And today I saw the end result of a drawing of a dolphin she was working on at my place yesterday:

I'm so proud of Shayde.  Others may have put in more time training their calf but I didn't see any who loved their pet more. 


  1. What a wonderful day for the children. i love all your photos of the children relaxing on the grass with their beloved animals closely. Sorry to hear about Georgia's lamb's untimely departure. I'm glad to hear that she was able to accept it.

  2. Love the photos
    What a great idea the calf club is

  3. This is so wonderful. It's kind of like 4H here in the states. I think it's so good for children to take care of and nurture animals. The animal teaches the child too.
    Love these photos.
    Thanks for sharing a this.

  4. The photo of Shayde leaning against her calf is a winner in everyone's book!

  5. Hello Pauline,

    Love the shot of Shayde just leaning on her calf. The girls are certainly growing up. Hope you all enjoyed the day.

  6. The photos of Shayde with her calf are lovely - what a gentle girl she must be.

  7. cute post. thanks for visiting my blog and for the comment on my signs post. I love showcasing NZ - we are so blessed to live in such a beautiful country.

  8. Hello! All looks brilliant! I have given you an award over at my blog because I think you are fab!!Sarah x

  9. The pictures of Shayde are a perfect example of a picture being worth a thousand words. You have just written a whole short story!


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