BLOOMINGTON — Though 7-year-old Mason Marquis is too young to exhibit in 4-H, he still participated in the Cloverbud Lympics Thursday at the McLean County Fair.
Mason and other children ranging in age from 5 to 7 participated in a variety of fun events including water cup brigades and Frisbee balancing races. Unlike in 4-H, however, there were no grades.
Instead, everybody got a medal.
“They’re too young to lose,” said Lana Brown, one of the superintendents of the event.
Brown said the intent of the event is to keep younger children interested until they can exhibit projects.
It seemed to work for Mason, who wants to be a baseball player when he grows up.
Judging by how well he performed in the water cup brigade, he might also make a fine firefighter.
In the brigade, participants passed cups of water down a line to fill a bucket, much like early settlers passed buckets to fight fires.
Mason was intent on doing well, passing his water to Alexandra Williams, 7, of Heyworth. They are members of the same Olympic Pacers Cloverbud club.
If anything, Alexandra was even more intent at doing well. She screamed when water was spilled, and when the event was over, her shirt was soaked.
Before the event, she was full of nervous energy, doing jumping jacks and stretches.
“She was keyed up,” said her mother, Danielle Williams.
Big sister, Taylor, 9, was a spectator. Though she was too old for the Cloverbud Lympics, Taylor participated in 4-H exhibits, including sewing and received blue ribbons.
John Marquis, Mason’s father, likes the fact that there is no grading in Cloberbud Lympics.
“It gives kids a sense of accomplishment,” he said.