CHAZY - A lot of people think animals when they think 4-H, but it's a whole lote more, said Carrie Trombley, leader of the Creative Critters 4-H Club.
"It's not just an animal group. It's a lot more than that," she said.
Trombley started the 4-H group more than a year ago for a fun activity for her son and other kids in the area.
Since then, the group has been working to raise money for different charities and organizations including Hannah's Hope - a charity for giant axonal neuropathy, a degenerative genetic disorder.
On May 16, the kids raised $719.85 at Wal-mart for the Champlain Valley Search and Rescue K9 Unit.
"We try to cover things kids are interested in," Trombley said, who added search and rescue brought dogs and the children made and sold dog treats.
Trombley said the kids have also volunteered for the Adirondack Humane Society in Plattsburgh.
"The kids made cat toys and assembled care packages ... and spent a day cleaning cages and litter boxes," she explained.
The Creative Critters hold weekly meetings, which include "educational and fun activities," according to Trombley.
"You want older kids to be challenged and you also want the younger kids to not feel like it's so challenging that they won't even try to do it," she explained.
Lessons have included making their own first aid kits, keeping a food diary and doing a presentation on their favorite artists.
"They understand and follow direction," said Trombley. "Given the opportunity, I think they can do much more than we give them credit for."
Trombley's son, Alex, who is the president of the club, said his favorite part of 4-H is the arts and crafts, specifically the Spanish stained-glass project, in which club members decorated glasses with colored paper and plaster of Paris.
Other arts and crafts projects include making cat toys and soft stone carvings. All of the art work was recently displayed at the Dodge Library in West Chazy. It will next be shown at the Clinton County Fair, from July 20-25.
Also during the fair, the 4-H club will be working the dairy barn, a silent auction, and eight of the kids will be presenting various animals.
To join a 4-H club, contact Cornell Cooperative Extension at 561-7450.