Pennsylvania 4-H is celebrating 100 years of helping children grow into the leaders of the future.
On Thursday, during the Carbon County commissioners' meeting, the board of commissioners recognized this program through adopting a proclamation naming March 11-17 4-H week in Carbon County and recognizing the organization's centennial year.
Following the adoption, Commissioner Wayne Nothstein, chairman, read the proclamation.
It said, "The Pennsylvania 4-H program of today evolved during these 100 years with the motto 'to make the best better' and through the wise use of the four 'H's,' representing Head, Heart, Hands and Health. As a result of international cooperation with many countries, 4-H is also contributing to world understanding and 4-H members and their families have made worthwhile contributions to the citizens of Pennsylvania and this nation. Pennsylvania 4-H has been helping youth and adults learn, grow, and work together for 100 years.
"Therefore, be it resolved that 2012 be designated as the centennial anniversary of 4-H in Pennsylvania and that the Pennsylvania 4-H program be recognized and commended for its 100 years of service to the people of this commonwealth, and we recognize the members, volunteers and staff of Carbon County 4-H as they continue the 100 year tradition of 4-H youth development. Today, we commemorate the centennial of Pennsylvania 4-H and urge citizens in the county to become involved with 4-H," Nothstein read.
Georgia Farrow, 4-H program assistant, accepted the proclamation while 4-H students in attendance presented the board with gifts.
She thanked the commissioners for their continued support.
"The commissioners have been behind us 100 percent ever since I came to work with the Penn State Cooperative Extension. We have never had to beg for anything because of your support," Farrow said, noting that there are some counties that are not supported by the boards of commissioners. "I can't say this enough, thank you for helping make this what it is today."
Farrow then explained that a centennial committee has been organized and will be hosting several events throughout the year to recognize the anniversary.
In addition to the proclamation, annual Carbon County Fair and 4-H livestock auction, plans for a human 4-H clover at the fair is slated; as well as a reunion of 4-H members past and present, to be held in either September or October. Currently, 4-H memorabilia is being accepted for the reunion.
The state is also hosting a 4-H quilt square contest. Squares will be made into quilts and auctioned off on both the state and county levels.
For more information on the contest, the reunion or getting involved with the centennial committee, contact Farrow at email@example.com  or call the extension office at (570) 325-2788. The next centennial committee meeting is currently slated for March 27, at 7 p.m., at the extension office, 529 Lentz Trail, Jim Thorpe.
The commissioners commended Farrow, the students, parents and leaders for making Carbon County 4-H an amazing program.
"It's not only the kids that are involved in the programs, but it's the many, many volunteers that support this program, and the leaders and parents," Nothstein said. "These kids are our future and I can't think of any other program that comes as close, except maybe Scouting, to developing that leadership for our kids and the future of Carbon County."
Commissioners Thomas J. Gerhard and William O'Gurek echoed Nothstein's thoughts.
"It's great to see so many people here," Gerhard said of the students who attended the meeting. "I want to thank all of our young students for getting involved in the 4-H program. Hopefully this will be very successful for many, many more years.
He also thanked Farrow for doing a great job.
O'Gurek congratulated Farrow and the people in 4-H for their dedication to this program.
"I want to congratulate the members of the 4-H club for all that you do and most especially, for your involvement," O'Gurek said. "Life is all about being involved in different programs and the idea of having these structured programs where you can go and do some of these things (like raising livestock, sewing, photography, rocketry, and basketry), that is a positive thing for you and I encourage you to stay involved."
The 4-H program in Pennsylvania, which is administered through Penn State University, began in 1912 in Mercer County, when 14 boys and one girl entered a corn growing contest. Since then, 4-H has grown throughout the state and is a beneficial youth organization, for anyone age 8-18, that teaches girls and boys how to be leaders through projects that range from sewing and rocketry to traveling and raising livestock.