Pennsylvania 4-H Youth Attend State Leadership Conference

Nearly 600 young people descended on State College, Pennsylvania during the last weekend of January for the Pennsylvania 4-H State Leadership Conference or Junior Leadership Conference, which was assembled by the Pennsylvania 4-H State Council.  The weekend is an opportunity for 4-H’ers to come together for leadership training, networking, and learning experiences.

Lackawanna County 4-H was represented by Camilla Fontini, Clarks Summit, who attended the three-day Leadership Conference.  The five Lackawanna County 4-H members who attended the Junior Leadership Conference were: Meghan Graham, Clarks Summit; Emmy Jones, Factoryville; Nora Evans, Dalton; Emily Bartell, Clarks Summit; and Ava Davis, South Abington Township.

The weekend, themed “LAUNCH:  Leaders All Unite For Necessary Change To Happen,” kicked-off with welcome addresses by the Director of Pennsylvania 4-H Dr. Joshua Rice, Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, State Dairy Princess Yvonne Longenecker, and Alternate Dairy Princess Gretchen Little.  Dauphin County 4-H alumnus Tyler Shaw gave the opening keynote address.

Saturday was a full day of leadership workshops for the 13-18 year old attendees that focused on: goal setting, interview skills, conflict resolution, parliamentary procedure, stress management, and more.

While the older teens were attending these workshops, the Junior Conference convened for the 10-13 year olds.  This one-day version of the larger conference gave younger members a small glimpse into what they can expect to see when they are older.  Workshops like public speaking, dress for success, how to be a club officer, and bullying prevention were presented.

One of the highlights of the Conference was the keynote speakers.

To accompany the space theme of the conference, the juniors were able to take part in a Q&A with Slade Peters, a Test Engineer for NASA.

Both delegations were blessed by the presence of Appiah Boateng, the Director of 4-H Ghana, who spoke about the program in his country and how inspired he was to be able to witness this large leadership event.

During the Saturday keynote, Matt Bellace entertained the older teens with his comedy and message about finding natural highs – those traits that make young people feel empowered to make positive change in their lives and communities.

The event concluded on Sunday with an ode to 4-H service.

Brandon Rumbaugh, a Marine and Pennsylvania native who lost both legs in an IED explosion while deployed, shared his story, which exemplified his leadership, service, and strength to take on what life sends your way.

Delegates were also recognized on Sunday for shoes they had collected for the Pennsylvania 4-H Statewide Service Project, Shoebox Recycling.  To find out more, visit

The Penn State Collegiate 4-H Club thanked the attendees for their donations to benefit 4-H families impacted by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.  Collegiate 4-H member, Alondra Valentin, who is from Puerto Rico, talked about the conditions her family, friends, and neighbors are still facing months after the storm.  Ten large boxes of donations from Pennsylvania 4-H’ers, containing hygiene, food, and clothing items, and letters and drawings prepared by the Junior conferences attendees, will be delivered to the 4-H headquarters in Puerto Rico.

Administered in Pennsylvania by Penn State Extension, 4-H is a community of more than six million young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. More information about 4-H can be found online at

Camilla Fontini, Clarks Summit
(Left to right) Meghan Graham, Clarks Summit; Emmy Jones, Factoryville; Nora Evans, Dalton; Emily Bartell, Clarks Summit; and Ava Davis, South Abington Township.

4-H Information Night At The Carbondale Public Library

The Carbondale Public Library is hosting two 4-H Information Events for parents and youth, ages 5-18, interested in finding out more information about Lackawanna County 4-H Programs.    4-H is the youth development program of Penn State Cooperative Extension, which fosters citizenship and leadership as well as growth through a variety of learning experiences.

The programs are set for Thursday, February 22, at 6 PM or Saturday, February 24, at Noon.

For more information or to register, contact Sandi Graham at the Penn State Extension Lackawanna County Office at 570-963-6842 or via email at

Master Gardener Training

Penn State Extension in Lackawanna County will be offering the Master Gardener training program beginning in March. This program involves extensive classes on the major aspects of home horticulture along with opportunities to serve area communities with the knowledge received at the sessions.

In order to understand the Master Gardener training initiative, three informational meetings have been scheduled.  They will feature an overview of the program, a question and answer session, and an opportunity to sign-up for the trainings.

The sessions are:

Saturday, February 10, at 9:30 a.m.

The North Pocono Community Library

1315 Church Street, Moscow.


Saturday, February 10, at noon

The Greenhouse Project, Nay Aug Park

200 Arthur Avenue, Scranton.


Tuesday, February 20, at 6:30 p.m.

Abington Community Library

1200 West Grove Street, Clarks Summit.

Please call 570-963-6842 or email: to register for the training or to get more information.