Submitted by Tri-Gal 4-H Club

Tri-Gal 4-H Club was the Wayne County Centennial club of the month for community service during the month of March. Members were assigned to bring in non-perishable food items to be donated to the Damascus Area Food Pantry located at the Damascus Community Center. The club goal was to donate 100 items to commemorate the Wayne County 4-H Centennial year. They surpassed that goal!

Tri-Gal 4-H Club has a unique name and history. Many times members and leaders are asked “So, what does Tri-Gal mean anyway? “ Tri-Gal did not start out as one club. The G portion of the name was a club located in the Galilee area. It began before 4-H was 4-H. Harriet Rutledge was the leader of this club and they met in the basement of the Conklin Hill Union Church. The club learned about agriculture. The A portion of the name came from the club that was located in the Abrahamsville area. Many Keesler, Brown , Sutliff and Whitmore family members, among others, were in this 4-H Club at one time or another. They met in the basement of the Abrahamsville United Methodist Church. The L portion of the name originates from the Lookout area. Bob and Joyce Hellmers were the original leaders for this club. It was passed down that in the late 70's the clubs combined to form a new club called Tri-Gal. 3 area clubs (Tri) and the beginning letters of each of the 3 clubs. It is commonly thought that the club's name is because three females started the club with three female members. Over the years the club has had many leaders from both Pennsylvania and New York state as well as members. Well over 100 members have passed through the journey of being a member. When older members are asked about changes over the years, we heard responses such as, the number of projects that have been added both in agriculture and recreation, the level of responsibilities and the amount of record keeping that must be done. But one thing always comes back to us – “You know when you meet a 4-H kid. They are respectful, hard working and dedicated to agriculture and our areas farming heritage.” Tri-Gal currently meets in the Lookout Fire Hall social room and the Unity Grange Hall throughout the year.

Currently, the club averages 35 members per year and 8 leaders. 1 or 2 leaders are called “Key Leaders” who are responsible for monitoring club activities. All leaders provide educational opportunities. Our club leaders are Rich Brown, Amy Smith (key leader), Dan and Jen Rutledge, Natasha Brown, Sara Terysen, Marissa Diehl and Melissa Rutledge (key leader and Clover bud leader). We also have two parents who are “leaders in training”- Alana Goldstein and Jessica Freidenstine.

4-H opportunities are open to children ages 5-18. You must be 5 by January 1 of the current year. Clover bud groups are offered for members ages 5-7 only. What can you gain from being a member? Leadership skills, time management skills, record keeping skills, responsibility and respect, community service learning, life long friendships, social skills, educational and exciting guest speakers, public speaking and presentation skills and the chance to learn about over 150 different projects from caring leaders who are trained and screened in a safe environment. This list is endless and 4-H is really what you put into it!

Tri-Gal would like to thank everyone who offered information about our history for this report.

If you are interested in learning about what 4-H has to offer, please contact Wayne County 4-H at Penn State Extension located in Honesdale (570) 253- 5970 ext 4110.