Youth in the Tri-State Area are not totally addicted to computer and iPod games, and they have the projects and community works to prove it.
There are 4-H members cooking tasty dishes, sewing pillow cases for sick children in hospitals, serving food at fundraisers, entertaining at fundraisers, singing and acting in productions and working with Future Farmers of America projects.
With the Harrison County Fair just a day away, I thought it would be nice to talk about all that the youth do for others.
The Ridge Hoppers 4-H Club, for example, took to the needle and thread and put together 71 of the most colorful and animated pillow cases for children needing care at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Donnelle Tonner is the adviser who got her members enthused about the project, and Stephanie Vance had tons of children's print fabric to do the work. Her sons, Jonathan and Jordan, were two of the most active sewers.
Joey Wood is no stranger to cooking.
He has been a part of the 4-H Iron Chef Clinic for several years and was in a cupcake war event at the county fair.
He and his team put together a Lunch Meat Bake to win first in the main dish category.
Brothers, Isaac and Jacob Arnold, gave important aid to the Brightway Center Tea, the first public event held in the new activity center outside of Smithfield.
Both wore black pants and sparkling white shirts to look appropriate for their positions. Jacob served food with great style, with Isaac helping. Then Isaac went on to take part in skits in the Kara's Kids program and entertained with singing.
Fifth-grade pupils from schools throughout the county traveled to Fernwood Forest to learn about the great outdoors, including how to determine types of soil, gathering greenery, learning about conservation, studying beekeeping and other soil and water projects.
Joe and Cindy Rodak had their bee displays, honey combs taken from the hive and a clear glass display that showed the operation of a hive.
This caught the interest of many of the students, and they liked the opportunity to buy a stick of honey at the end.
I caught sight of Brad Valentine of Harding Middle School who was really looking at a tray of honey in the comb with interest. He didn't even realize that I had taken his picture.
Our granddaughter, Jessie, spent many hours in practice for the school musical of "Music Man" and was in many dance numbers. The students were so happy to be putting on the presentation, and at the end, a band of tiny musicians came marching up to the stage for the band that was promised by con man Harold Hill. The instruments were almost as big as some of the youngsters but it was so cute, and you could tell they were very rehearsed.
The Liberty Gals and Guys 4-H Club cleaned the New Alexandria Cemetery and has had community projects of sending Christmas cards, Valentines and Easter cards to veterans; making food baskets for shut-ins; and they go to great lengths to make an attractive float for the Jefferson County Fair.
Most of the clubs hold successful community projects for their own communities.
That is what 4-H is about.
Reading the list of baked goods and confections for the eighth department of the Harrison County Fair can really make your mouth water.
For instance, the list of types of cakes includes angel food, bundt, carrot, cheesecake, chocolate, coffee, jelly roll, pound, pumpkin roll, spice, sponge, upside down, white, yellow and Texas sheet cake.
There is a list of tasty pies, too. Picture apple, cherry, peach, pecan, pumpkin, raisin, raspberry, rhubarb, banana cream, coconut cream, custard, lemon meringue, peanut butter and any other kind that a baker can come up with.
Confections include buckeyes, caramels, dipped chocolate, divinity, chocolate fudge, peanut butter fudge, vanilla, hard candy, mints, peanut brittle and taffy.
There was a list of collectibles that could be put on display. This included fossils or rocks, Indian arrowheads, shells, stamps, coins, buttons, post cards, spoons, cups or mugs, figurines, salt and pepper shakers bottles, dolls, book matches, thimbles, pencils, pens, badges, business cards, erasers, magnets, book marks and stuffed animals.
I had mentioned that the Harrison County Fair is one of the earliest. This is correct in the fact that it is ONE of the earliest, but the earliest is the Paulding County Fair that started June 10 and the Pickaway County Fair that started June 15. The Marion County Fair started July 1.
(McCoy, a resident of Smitihfield, is food editor and a staff columnist for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)