State 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl

December 28th, 2017 10:00 AM
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Sunday, February 18, 2018 (snow date of Saturday, February 24), at 1:00 pm; University of Maine at Augusta Room 218, Randall Student Technology Center.

Open to all currently enrolled 4-H Dairy project members ages 9 – 18. For those 4-H Dairy members who may be planning to attend the Eastern States Exposition in September, please keep the following information in mind.  You must participate in at least one of the following three events: State 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl, State 4-H Dairy Judging Contest, or Fitting Contest at the 2018 Maine 4-H Dairy Show.

You must also complete and submit an ESE Intent to Participate Form which will be due on February 1st.  These can be found on the State 4-H Website, or check with your county office.  You completed 4-H Animal Approval and Lease Form (if applicable) will be due in your county office by May 1st.  Participation in a showmanship class and your animal’s breed/age class at the State 4-H Dairy Show will also be required.

If you have questions, please contact 4-H Dairy ASC Coordinator, Stephanie Smith at 207.860.0979 or by email at, or staff Liaison Tara Marble at the Franklin County Extension Office at 800.287.1478 or by email at, or staff liaison, Alisha Targonski at the Kennebec County Extension Office at 800.287.1481, or by email at

Come to Orono for the 2018 4H@UMaine May 18-19!

December 28th, 2017 9:59 AM
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Planning has started and the wheels are in motion thanks to the efforts of a tremendous team! We are looking forward to another great event this year, and there are some exciting changes in the works! Stay tuned for details. For more information about 4-H@UMaine, contact Greg Kranich at or 207.581.3292.

4-H Fix

December 15th, 2017 7:00 AM
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Sing for 4-H and Let’s Give a CHEER!

By Ron Drum, Statewide 4-H Program Professional/Associate Director 4-H Resource Development

‘Tis the Season to be singing; Fa la la la la la la la la!
Not so loud my ears are ringing; Fa la la la la la la la la!

Singing songs, playing games, giving cheers, and having fun have long been part of the 4-H movement. Many 4‑H Clubs, along with the usual offices of President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, will elect additional officers such as “Reporters” and “Photographers”; and they often will include a “Song Leader” or perhaps a “Recreation Leader” if the Song Leader will also be leading games.

Singing and group games bring people together, build community. I guess it has something to do with feeling good about achieving a mutual goal, like “perfect” harmony (a-hem) or everyone having the same experience, such as getting dizzy after spinning around three times while holding your forehead on the butt of a baseball bat and keeping the tip of the bat on the ground. Just TYPING that made me a tad dizzy so I guess it is a bad example unless you have ever actually done this and therefore know what the heck I am talking about. Anyway, the goal is to get to the point where everyone can say, “We DID it!” and then want to retell the story in years to come while sitting around a campfire or a lava lamp or something.

Note of warning: As with the October post, “4-H Clubs, 1 2 3, 4-H Clubs for you and ME!”, this post is quite long. However, I think (hope?) you will find it quite a pleasure to read. It might even give you some ideas for YOUR 4-H Club and/or event activities! So on we push!!

When the National 4-H Supply Service started up in 1925, they put out a small booklet they called “The 4-H Handy Book.” In it they included not only the supplies they were selling, such as 4-H Hats and 4-H Pennants, but also pieces of useful information. The Handy Book for 1931, for example, included such information as how to run a business meeting, goals for all 4-H’ers, the 4-H Pledge with the hand motions to go with it, an explanation of the 4-H colors, and, of course, a number of pages of songs and games “appropriate” for 4-H Members.

One of the games that appears in the 1931 Handy Book is called the “Suit-Case Game.”

Each contestant has a suit-case and an umbrella. In the suit-case are a hat, a coat, gloves, and any other clothing desired, so long as the contents are uniform. At a given signal all contestants run to the goal, open the suit-cases, put on the clothes, close the suit-cases, open the umbrellas, and run to the starting point. The use of the relay plan adds greatly to the excitement.

Sounds like a pretty fun, and funny, game! Except, if I were leading this game, I don’t think I’d include the umbrella. Sounds to me like a recipe for disaster if I’ve ever heard one! But the rest would be very funny indeed!

Here’s another one, with a tad bit less opportunity for someone to get hurt. It’s called “The Laughing Game.”

Players are seated in a circle. The first player starts with the word “Ha,” the second says, “Ha, ha,” the third, “Ha, ha, ha,” and so on, each one in turn adding one more “Ha” than has been made by his neighbor. In each case the “Ha, ha’s” must be made without laughing, which is almost an impossibility. Before the circuit has been completed the entire circle is in peals of laughter. Each one guilty of laughing drops out of the game. The one remaining longest without laughing wins.

As Pennsylvania 4-H’ers in the 1970s we played a similar game we called “Ho, ho!” In this game the players laid on their backs on the ground, with player two resting his or her head on player one’s tummy, player three’s head on player two’s tummy, and so forth. Once all in place, player one would shout “HO!” with such force it would raise Two’s head off One’s tummy. Two then shouts “Ho, ho!”, followed by Three (Ho, ho, ho!), and Four (Ho, ho, ho, ho!), and so forth, each taking their turn and adding a “ho” when they did so, all without laughing during their turn. It was hilarious! I taught this game to 4-B Members while I was serving as a 4-B Adviser in Botswana (4-B is the Youth Development program of Botswana and is based on 4-H) and I never saw them ever finish even one round! Every time they played they just ended up rolling about and screaming with laughter!

Games can come in many forms and be used for various objectives. Active games can burn off some energy. Quieter games can be a great way to “break the ice” at the start of a meeting, especially when the participants have never met each other before. Here are two games that were included under “Recreation for November” in the November 1937 issue of Club Echoes (v20, #5, page 9) that seem perfect for helping people get to know each other or, as we say, “break the ice.”

But first a language note. These days, we try to use language that is all-gender inclusive so everyone can feel included. That has not always been the case. As will be seen in the passages below, although no one was intended to be excluded, in earlier days, the male gender was often used alone when referring to everyone.

TURKEY Letters — Supply each guest with an envelope, six bits of cardboard, and a pencil. Tell the first guest to write the letter “T” on each of the six cards and place them in the envelope. The next guest makes six “U” slips; the next letters his slips “R”; the next “K”; the next “E”; and the next “Y.” Continue giving the letters in the word Turkey to the guests in order, each guest writing his letter on all six cards. When all have written their letter and put the six slips in the envelope, collect them. Redistribute the envelopes so that no one will know what letter in in his envelope until he opens it. Tell the guests they are to trade letters one at a time until they have obtained the word “Turkey.”

By the way, if I were leading this game, my instructions would include having participants ask each other their names while trading the letters to help “break the ice.”

Here is another one from the same source.

Dark Horse — Provide a pencil and paper for each player. Switch off the lights and have each player draw a picture of a horse on his card. Then, still in the darkness, draw a feed box for him, and finally print OATS on the box. Turn on the lights and enter the amazing animals in a horse show.

It struck me as I typed this that the key here is for the room to be in total darkness. This could be a very funny game indeed! However, can you even find a dark room these days? Most of the public places I’ve been in recently have at least a lighted EXIT sign over the door, if not emergency lighting, that is always on. Maybe the participants could be blindfolded.

Some games are just for getting people thinking. Here are two more from the same source that use “matches.” Click on the word “matches” if you don’t know what “matches” are. They were once a quite common item in any home. These days, not so much. Perhaps “toothpicks” is a better option today but even THOSE are becoming a thing of the past. Anyway, here are the instructions. I’ve included an image from the newsletter to provide the solutions.

Instructions and solutions to the Match Puzzle

Puzzle 1. Arrange eight matches to form two squares and four triangles. Puzzle 2. Arrange 12 matches in 3 squares. Move two, take out two, and leave two.

Cover of The Maine 4-H Club Song Book, printed circa 1934In Maine, as in many states, “4-H game books” and “4-H song books” were compiled and printed. Here, for example, is The Maine 4-H Club Song Book printed around 1934.

Although most of the songs in The Maine 4-H Club Song Book are what might be called “old standbys” such as “The More We Get Together” and “America, the Beautiful,” quite a number of the songs have been “4-H-i-sized.” Take, for instance, the “Book’s” version of Hail! Hail! The Gangs All Here!”

Hail! Hail! The club’s All Here!
Do we like our club work?
Yes, we like our club work!
Hail! Hail! We’re full of cheer!
Do we like our club work? YES!

Now, of course, the problem in doing it this way is that one must be familiar with the base tune. Number 10 in the book is called “The Four Leaf Clover Song.” Sorry, but I don’t know that song. If you do, have a sing! If you don’t, perhaps make up your own tune!

I know a place where the sun is like gold,
And the cherry blooms burst with snow
And down underneath is the loveliest nook,
Where the four-leaf clovers grow.
One leaf is for head,
And one is for hand,
And one is for Health you know,
And God put another one in for Heart
If you search you will find where they grow.
But you must have hope,
And you must have faith,
You must love, and be strong and so,
If you work, if you wait,
You will find the place
Where the four leaf clovers grow.

And just to prove that 4-H IS fun try Number 7: WE’RE HERE FOR FUN!” (sung to “Auld Lang Syne”).

We’re here for fun right from the start,
Pray drop your dignity;
Just laugh and sing with all your heart
And show your loyalty.

Only two of the 52 songs included in the book were attributed to Mainers and only one was about 4-H. Called the “Four-H Clover Song,” the book says it is sung to the tune “I’m looking over a four-leaf clover” and was written by Nancy Kelleher from South Paris.

I’m looking over a 4-H Clover,
The emblem of my club.
One is my HEAD,
The other my HEART;
The third is my HANDS
With which to do my part.
No use explaining
The one remaining
Is top-most of the four.
Yes, it’s my HEALTH —
With all this wealth,
Oh, how can I ask for more!

Many Maine 4‑H Clubs created songs and cheers of their own. I included a number of cheers in my earlier post called “4-H Clubs, 1 2 3, 4-H Clubs for you and ME!” Club cheering seems to have peaked in the 1930s but who could ever forget “Gang-way, please, gang-way, please, Wells Ever-ready Club wants to sneeze, KERCHU!” or “Are we in it? Yes, we are! Four leaf clover club, RAH RAH RAH!” These works of art were, apparently quite loudly, presented during events such as State Club Contest and Eastern States Exposition Camp Vail. In fact, members were encouraged to do so!

Echoes from Clubdom suggested in the September 1918 edition (v1, #4, page 7), “Whenever possible clubs should start practicing cheers for the county contest.” The April 1919 edition (V1, #11) included some “suggestions” on page 5 of which one said, “Cheers help out — why not elect a good cheer-leader for your club — compose some cheers — the state office will be pleased to receive any cheers used by clubs.” And so, clubs sent in their cheers!

Not all of them were shared, though, or so it seems. Echoes from Clubdom, V1, #12 May 1919 on page 4 noted that “Knox (Waldo County) Club” had sent in some cheers adding, “One cheer especially shows their pep.” Hey! What about the others!? Oh well, at least here’s the one they DID share after which they added, “Good — hope other clubs will catch the spirit. Send us a copy.”

Hep — hep — all set
Now we’re on the way
Forward march — we’ll take the starch
Out of spuds — Hooray!

Plenty of work, don’t shirk
Work will win the prize,
Come on with the tin, we’re going to win
Now don’t you look surprised.

A few issues suggested cheers, sometimes called “yells,” that I think were written by staff, I suppose in the hope it would encourage clubs to create their own. Apparently it worked! One that was shared in 1931 seems to have been crafted right on the spot! Club Echoes, v14, #5, November 1931 reported that seven girls from the Skillful Workers 4-H Club of Fairbanks (Farmington), the only girl’s 4-H Gardening club that existed in 1931 according to the report, gave the following cheer during their October 17th County Contest which was, again according to the report, a rainy day!

Oh, how it’s raining! Gee!
Most everyone’s face is low,
But we’re as happy as can be,
‘Cause it makes our gardens grow.

“Cheer”ful encouragement to give cheers was a constant newsletter theme until WWII. Even Counties got into the act! For example, the October 1927 edition of the Penobscot County Farm Bureau News (V8, #7) cautioned, “Better practice up on your club cheers, songs, and state song before coming to the County Contest!”

Did you note the words “and State Song” above? Did you know Maine 4-H had a State 4-H Song? Few do. You do, if you ever visited the Page Farm and Home Museum and carefully looked over their 4-H Exhibit. There it is, the original manuscript for the State 4-H Song, notes handwritten, and words typed.

section of music and lyrics to The Maine Song

Note I said “had a song,” as in past tense. Well, I don’t really know that anyone actually ever said it was no longer “our song” but it hasn’t been used in years and, given its background, if it isn’t “past tense,” maybe it ought to be.

Although it is uncertain exactly when the words to the Maine State 4-H Song were written, it was introduced to the members of the Maine Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs as the “Official State Club Song” by the September 1922 issue of the Extension newsletter Echoes from Clubdom (the name “4-H” was not widely used in Maine until 1924). I haven’t seen evidence yet on just what process was used to make it “official” however.

The song’s words are set to the music of “Marching through Georgia,” a Civil War era song composed by Henry Clay Work in 1865. Although it was a very popular, well-known song in the Northern states, “Marching through Georgia” was not, and still is not, understandably, highly regarded in the South. After all, it glorifies a very difficult chapter in American history, one that saw Union troops in 1864, led by General William Tecumseh Sherman, march from Atlanta to Savannah in a very successful effort to destroy the morale of the Southern States’ civilian population and hasten the war’s end. Morale wasn’t all that was destroyed, however. Property was destroyed and lives were lost; the march was not pretty. As General Sherman once said, “War is hell.” But the march did achieve its goal.

Apparently desiring a Maine Club song, Extension Editor Abraham L. T. Cummings, better known as “Uncle Abe” to the Maine 4-H’ers of the 1920s and ’30s, put words to the then popular Civil War song’s music. Cummings crafted the words “Here’s a song to dear old Maine, the state we love so well,” fitting them to the rhythms of the music almost better than the actual song’s own words! More an ode to Maine than to 4-H, the song does tie club work in, especially in the chorus, singing, “Come on! Come on! The Club is calling you. Come on! Come on! Let’s push our projects through. In home and farm achievement there is time for pleasure too, while we are doing our club work.”

According to Harold “Brownie” Brown and other state 4-H staff members I worked with in the 1990s, the song was wildly popular “in its day.” It was apparently sung for years at county and state 4-H events and anytime Maine 4-H’ers wanted to express their connection to Maine. However, over time, with the changing of personnel, continual concerns expressed over the music’s origin, and the discontinuation of specific events that incorporated the song as part of the program, the song itself became less and less known, eventually falling into disuse.

By the 1990s the idea that Maine even had a “state 4-H song” was so little known that the members of the 1997 State 4-H Teen Council were surprised to learn one even existed. At first they wanted to reintroduce it to their fellow Maine 4-H’ers. However, given the fact that even though the words were original, the music was not, being not only “borrowed” but “borrowed” from a “controversial” song, in the end, the State 4-H Teen Council decided not to use it. They decided instead to hold a statewide competition to create a new state 4-H Song. This worthy idea, however, was never fully implemented.

There are actually national 4-H songs too, although nothing so official as a national “anthem” or anything. In 1927, a woman named Fannie R. Buchanan put words to music composed by Rena M. Parish (Fannie was a member of the Iowa State Extension Staff but I’m not sure of Rena’s employment status) and created two “4‑H” songs, “Dreaming” (for girls) and “Plowing Song” (for boys). What exactly they have to do with 4-H is not clear to me. Click on them and have a listen! These were recorded by West Virginia 4-H and they even included the words so you can follow along!

Music and words for Dreaming and The Plowing Song curtesy of “New England Sings,” an undated song booklet, probably published in the 1950s, which lists itself as “A New England Cooperative Extension Publication.”

Music and words for Dreaming and The Plowing Song curtesy of “New England Sings,” an undated song booklet, probably published in the 1950s, which lists itself as “A New England Cooperative Extension Publication.”

Now if you want to hear them as they were FIRST recorded by Lambert Murphey, a tenor, singing the Plowing Song and Betty Martin, a soprano, singing Dreaming, visit Judy Smith in the UMaine Extension Franklin County office. Maybe, just maybe, she’ll play their 4-H RCA Victor record for you! However, you have to bring the machine and the cider and snacks. Well, okay, I don’t know for sure that it is the FIRST recording but I like to think so.

4-H RCA Victor records

Writing club songs in Maine, like cheers, also seems to have peaked in the 1930s. In that previous blog, “4-H Clubs, 1 2 3, 4-H Clubs for you and ME!” we included Mrs. Grindle’s club song that was found on page 5 of the February 1932 issue of Club Echoes. Written to the tune of “The Bum Song,” it began, “We are the jolly 4-H clubs, we love to work and play,” and included the ever ringing words, “Let’s try to make the better best In everything we do!”

Just those words alone make one want to cheer. Oh, let’s not start THAT again! But how about a few more club songs! Here is one sent in by “Mrs. Grant.” Could this be the same “Mrs. Grant” who sent games to the 1937 newsletter mentioned above from Franklin County? The song this “Mrs. Grant” sent appeared in the 1927 January/February issue of Echoes from Clubdom (v9, #7 & 8, page 2). Called “We’re Ever Marching” the letter says it is sung to the tune of “John Brown’s Body” (which is the same tune as “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Just saying.).

The club is ever working for a state achievement seal,
(repeat twice as to tune)
And it expects to win.

Come and join us we’re club workers,
Come and join us we’re club workers,
Come and join us we’re club workers,
We’re ever marching on.

It tried to do it’s (sic) duty and to never fail in zeal,
(repeat twice as to tune)
For we’re always on the job.

The county helps to make the work of splendid benefit,
(repeat twice as to tune)
To all who join the club.

Join head and heart and hand and health, and let us stick to it,
(repeat twice as to tune)
And so keep marching on.

The year 1927 must have been a good year for 4-H Club songs! The Echoes from Clubdom letters for May and June each included a club song as well. The May letter’s song was sent in by the “Ivy Club of Litchfield” (v9, #11, page 4). This club not only had a song, but a Motto as well: “Ever climbing.” Sung to “Yankee Doodle,” Ivy’s song is rather lengthy — even the newsletter apparently didn’t print all the verses saying, “Here are a few verses of their club song.” Following their lead, here are even FEWER of the verses, like just the first and the chorus!

We’re willing worker (sic) of the Ivy Club
Our Motto’s “Ever Climbing”
We cook and sew and wash and scrub
You never hear us whining.

Ivy Club Oh keep it up
Let us falter never
Mind you do your very best,
And keep it climbing ever.

Then in the 1927 June edition of Echoes from Clubdom, on page 3 (v9, #12), appeared the South Jefferson Boys’ and Girls’ Club song, sung to the tune “My Mother and Father were Irish.” I never heard that song but then, I’m not Irish! It is long too, so I’m just giving the highlights.

  1. My Mother and Father were farmers, (repeat twice as to tune), And I’m a farmer too.
  2. They fed their chickens on dry mash, (repeat twice), And I feed mine so, too.
  3. They raised the pig by a formula (repeat twice), They raised me that way, too.
  4. They both belonged to the Farm Bureau, (repeat twice), I belong to the 4-H Club.

I don’t know. That just doesn’t seem to end right to me but, again, I don’t know the tune and I’m not Irish.

The Happy Go Lucky 4-H Club of Morrill sent in their song to Club Echoes in May of 1931, and Club Echoes included it on page 5 (v13, #11). Well, they didn’t actually include the song. After saying the club had submitted a song that was written by Lester Merrithew they added in parentheses, “(Because of space we can only print one verse.)” And then they only printed the CHORUS! (tune: Yankee Doodle)

But you just bet we keep it up,
Though struggles are oft bitter,
Has no use for a quitter.

Hilda Weymouth, News Reporter

I kind of feel bad for Lester!

This song writing thing, however, seems to have been popular, maybe even contagious! Even State 4-H Leaders were getting on the act! That same 1931 May Club Echoes edition, on page 2, under the title of “A NEW SONG” (POOR LESTER!), wrote, “When you have a club guest, try this song, written by George L. Farley, State Club Leader, Massachusetts and Manager of Camp Vail. Tune: Auld Lang Syne.”

We’re always glad to meet new friends,
Our greetings all to you,
We cannot all shake hands you see,
So here’s our ‘How d’ye do’.

During the last line each person shakes hands with himself high over his head. Song taken from Rhode Island 4-H Club News.

Maybe Lester should have included hand signs in his.

Remember the song “Whistle while you work”? County Agent G. C. Dunn must have had that idea in mind when he wrote “Dishes” (tune: School Days). I’m not sure if Dunn was the Somerset County agent but the article says the song is sung by the Somerset County 4-H Cooking and Housekeeping girls while they do their work.

Dishes — Dishes —
Always doing dishes
Washing and scrubbing and turning around
Sometimes I drop one upon the ground
Sometimes I nick one or two
Sometimes I drop one on my shoe
But wherever I go
I’m sure to know
There’ll always be dishes to do.

I’ve even tried my hand at this! I TOLD you it was contagious! Here’s one I wrote which you can use to help “break the ice”. It is called M-A-I-N-E (sung to: B-I-N-G-O). The first person stands up and sings the song calling out another 4-H’er’s name. When he or she hears their name, they stand up and sing the song calling out another member’s name. This continues until everyone in the group has been identified.

I know a 4-H’er from Maine
And (insert first name) is his/her name, Oh
M-A-I-N-E, M-A-I-N-E, M-A-I-N-E
And (insert first name) is his/her name, Oh

Or, sing this version as a group at events such as Eastern States or National 4-H Congress:

We are 4-H’ers, we’re from Maine
We shout it very proudly
M-A-I-N-E, M-A-I-N-E, M-A-I-N-E
UMaine 4-H is for ME!

In reviewing some materials on the National 4-H History Preservation website I came across a song entitled “4‑H Farewell Song.” The site says it was “written by Carlton Day, 13, Lisbon Falls, ME” and “sung to the tune of May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You.” As you can tell, it leans on the religious. They don’t say when it was written but my guess is around 1938.

May the Good Lord bless and keep you
Whether near or far away;
May your 4-H work be helpful
To you every day.

May you find new joys in learning,
Both in profits and in fun.
May the Good Lord bless and keep you
Till we meet again.

May all blessings fall upon you,
On your head, heart, health and hands;
May new knowledge serve you daily,
In your homes and on your lands.

May your 4-H projects prosper,
Your rewards be 10 times 10.
May the Good Lord bless and keep you,
Till we meet — till we meet — again.

Singing songs and playing group games have always been a part of the 4-H experience, it seems, nationally and in Maine, even unto today. To prove the point, look at this learning session that was offered during the 2017 Maine 4-H Days held in July!

How to Be a Fun Captain: To get the most of our Saturday evening campfire we need teen leaders! Bring instruments you might want to play, bring campfire songs you want to share, we will be learning some large group games and songs to make this campfire memorable and awesome for all!

So picking up where I left off at the start of this blog:

Tis the end, no more to say here; Fa la la la la la la la la!
Which to many will bring GREAT cheer! Fa la la la la la la la la!

And THAT is where we’ll leave it “Till we meet — till we meet — again.”

More information about 4-H music can be found on the National 4-H History Preservation website.

Words to the Maine State 4-H Song

First Verse:

Here’s a song to dear old Maine, the state we love so well,
Biggest in New England, and the state in which to dwell;
The story of its glory we will ever gladly tell,
While we are doing our club work.


Come on! Come on! The Club is calling you.
Come on! Come on! Let’s push our projects through.
In home and farm achievement there is time for pleasure too,
While we are doing our club work.

Second Verse:

Shout the praise of our dear State, its rivers, lakes, and coast,
Fragrant fields and wooded hills, the pine of which we boast;
Best of all, the happy homes and folks we love the most,
While we are doing our club work.

Repeat Chorus

Third Verse:

Maine, the State of purest air, its waters crystal flow;
‘Tis true we have real winter, and a lot of ice and snow.
But winter sports are glorious and keep the cheeks aglow,
While we are doing our club work.

Repeat Chorus

Were you a 4-H Member?

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Click here to learn how to support UMaine 4-H.

University of Maine Cooperative Extension conducts the state’s most successful out-of-school youth educational program through 4-H, a positive youth development program that has been empowering young people in Maine to reach their full potential since 1913.

Lynn’s Blog: October 29th — Setup of Robot Camp

November 27th, 2017 11:39 AM
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Expedition 3: Antarctica

Lynn’s Blog

October 29th — Setup of Robot Camp

Lynn Kaluzienski

***Sorry for the delay in posting the following blog entry. Unlike my previous post would suggest, I haven’t been stuck at SPoT camp indefinitely. I’ve actually finished my field season (spoiler alert: it was successful) and made it back to Maine. While the following entries were written in the field, I’ve waited to post them to avoid bandwidth issues at McMurdo. I’ll continue posting on a semi-daily basis through the end of my journey.

Today we had perfect weather and made the 15 km ride to our new camp location. The team split into two groups; three of us rode by snowmobile and the other three followed by piston bully. Once we arrived we immediately set to work erecting tents, organizing equipment, and making our home both “bomb proof” and comfy.

Building a snow wall

Building a snow wall: Using a snow axe and shovel, I carefully measure and cut blocks of ice to excavate and stack along the side of my tent to prevent the prevailing southerly winds. I also relied on Seth Campbell to help move the super heavy blocks (or the ones I forgot to cut in half).

Its hard to imagine on a beautiful day like this that a storm could be around the corner, but its always possible. To prepare for heavy winds and blowing snow we anchor our tents with hundreds of bamboo poles. We also build snow walls to shield our personal tents from southerly gusts (no one likes to dig out ) and make sure all equipment that is stored outside is strapped down.

Tent and equipment behind snow wall

My new home! And all the stuff I have to fit in it.

Once everything is secure we move on to organizing our equipment, setting up the kitchen, and melting snow for water. Its easy to get caught up in the task at hand and forget the time, especially with little change in sunlight. It wasn’t until I came inside out of the cold for dinner (burritos, yum!) that I realized I hadn’t reapplied sunburn. In my past two years of fieldwork, the weather almost always warranted face protection from the wind and cold (such as a balaclava or buff), but even the best days require constant self-preservation from the elements.

Inside the cook tent

Hanging out in the cook tent, doing what we do best.


Lynn inside her tent

Inside my humble abode. There’s just enough room to sit and enjoy a book.

Follow a Researcher®: Developing and Using Models

November 27th, 2017 11:16 AM
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Developing and Using Models

Catching up, looking ahead, and more scientific practices

In last week’s video, Lynn described planning and carrying out her investigation as she set out to collect data in the field. In our final video of this expedition, Lynn discusses how she will use those data to help tell the story of the Ross Ice Shelf and its behavior by developing and using models.

First, let’s talk about what we mean by “models.”

Models give us simpler ways to represent complicated situations or phenomena from the real world that we might    not actually be able to see. Scientists use models as tools for “thinking with, making predictions, and making sense of experience.” Models also help scientists develop questions and explanations, and communicate their ideas and understanding to others (NRC, 2011, pp. 56-57). As you can see, models are involved with lots of scientific practices!

Let’s keep in mind that models simply represent and explain “the real thing.” While we might think of a model as a physical replica like a globe used to model the earth, models exist in many different forms.

Some examples are:

  • diagrams,
  • physical replicas,
  • mathematical representations,
  • analogies,
  • mental models,
  • and computer simulations.

It is important to remember that since no model is exactly like the thing that it describes, all models have their merits (things they are good at describing), as well as their limitations (things they aren’t so good at describing).

Investigate the model with Lynn!

Lynn demonstrates how she will be using the GPS data that she gathered to describe how the surface of the ice shelf is moving. If you haven’t had a chance to do the experiment using flubber, download the activity (PDF).

We would love to hear about your investigation! Send us some pictures and let us know what you found out by emailing us at

What do you think?

Here are some questions to discuss with your class, or to investigate on your own!

  • What were some of the models used by Lynn in this video? What did they represent? Why is she using more than one source of data?
  • What models have you used before in the classroom? Outside of school?
  • Why are models important for both teaching and learning?
  • What might cause a model to change or be improved over time?

Have more questions?

Thank you so much for joining us!

We are so glad that you took part in Lynn’s journey! We hope that her story has sparked your curiosity and given you an inside look at the life and work of a scientist!

Please stay tuned to our website and Twitter feed in the coming weeks. We will be sharing more videos and pictures from Lynn’s trip to Antarctica!

Finally, we are already planning our expedition for Spring 2018! Be on the lookout for more info and registration details!

2018 Intent to tryout for Eastern States Horse available NOW!

November 21st, 2017 11:58 AM
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For all youth who are planning to try out for a slot on the Maine 4-H Horse team as a rider/driver/teen leader the intent to tryout is available here:   or

These must be postmarked by 2/1/18. If you have any questions please do not hestitate to contact, Kristy L Ouellette,

Visit the 4-H Fix today and glory in the achievement!

November 21st, 2017 11:57 AM
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We’ve been singing the praises for the 4-H Fix! Now it’s time for the 4-H Fix to return the favor!  The 4-H Fix will be singing and cheering for 4-H on December 15th. Why not come and join in the chorus! Fa la la la la la la la la!

2018 Maine 4-H Days Planning Committee

November 21st, 2017 11:57 AM
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July will be here before you know it, and we are looking for a few good volunteers to join the fantastic current Maine 4-H Days Planning Committee.  Joining this committee gives you the chance to help come up with ideas and plans for one of our biggest statewide events!  If you are interested in joining the Maine 4-H Days Planning Committee, or have general questions/comments/recommendations about the event, please email, or call 207.581.3877.

Save the Date for 2018 Maine 4-H Days

November 21st, 2017 11:56 AM
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Maine 4-H Days will take place July 20 – 22 at the Windsor Fairgrounds. If you are interested in helping to plan next year’s event, please contact Jessy Brainerd at or 207.581.3877.

4-H Fix

November 17th, 2017 7:00 AM
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By Ron Drum, Statewide 4-H Program Professional/Associate Director 4-H Resource Development

Let’s face it. Who doesn’t like a CHAMPION?! Some would even argue that there is nothing better than being a CHAMPION! From personal experience I can tell you it is some fun!

Yes, I was once a champion! It was 1969 and I somehow was able to get my Soap Box Derby Racer across the finish line ahead of all my competitors making me the Hazelton Area Soap Box Derby Class B Champion (ages 10-12) of 1969! They said that, comparing the heat times, I’d have beaten the Class A Champion (for ages 13-15), too, except I kind of got over-excited winning the Class B Championship, hit my breaks too hard, spun out, crashed, and broke my axle (my mom was glad it wasn’t my leg!). Since I couldn’t race in the overall championship heat, Bruce (the Class A Champion) got to go to the National Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio. He lost to a kid from Texas. Darn.

Ron Drum as a boyStill, I got to ride in the Champions’ Car in the Hazleton Area Soap Box Derby Parade (the people cheered; Mom and Dad were the loudest) and get interviewed on radio and on TV, and lots of “ink” in the Hazelton Standard-Speaker newspaper. I even got to raise my trophy into the air!

We see it all the time! Lombardi Trophies get raised in the air, sometimes even KISSED, at the end of Super Bowl Games! Basketball players cut down the nets, which, by the way, always worries me that someone is going to get hurt because it looks a bit dangerous to me when they are doing it. They used to rush the football field and tear down the goal posts too, which WAS dangerous and people DID get hurt which is why, I think, they stopped doing that; not to mention the cost of replacing it! The boxer’s gloved fist gets raised above his head! The Blanket of Roses gets laid on the horse’s back. The gold medal is hung around the Olympian’s neck!

And the word “CHAMPION” gets attached to the name.

So, it should follow, obviously, that 4-H should have its champions, too! Right? Right!

The job of Extension has always been to teach the newest methods and understandings achieved through academic research to the people who can best use the knowledge, we the citizens! However, we the citizens are a resistant lot! The adults didn’t want to accept the new ideas and methods but the children did! Teaching to groups of young people was more efficient than teaching individuals so youth clubs were formed. Here again that resistance appeared! I’m not sure I understand why but people were suspicious of, and therefore resistant to, this new idea of club work! The Extension staff needed a way to show the people that club work was a good thing.

So, at the end of the first full year of 4-H in Maine, 1914, they held a State Contest of highest achieving county 4-H’ers and picked one as the Overall State Winner, to help make this point. That worked so well that counties began to hold their own contests to show the benefits of club work. These contests, sort of like fairs, sometimes called exhibitions, brought together all the county’s club members to show their project work and to see who was the best. Those county winners were then named County Champions!

The next logical step, with all these county champions being identified, was to bring the county champions to the already established state contest and have them compete with each other to see who would be the “champion” of each project area! So, the County Champions were sent to the State 4‑H Contest, usually held the last week of December on the Orono Campus of the University of Maine, and the competitions began.

And the Champions were chosen!

Being a 4-H Champion was a BIG deal, County or State; a badge of HONOR! Noted in a previous post, “the Original 4-H Brownie,” when Mildred Brown was introduced to the Extension Community in 1925 as the new Assistant State 4-H Leader by State 4-H Leader Lester Shibles, he made a point to mention that she twice earned the title of Kennebec County 4‑H Canning Champion and had placed third at a State Contest.

So the way it worked, at the State Contest at least, was the club members brought examples of their project work (for example, in the case of the Canning project, the members had to exhibit 10 jars of fruits and vegetables) to be judged by University officials. The exhibit scores became 20% of the overall score. The members had to submit a written story to be judged, which also was worth 20% of the score. Since one of the “selling” points for doing club work was that money could be earned through the project, the profit earned on the project made up 30% of the score and “production” was the final 30% of the score.

Emily Morse

Emily Morse

The first “Club Work State Winner” designated during the first State Contest held in 1914 was a 10-year old Washington County canning club member named Emily Morse of Cherryfield. Her story was told in a previous post called “She Set the Bar High.” She just missed being designated as “Champion” in 1915 but was anointed Champion in 1916 and 1917, then just missed again in 1918, making her quite the celebrity in the first five years of Maine 4-H, or “Club Work” as it was then known!

Penobscot County’s Marion Griffin of Levant was the Canning Champ to beat Emily in 1918. It was Aroostook County’s twelve year old Crystal Waddell of Mapleton who edged Emily out in 1915. Crystal’s two fellow Champions that year were Aroostook County’s Hartson Blackstone of Perham, Potato Champion, and Sagadahoc County’s Milton McEwin of Bowdoinham, Poultry Champion. I suppose there would have been more champions in 1915 if there had been more projects carried. However, those were the only three projects carried in 1915.

According to the 1916 UMaine Extension Bulletin #100 (Club Work Series #2), Hartson raised 459 bushels of potatoes to the acre in 1915, at a cost of 17 cents to the bushel (they don’t say how many acres). Crystal “put up 158 quarts of pickled beets” and sold 13 bushels of fresh beets. Milton won first prize at the Topsham Fair for his pen of Rhode Island Reds. He sold the pen’s rooster as a breeder for $10.00. Now those are indeed some championship stats!

head shots of Crystal Waddell, Hartson Blackstone, and Miltom McEwin

According to a story on page 5 of the December 30, 1916 edition of the Bar Harbor Times, 1916 Canning Champion Emily was joined by fellow Champions Alma Davis, Machias, Poultry; Dorothy Shackford, Ellsworth, Pig Raising; Milford Blackstone, Perham, Potato Raising; and Hilda Sullivan, Orono, Gardening.

Milford was Hartson’s younger brother. I’m not sure what the age range was to be a Club Member when this all started (it’s 5-19 now) so I’m guessing Hartson, being 20 years old in 1916, was too old to compete, opening the door for 18-year-old Milford. Either that or it was a hard fought battle between brothers!

Hartson Blackstone, age 40, and his two 4-H Member sons, 16 year old Philip and 14 year old RichardHartson continued farming in Perham and his family stayed in association with 4-H. Extension Bulletin #228: Boys’ and Girls’ 4-H Clubs in Maine, written by Extension Editor Clarence Day in 1936, included this photo of Hartson, then age 40, and his two 4-H Member sons, 16 year old Philip and 14 year old Richard.

Hartson is the fellow in the middle. Hartson and his wife Kathryn, also age 40 in 1936, had a total of five children. Ruth, born 1926, Hartson, born 1928, and Mary, born 1930, round out the family.

As the number of 4-H Projects one could take in 4-H increased each year, so too grew the number of State Champions.

The 16th Annual State 4-H Contest, held in 1929, was regarded by many as one of the best ever held. That year saw eleven 4-H Members be named to twelve Championships; Wayne Rich of Charleston was named Champion in both Pig Raising and Potato Raising. Rich went on to have a highly successful career with Extension. Serving for a year (1934-35) as Assistant Extension Editor, he helped launch Maine Extension’s foray into teaching via radio in 1935! Rich served for a number of years as the Androscoggin/Sagadahoc County 4-H Agent before he moved to New Hampshire where he finished his Extension career. The Maine 4-H Foundation’s Wayne S. Rich 4-H Scholarship is named in his memory.

Wayne’s fellow 1929 champions were Andrew Watson, North Belgrade, Chick Raising; Helen Goodwin, Shapleigh, Beans; Margaret Knightly, Norway, Canning; Gilbert Cox, New Sharon, Gardening; Lucinda Rich, Charleston, Cooking and Housekeeping; Linwood Chase, Hampden, Sweet Corn; Wilson Luftkin, Levant, Dairy; Hayden Rogers, West Bath, Poultry Management; Clarinda Davis, Buxton, Room Improvement; and Helen Clements, Monroe, Sewing.

Andrew Watson, 1929 Chick Raising Champion, was the 1928 Chick Raising Champion as well. In fact, he was named Chick Raising Champion FOUR years in a row, 1927, 1928, 1929, and 1930! This is his Champion Certificate from 1928.

Champion Certificate from 1928

Being a four-time champion is really something but just the fact that Andrew achieved State Champion status in 1927 alone is noteworthy when you consider that he only joined 4-H in 1926! He even won the County Championship THAT year! In 1931 he was selected as one of the four Maine 4-H’ers to represent Maine at the Fifth Annual National 4-H Club Camp, later to be called National 4-H Conference, held in Washington, D.C. In June of 1943 Andrew joined the Navy. He was commissioned as an Ensign. In February 1945 he was promoted to Lieutenant JG. After the war he became a Marketing Specialist with the Maine Department of Agriculture. He passed away in Largo, Florida, a little over a month shy of his 90th birthday, January 29, 2004. What a stand-out!

The Cooking and Housekeeping Champion of 1929, Lucinda Rich of Charleston, 1924. Penobscot County Farm Bureau News (v6, #2, p3).The Cooking and Housekeeping Champion of 1929, Lucinda Rich of Charleston, Wayne Rich’s cousin, was a stand-out too! She was 10 when she joined 4-H in 1924. She made such a splash in her first year that the county 4-H Staff included her photo and a few paragraphs about her in their May, 1925 edition of the Penobscot County Farm Bureau News (v6, #2, p3).

In the article they say that even though she is just 10 years old, “She is one of the most outstanding club members in Penobscot County.” High praise! Here’s why. “…last year (her FIRST year in 4-H) …she finished with the highest score in the county in Cooking and Housekeeping Club, though she competed with many girls, and boys too, who were years older than she, none who were as young.” Unanimously elected as President of the club in 1925, and “…standing well in her classes in the fifth grade,” she was a stand-out indeed! She even prepared a talk and demonstration on judging bread which she presented, according to the article, “…at Farm Bureau and Extension meetings, and at club meetings in Charleston, Bradford, and Garland, and giving it in such a manner that we have been very proud of her.”

She was only 13 when Maine asked her to represent the state as one of the four delegates sent by Maine to the 1927 National 4-H Club Camp, the Camp’s inaugural year! Of course, upon selection, notice was made of this accomplishment in the April 1927 edition of Echoes from Clubdom, (v9, #10, pages 3 & 4). After noting the accomplishments noted above, it went on saying, “Again in 1926 she won first honors in sewing and in pig projects and was a member of the demonstration team for her club. Already this year she has practically completed all the requirements for cooking and housekeeping work project.” And then they added, “Rather interesting sidelight is that Lucinda has attended nearly every club meeting since joining in 1924.”

Her three fellow delegates that year were Norman Hamlin, Andrew Sawtelle, and Lucille Parker. According to that same Echoes from Clubdom article, Norman Hamlin, also a four year member, was from Turner in Twin County. Having won the chicken project State Championship in 1925 and 1926 he was looking to win it again in 1927. However, as we already know, along came Watson! Hamlin’s goal was to study agriculture at the University of Maine. No word on if he did but we assume so.

Andrew Sawtelle was from East Wilton in Franklin County. He’d been in 4-H for five years. Over those years he excelled at potato growing, sweet corn, and gardening, winning county potato champion in 1926. Being almost continually on the Honor Roll, popular among his fellow students and manager of the school football team round out his resume!

Lucille Parker hailed from Dover-Foxcroft in Piscataquis County. Lucille, 16 in 1927, was the longest tenured of the group having been in 4-H for six years, a member of the Over The Top 4-H Club of West Dover. Canning, sewing, cooking, and housekeeping, and, in 1926, pigs were her projects. Because of all the prizes she’d won, the article ends saying that was, “…a good indication of the fine quality of workmanship that she has been doing.” Go Lucille!

But we were talking about Lucinda. At 18 in 1932, while serving as both Club Leader and Member of the Charleston 4-H Club, Lucinda Rich earned the title State 4-H Canning Champion. She graduated from Higgins Classical Institute in 1933 and entered classes at the University of Maine studying Home Economics. In 1936 the Maine State Federation of Farm Bureaus established a scholarship at the University of Maine for College of Agriculture students and gave the first one to Lucinda Rich. In 1937 she graduated with distinction from the University of Maine holding a BS in Home Economics.

Shortly thereafter Lucinda joined the Extension staff of Knox-Lincoln County as the 4-H Club Agent. In 1940 she became the K-L County Home Demonstration Agent and continued in that role until shortly after her marriage to Clarence E (Bob) Waterman. They were married January 10, 1943.

Together they raised three children, Rebecca, Robert, and Sally. In 1963 Lucinda became a high school teacher. She taught at Camden High School and Camden-Rockport High School through 1970.

On Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 2003, Lucinda Rich Waterman passed away, a true champion for all of her 89 years.

As understanding of the science of youth development progressed, however, less emphasis was placed on head to head competitions and more emphasis was given to recognizing excellence of one’s own efforts. Traditional State Championships were discontinued in 1939, replaced by recognition being given to 4‑H’ers who excelled not only in their 4-H projects but in all aspects of 4-H. By 1941 the only “state championships” awarded were those supported by national donors, the selection process primarily serving as a means of identifying delegates for national 4-H experiences. Eleven such project-specific “champions” were named in 1941 — six members were designated to attend National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago and two delegates were designated to attend the National Dairy Show in Memphis, TN, while two others received gold watches and one received a gold medal.

And so it has continued into recent times. Through this blog you have already met Kathy Watier, Sarah Stoodley, Betsy Carroll, and Aaron Carroll, true “champions” of Maine 4-H from the 1990s even if we didn’t call them that! There were many “Champions” in the 1990s including “super” leaders such as Michelle Fogg of Waldo County; brothers J.J. and Travis Averill, Franklin Co; Jana Hawes and Alana Burns, Knox-Lincoln Co; Mark Benware (he wanted to become an airline pilot. I wonder if he ever did.), Cumberland Co; and Ortencia Arellano, Franklin Co.

Ortencia. What a strong LEADER! Ortencia and Jana were President and Vice President respectively of the 1998 State 4-H Teen Council; my last year working with that group. Both of them (well, all of them REALLY, listed here or not) had tremendous potential for success!

And, of course, now I am in BIG trouble for naming names because this list of “champions” from the 1990s only scratches the surface! It could grow to be quite long! For example, take Cumberland County’s Sarah Clark. She now sits as a member of the State 4-H Staff but we call her Sarah Sparks today!

Speaking of today, here is a photo of some of Maine’s NEWEST 4-H Champions — 2017 recipients of Maine 4-H Foundation Scholarships, many of whom have already been to, or will soon be attending, National 4-H Conference and/or National 4-H Congress. True Leaders ALL!

4-H Champions – 2017 recipients of Maine 4-H Foundation Scholarships

In a report on Extension in Maine from 1910 to 1950, Clarence Day, by then Extension Editor Emeritus, wrote in 1957, “…during the 1930s 4-H club work became mature (and)…won a sure place in the educational system of the nation….”

So the non-formal educational process that in the beginning selected Champions from amongst its participants, grew up to itself become a CHAMPION — the Champion of Education that it is today. Again quoting Day from his 1957 report, he suggests that the most lasting rewards gained through 4-H, “…are to be found in the growth and development of the boys and girls themselves — in the knowledge that they learn and in the skills that they acquire in their endeavor to make their best better.”

In 2017, I couldn’t say it any better myself.

Don’t miss your December 4-H Fix! Due to go live on December 15, it will be a noteworthy way to end the year! It’s all about 4-H SINGING!

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University of Maine Cooperative Extension conducts the state’s most successful out-of-school youth educational program through 4-H, a positive youth development program that has been empowering young people in Maine to reach their full potential since 1913.