January 2024: Androscoggin-Sagadahoc Counties 4-H Newsletter

Androscoggin-Sagadahoc County 4-H News

Table of contents:

Dates to Remember

  • January 9-11, 2024: Maine Ag Trade Show
  • January 10, 2024, 6:30 to 8:00 PM: 4-H Volunteer Workshop – Creating LGBTQ+ Inclusive Programs
  • January 15, 2024: Maine 4-H ESE Beef intent to participate forms due
  • January 16-23, 2024, 6 to 7 PM: Start Your 4-H Volunteer Journey info sessions
  • January 26, 2024: National 4-H Trip Applications Due
  • January 29, 2024: Maple Sugaring 101 registration due
  • February 17, 2024: ESE 4-H Dairy intent forms due
  • February 17, 2024: Maine 4-H Dairy Quizbowl Contest
  • March 20, 2024: Citizen Washington Focus applications due
  • April 8, 2024: Solar Eclipse Coming to Maine!

County News

Happy New Year Androscoggin/Sagadahoc 4-H’ers!

2024 is bringing lots of exciting opportunities for 4-H kids and volunteers alike. Please take a moment to check out the many workshops, events, and trips featured in the State News section!

Oh Yea! 4-H Grows True Leaders Fall 2023 Lewiston Program Highlights

Starting in August 2023, Isha Kasai, Youth Program Coordinator for the Somali Bantu Community Association, and Margaruette Seguin, a 4-H Professional in Androscoggin county, have designed and facilitated a 12 week, farm-to-table program for Somali Bantu teens to learn about their local food system and what kinds of careers they can have within that system. In the “Oh Yea! 4-H Grows True Leaders” program, youth have visited apple orchards, working dairy farms, and more to learn about the products they produce and the people who produce them. On those visits, students also harvested produce from the farm to use in recipes in the weeks that followed. This program will continue into the spring and will include more cross-generational teaching as youth collaborate with older farmers within the community to cultivate the land at SBCA’s own Liberation Farms in Wales.
Infographic showing program figures for Fall 2023. See longer description in caption.
An infographic displays the logos of the Somali Bantu Community Association and The University of Maine Cooperative Extension above the title “Oh Yea! 4-H Grows True Leaders Fall 2023 Lewiston Program Highlights.” The first section reads: “2023 in numbers: 3 recipes prepared and tasted, 4 field trips to local farms and conferences, 12 weeks of youth participation, 15 teens engaged in food systems work.” Below, a section titled “Examples of recipes and field trips” displays a photo of an apple cider press, a flyer for a community workshop and celebration to update the Lewiston Auburn Local Foods Action Plan, the Ricker Hill Orchards logo, the Pineland Farms logo, and the Youth Leadership Conference logo.


Club News

Midcoast Mainers’ Christmas Party

Midcoast Mainers 4H celebrated the upcoming holidays together with their families at our annual Christmas Party. The kids made their own ornaments, played Christmas charades, and exchanged Secret Santa gifts! It was a great way to wrap up 2023 with our 4H friends.

A group of 12 children of varying ages posing in front of a Christmas tree. All are wearing red and green reindeer antler headbands.

State News

Start Your 4-H Volunteer Journey

Do you know someone who is interested in becoming a 4-H Volunteer? Tell them to Start Their 4-
H Volunteer Journey!

University of Maine Cooperative Extension will offer a two-part online informational session for adults interested in becoming Maine 4-H volunteers on January 16 and  23 from 6 to 7 p.m. “Start Your 4-H Volunteer Journey” will provide participants with information about the UMaine Extension 4-H youth development program through four short e-Learning modules. Attendees will also participate in an experimental learning activity, learn about the key aspects of positive youth development, and be introduced to ages and stages of youth. The two one-hour virtual sessions will wrap up with an outline of next steps and an introduction to a county staff contact to help with the application process if desired.

Registration is required. The sessions are free. To register, visit our website.

For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Jennifer Lobley, jennifer.lobley@maine.edu, 207.255.3345.

Solar Eclipse Coming to Maine!

On April 8th, 2024 Maine will experience a full solar eclipse, a once in a lifetime opportunity!

What is a solar eclipse?

When the moon orbits the earth, sometimes the moon moves between the earth and sun. At the right angle, the moon blocks the sun’s light from reaching earth and causes a solar eclipse. During a solar eclipse the Moon’s shadow is cast upon earth in certain locations.

What is a total solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Moon and Earth are in a direct line. It is visible from only certain locations on earth during a solar eclipse when the center of the Moon’s shadow hits
the earth, the sky goes dark and we can experience changes in a short amount of time (temperature, sounds, etc.).

This link will bring you to a short animation from NASA that explains what we will see during a solar eclipse and why it happens. Curious whether you’ll be in the path of totality? This solar eclipse look-up tool allows you to see whether you will experience a total or partial solar eclipse on April 8.

Stay tuned for more eclipse information and opportunities!

Maple Sugaring 101: From Sap to Syrup, to Sales

Not long after the New Year celebrations have ended and Maine hunkers down for several more weeks of winter, some farmers and landowners across the state turn their attention to maple sugar season. Depending on the weather, maple trees start to release their sweetness anytime between February and April and there’s a lot of work to be done to prepare for collecting the sap and boiling it down into syrup.

Maple Sugaring 101 is a 6-week program open to Maine youth ages 9 to 15 who are interested in learning about the entire maple sugaring process. Participants will learn about forest
management, tapping trees, transporting sap, using an evaporator, grading and storing syrup, and operating a maple sugaring business.

Each week, participants will learn about the process and connect with other young maple sugar makers through online meetings and in-person workshops led by Extension and University of Maine experts. Online meetings are scheduled for Wednesday evenings: February 7, February 14, and February 28. On-site workshops will be held at participating sugarhouses following the
virtual sessions.

Club leaders who would like to have their club participate in this program, please contact your 4-H County Professional or Andrew Hudacs by Monday, January 29, 2024: andrew.hudacs@maine.edu, 207.581.8204.

Youth who are interested in the program but are not a member of a participating club are welcome to register. Travel beyond their home county may be required to attend onsite sessions. Registration ends: February 5, 2024.

Tidepool Immersion Discovery + Ecology Workshop Series

Explore the intertidal zone and help with marine science research! In this workshop, we will learn about animals you might find during low tide and use some amazing equipment to take awesome pictures on your phone to identify them. Along the way, we’ll learn about invasive species, climate change, species identification, and how you can participate in research by just taking a picture.

Please note that the ability to get to the beach and supervision are required (at least once, between sessions). Participants must have access to a durable digital camera (a phone is fine). This workshop is supported by Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine. Register by March 27, so supplies can be mailed to attendees’ homes.

  • Dates: Tuesdays, 4:00-5:00, April 9, 2024 through May 11
  • In person field day at SMCC, South Portland (optional) scheduled in South Portland on April 13 (rain date April 14).
  • Ages 11-18
  • Most activities will be held via Zoom. Materials will be provided and shipped directly to participants before the workshop. In-person field day scheduled in South Portland on April 13th(rain date April 14th). Participants will be asked to visit the ocean at least once, at low tide, during this series. Facilitators: Emily P. and Sam B.
  • Visit our website to preregister. Preregistration is required by March 27, 2024.

Come to Work at Tanglewood and Blueberry Cove!

Tanglewood and Blueberry Cove are now hiring for our spring and summer seasons! Positions include Educators, Counselors, Trip Leaders, and more. Please visit our website at extension.umaine.edu/tanglewood/employment/ for more information and to apply.

Young Explorers Early Childhood Enrichment

Young Explorers at Blueberry Cove, our new early childhood enrichment program, is accepting registrations for 2024! The program focuses on play, sensory learning, and developing social skills in an outdoor setting. Explorers spend time with our camp animals, play in the forest and beach, and read stories. Ages 3 – 5, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. For more information and registration, visit our website.

4-H Volunteer Workshops for the 2023-2024 4-H Year

We invite you to participate in our 4-H Volunteer Connections virtual workshops! Join other 4-H volunteers from the North East region to learn, share, and engage with one another on a variety of topics related to 4-H. All workshops are free and offered via Zoom in the evenings from 6:30 – 8:00 PM.

Topics include:

  • January 10 – Creating LGBTQ+ Inclusive Programs
  • February 13 – Be a Positive Communicator
  • March 12 – Finding Space for Mental Wellness in Every Program
  • April 9 – Animal Science: Strong Relationships and Sportsmanship

Click here to register now! Come to one or come to all! We look forward to connecting with YOU!

4-H Tick Project

The 4-H Tick Project is a community science project engaging K-12 youth and educators, made possible through a partnership between 4-H Youth Development, UMaine Cooperative Extension Tick Lab, Maine Forest Tick Survey, and members of the Learning Ecosystems Northeast partnership. The project provides youth an opportunity to explore ticks and tick-borne diseases, which is a connected story of climate, ecosystem change, and public health.

All educators interested in teaching about ticks in Maine are encouraged to participate in the project at no cost to you. This is a great project for 4-H clubs, SPIN clubs, homeschool groups, and more. For more information and to register, visit the 4-H Tick Project webpage.

Fryeburg Market Animal Intents Now Available

Intent to sell forms for Fryeburg market projects are now available at extension.umaine.edu/4h/animal-science-resources. Steers must be owned and in the possession of the 4-H member by December 31, 2023 and intent forms, including RFID tags, bill of sale, and photos of the steer must be submitted by January 5, 2024. Lambs must be owned and in the possession of the 4-H member by June 1 and intent forms, including bill of sale, scrapie tag number, and photos of the animal, must be submitted by June 5.

For more information on 4-H market animal projects please contact your county cooperative extension office or call 207.581.3877.

Maine 4-H ESE Beef Intent to Participate Forms are Now Available

The 2024 Maine 4-H Beef ESE Intent to Participate form is now available on our website and must be submitted by January 15, 2024. This is a requirement for all youth intending to participate as members of the Maine 4-H Beef Team at the Eastern States Exposition in September. Youth must be 12-18 years old as of December 31, 2023, and have completed one year in a beef project prior to this year.

Please contact Kristen Grondin, kristen.grondin@maine.edu, 207.581.8193, with any questions.

National 4-H Trips for 2024/2025

The National Trip websites will be updated by the beginning of the year. They will be updated with as much information as known currently, and will continue to be updated as information is available.

The State of Maine 4-H Program sends 4 delegates to The National 4-H Conference in Washington DC held in April 2025 (National Conference delegates for 2024 were selected this
past year). The State of Maine 4-H also sends 4 delegates to The National Congress from November 29 to December 3, 2024, to be held in Atlanta, GA. Interviews for both these trips will be set for
Friday and Saturday, February 9th and 10th, 2024 via Zoom.

All online applications are due on January 26, 2024, to your county office. As with all of our trips, special thanks to the Maine 4-H Foundation for supplementing these trips significantly.

For more information or help with the interviewing process, please contact Heidi Palmer at heidi.palmer@maine.edu.

Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF)

CWF will be held on June 20-27, 2024 in Washington DC.  We have reserved space for 15 Maine delegates. The cost will be in the area of $1200, more or less.  We will most likely fly and will be staying at a different hotel than in the last couple of years. Be sure to connect with your county office and let them know your interest by March 20, 2024. They also will know if there is additional help in funding the trip through your county.

A big “Thank You” to The Maine 4-H Foundation for significantly funding this incredible trip.

This trip is amazing and very well known and liked.  This trip will be on a first-come first-serve basis. There are limited spaces as
the program is only being run for 1 additional week from our spoken week. So only two weeks total. An orientation will be planned as we get closer and will be on the website and communicated to candidates directly.

If you need more information, you can check the CWF UMaine website in early January, or email, Heidi Palmer: heidi.palmer@umaine.edu.

National 4-H Congress, November 2023

National Congress this year was held in Atlanta GA.  Maine sent 3 delegates and 1 chaperone in November. Congratulations to Kendall S. and Sadie O. from Cumberland County, Nathan D. from
Waldo County, and our chaperone, Jenn Grant from Cumberland County.  A very special “thanks” to Jenn for agreeing to chaperone.  Congratulations to our Maine delegation!

ESE 4-H Dairy Intent Forms

The 2024 Maine 4-H Dairy Eastern States intent to participate form is available online at https://extension.umaine.edu/4h/dairy/. In order to be eligible for participation in the Maine 4-H Dairy Eastern States Team this fall, 4-H members must submit their completed intent form online
or to the Waldo County Cooperative Extension office before February 17, 2024. Please contact Sadee Mehuren at sadee.mehuren@maine.edu or 207.342.5971 with any questions.

2024 Maine 4-H Dairy Quizbowl Contest

The Maine 4-H Dairy Quizbowl contest will be held on February 17th at the UMA Randall Student Center in Augusta, ME. The contest consists of a general knowledge exam, individual questions, and buzzer questions. The contest will serve as the official tryout for the Maine 4-H Dairy Quizbowl Team that will represent Maine 4-H at ESE this fall.

All 4-H dairy project members ages 9-18, regardless of whether or not they wish to try out for the Quizbowl team, are invited to participate.

Contestants will be divided into two age divisions: Juniors, ages 9-11, and Seniors, ages 12-18. In the event of inclement weather on the 17, the event will be rescheduled for February 24.

For a complete set of rules for the contest, study materials, and directions to the venue please
visit https://extension.umaine.edu/4h/dairy/. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, please contact Sadee Mehuren at sadee.mehuren@maine.edu or 207.342.5971