February 2024: Androscoggin-Sagadahoc Counties 4-H Newsletter

Androscoggin-Sagadahoc County 4-H News

Table of contents:

Dates to Remember

  • February 13, 2024, 6:30 – 8:00 P.M.: Volunteer Connections: Be a Positive Communicator
  • February 16, 2024: Solar Eclipse Prep Party for 4-H Volunteers registration deadline
  • February 17, 2024: ESE 4-H Dairy intent forms due
  • February 17, 2024: Maine 4-H Dairy Quizbowl Contest
  • March 9, 2024, 9:30 A.M.: Regional Public Speaking Contest
  • March 12, 2024, 6:30 – 8:00 P.M.: Volunteer Connections: Finding Space for Mental Wellness in Every Program
  • March 20, 2024: Citizen Washington Focus applications due
  • April 8, 2024: Solar Eclipse Coming to Maine!
  • April 9, 2024, 6:30 – 8:00 P.M.: Volunteer Connections: Animal Science: Strong Relationships and Sportsmanship

County News

A graphic stating "4-H Newsletter: February" with the subtitle: "Happy Valentine's Day!"

Western/Central Regional Public Speaking Contest

A graphic displaying the information stated in the text below.

Join other 4-H youth for a Regional Public Speaking contest at UMA in Augusta on March 9th (March 10th snow date) at Jewett Hall at 9:30 A.M. We welcome 4-Hers of all ages, including Cloverbuds. Register using our Google form.
Want to know more information about Public Speaking? Check out the 4-H Public Speaking webpage.
Contact Tara Marble (tara.marble@maine.edu) at the office if you have questions or need an accommodation.

Club News

Community Central

Community Central members spent 3 weeks participating in the LEO Program (Listening, Education, Organizing) through the Community Organizing Alliance. LEO workshops focus on ways to be civically engaged, community organizing, and policy-making. As part of Community Central’s Civic Engagement focus, members learned about power dynamics, levels of engagement in community organizing, and how to put forward a specific ask for positive change in their community to local officials. Empowered to advocate for their communities at the local and state level, members will continue to engage with COA staff.

A big thank you to Safiya and Scott for leading a powerful and engaging program!

Graphic with two photos of a group of youth listening to a guest speaker with an image in the bottom right corner of a sign that says thank you, Community Organizing Alliance.

Midcoast Mainers’ 2022/23 Awards Celebration

We celebrated the various achievements of our 4H kids who successfully completed the 2022/2023 4H year. The kids got to wear their pjs to the celebration and the Leaders Association paid for a pizza party and cake! After the awards were presented the entire club enjoyed some down time by playing various games.

A group of 13 children posing for a group photo, holding a banner that reads "Celebrate 4-H".

State News

Solar Eclipse Coming to Maine!

On April 8th, 2024 Maine will experience a full solar eclipse. The last time Maine experienced this was in 1963, and the next one won’t be until 2079!

How we react and experience solar eclipses today may look different from the past and/or across cultures. The oldest known recorded eclipse is in 3340 B.C.E. based on petroglyphs found in Ireland. Around 1200 B.C.E scribes in China recorded experiences of eclipses, which later helped scientists calculate the speed of Earth’s spin. In some cultures it is believed that the sun is being eaten by a creature, as the beginning stages of an eclipse look like a bite has been taken out. For some, a solar eclipse is seen as a rebirth and for others it represents a scary, uncertain time and they do not go outside. Learn more about the history of eclipses on NASA’s website.

Whether you are creating new eclipse traditions or following generational experiences, you can find helpful information for eclipse safety guidelines and preparing audiences.

See “Total Eclipse Prep Party for 4-H Volunteers” to learn more about how you can participate!

Volunteer Connections – Be a Positive Communicator

Tuesday, February 13, 6:30-8:00 P.M. (virtual via ZOOM)

This session will focus on how to use positive communication strategies to manage difficult conversations or conflicts with others. Learn about constructive responses, and conciliatory gestures and how they can be used to de-escalate conflicts.

Volunteer Connections offers monthly ZOOM calls for 4-H volunteers from the entire Northeast region. Join us to connect and learn with and from other 4-H volunteers! It’s free, but you must register. Sign up today and invite a friend – we hope to see you there.

Total Eclipse Prep Party for 4-H Volunteers

On April 8, 2024, parts of Maine will experience a total solar eclipse- and this won’t happen for another 20 years! A total solar eclipse happens when the moon lies exactly between the sun and the Earth, casting its shadow on a small patch of the Earth’s surface. Does the idea of a total solar eclipse light your spark? Are you interested in learning more about it and sharing your excitement with youth? If so, we want you to join us!

When: Thursday, March 7, 2024, 5:00 – 8:00 P.M.

Where: We’ll be at the University of Maine campus in Orono, starting at the Lafayette and Rawcliffe 4-H Science and Engineering Learning Center. Address: 491 College Avenue, Orono, and then heading to the Versant Power Astronomy Center & Jordan Planetarium Address: 167 Rangeley Rd., Orono.

What do I need to bring? We want you to bring a friend, a colleague, a neighbor, a parent from your 4-H club… a SUN-BUDDY! This person doesn’t have to be an enrolled 4-H volunteer, but someone that is excited about the total eclipse and would like to share their enthusiasm and help you do ONE activity with youth prior to, or on April 8th. You could plan to do an activity with your club, at your Extension office, at a library, in a classroom or maybe with a homeschool group- it’s totally up to you!

What are we going to do at the Total Eclipse Prep Party? We will feed you dinner, take you to a show at the University of Maine Jordan Planetarium, do a hands-on activity with you, help you and your “sun-buddy” plan your activity and have materials, supplies and resources available for you to take.

Why should you participate? This will be a fun in-person evening with other people who have a common interest, you will get to enjoy dinner on us (pizza and salad), and the opportunity to learn more about the total eclipse! You will also receive free materials to implement activities, solar eclipse viewing glasses, AND a t-shirt!

Cost: The event is free, but registration is required and space is limited.

Register here! Registration deadline: February 16, 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:

  • 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.

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.

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.thuotte@maine.edu.

ESE 4-H Dairy Intent Forms

The 2024 Maine 4-H Dairy Eastern States intent to participate form is available on our website. 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