April 2024 4-H Newsletter

4-H Calendar
4-H Club Happenings
State 4-H News
Other UMaine Extension Cumberland County News

April 1:

  • Enrollment due for new 4-H members
  • ESE Sheep Intent Form due

April 5: Cumberland County Scholarships and Camperships due to County Office

April 10: Wacky Wednesday, 3:00-4:00 PM, Windham Public Library

April 14: Merry Maker’s 4-H Club Fundraiser, 12:00-4:00 PM, Windham Tractor Supply

April 19-24: National 4-H Conference, Arlington, Virginia

April 24- May 29: Farm Tractor Safety Course, 5:30-7:30PM, Shaw Cherry Hill Farm, Gorham, ME

April 24-May 5: Tractor Supply Company’s Spring Paper Clover Event

April 29: Maker Monday, 4:30-5:30 PM, 4-H Office, Falmouth, ME

May 1: 

  • ESE Dairy, Working Steer, Horse Animal Approval Forms due
  • ESE Horse Intent Form due

Campership Applications Now Available

Campership applications will be due on Friday, April 05, 2024 by 4:30PM. Camperships are scholarships for youth to attend a summer camp of their choice. Applications are now available on the 4-H Camperships page. Please email completed applications to allison.pollock@maine.edu.

The Maine 4-H Foundation has camp scholarships ranging from $100-$200 available for 4-H members to any one week of 4-H camp. Try one of our University of Maine 4-H Camp and Learning Centers at Blueberry Cove, Bryant Pond, Greenland Point, and Tanglewood. Scholarships are based on need and are available on a  first come, first serve. https://extension.umaine.edu/4h/camps/

4-H Scholarship Applications Now Available

Cumberland County 4-H Scholarship applications are due Friday, April 5, 2024 at 4:30PM. If you need help applying for any of these scholarships or have questions, please call or email Allison at 207.781.6099, allison.pollock@maine.edu. Please note that the application for the 4-H Leaders Association, Linda Clark/Margy Justice Memorial, and Susan P. Grover Memorial Scholarships are all the same, but the requirements for each are different. The Extension Homemaker’s Scholarship has a different application form. 

For more information and applications please visit the 4-H Scholarships page. A packet with scholarship applications and information was  mailed in late-February to all seniors currently enrolled in Cumberland County 4-H.

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:
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!  

Maker Series

One Monday or Wednesday afternoon each month January – May, we will offer a themed hands-on activity for youth ages 5-12 that will include crafts or science. 5-8 year-olds must have an adult present for assistance and some projects encourage adult assistance for all ages. Current 4-H enrollment is not necessary for participation in the Maker Series program. Registration ends one week prior to each class or when full (maximum of 10). The same theme will be provided at both locations for each month.


Dates: Monday, April 29, May 13
Time: 4:30-5:30 PM
Ages: 5-10 year olds
Location: UMaine Extension Cumberland Office, 75 Clearwater Dr, Falmouth
Cost: FREE, Registration is required
Register for each date by clicking below:


Dates: Wednesday, April 10, May 22
Time: 3:00-4:00 PM
Grades: K-6th
Location: Windham Public Library, 217 Windham Center Rd, Windham
Cost: Free drop-in program; no registrations are needed for these sessions.

Have questions? Contact Allison by email allison.pollock@maine.edu or phone 207.781.6099.

Farm Tractor Safety Course

Participants will learn how to handle tractors and equipment safely, how to identify hazards, and how to minimize the chances of accidents. The course is open to all adults and youth interested. A Federal Certificate of Training will be issued at the end of the course after successful completion of the written test and driving course and with attendance requirements met. This certificate is required for 14- and 15-year-olds who plan to operate farm equipment for hire on farms other than their own.

Date: Wednesdays, April 24th-May 29th, skip May 1st

Time: 5:30-7:30PM

Location: Shaw Cherry Hill Farm, Gorham, ME

More information and registration available on the website.

Tractor Supply Paper Clover Fundraiser

April 24th-May 5th, 2024 

Purchase a paper clover at your local Tractor Supply store and support 4-H! This campaign directly benefits youth in Cumberland County, with 90% of donated funds staying in the state of Maine and 10% going to national 4-H programming. 

Paul Merrill Memorial Fund 

Paul E. Merrill 4-H Memorial Fund was established as a memorial to Paul E. Merrill who died in April 1982. Mr. Merrill firmly believed in the merits of the 4-H program and in the character-building qualities of learning to care for and raise livestock. This fund is a splendid way to carry on the beliefs of Mr. Merrill and in doing so, encourage youth to grow in character and ability as Mr. Merrill had done. It is designed to provide financial aid for projects from the interest of the account to 4-H livestock clubs or 4-H members with livestock projects. The application deadline is May 1, 2024.

For more information and an application, please visit the Paul Merrill Memorial Fund page.

2024 4-H Member Cards Must Be Requested

4-H Member Cards will only be printed by request on an as needed basis due to limited staffing. Please note that while the Cumberland Fair does not accept Member Cards, some fairs (if held) do still use member cards for entrance passes, so please check with any fairs you will be planning to attend this year to see what their entrance requirements are.

If you or your club would like member and leader cards please email or call Allison, allison.pollock@maine.edu, 207.781.6099 by May 1 to be on the list for a printed 4-H Member Card. If you do not sign up you will not receive a member card, but will still receive a Cumberland Fair pass if you plan to exhibit.

Club Happenings

4-H Rabbiteers of Maine

By Helen B.

On Saturday, March 2nd the Cumberland County Rabbiteers chapter held our annual Easter Bunny Photo Booth and bake sale at the Blue Seal store in Windham. It was a wonderful fundraising event. Families from the area were able to have their pictures taken with rabbits raised by 4-H team members Jack M. and Abigail W. (who were on-hand throughout the day to wrangle their bunnies). A great time was had by all!

Merry Maker’s 4-H Club

On April 14th, the Merry Maker’s will be having a Car Wash & Goodie Sale at Windham Tractor Supply from 12-4pm to raise money for their club. 

Your 4-H Club Happenings could be featured here! Just email allison.pollock@maine.edu by the 28th of each month with information about your club meetings, events, or fundraisers. Pictures are always a plus!

State 4-H News April 2024

Are you ready?! How to prepare for the Maine Solar Eclipse

First, it is good to know some background information about what you will see on Monday, April 8th. A solar eclipse occurs when 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. 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 when the center of the Moon’s shadow hits the earth, the sky goes dark and we can experience changes in temperature and sounds. Watch this solar eclipse animation from NASA for a visual.

Second, in order to watch the solar eclipse, you will need to wear eclipse glasses or use a pinhole camera. This means at all times except for totality when the moon completely covers the Sun’s face (yes, even if it’s cloudy or raining).

  • The only safe way to view partial phases of the eclipse is with viewing (eclipse) glasses or through a handheld solar viewing (i.e. a pinhole camera)
  • Do not view partial eclipse phases with sunglasses, through a camera lens, binoculars or a telescope.
  • If your viewing glasses are damaged in any way, discard them and do not use them.
  • You can view the eclipse directly without eye protection only when the moon completely blocks the Sun’s face (totality) 

Third, plan ahead for viewing the eclipse. If you are traveling, be aware that Maine is expecting an influx of travelers, so plan for traffic, packed gas stations and restaurants. Here are a few suggested items to bring with you to experience the solar eclipse:

  • Eclipse viewing glasses and/or pinhole camera
  • Appropriate clothing for the weather
  • Snacks, water
  • First Aid kit
  • A comfortable spot for viewing (ex: folding chairs, blankets for warmth)

4-H Market Lamb Intent for Fryeburg Fair

Youth planning to participate in the Market Lamb program at Fryeburg Fair need to submit the 2024 Fryeburg Fair Market Lamb Intent form by June 5th.  An online form is available, otherwise youth can print and mail a copy downloaded from the website.

4-H Dairy Judging Contest

The 2024 Maine 4-H Dairy Judging Contest will be held on April 13th at Quimby Farm in Albion, ME and Springdale Farm in Waldo, ME.  The event is open to all enrolled 4-H dairy members and will serve as the official tryouts for the 2024 Maine 4-H Eastern States Dairy Judging Team.

For a complete schedule for the day please visit https://extension.umaine.edu/4h/animal-science-resources/dairy/judging/.

For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation please contact Sadee Mehuren at sadee.mehuren@maine.edu or 207.342.5971.

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.

Equine ESE Intent forms Due May 1, 2024

The 2024 Eastern States (ESE) Horse Intent Form is now live and online.  The form indicates your interest in participating in the Eastern States Team Tryout event this summer.  The event this year will offer a weekend opportunity for youth to qualify and to learn and grow while getting to know other youth who are also interested in trying out. Youth can try out to be a Teen Leader (4-H age 12 and up) or to be a Rider or Driver (4-H age 13 and up).

More details will go out to those who fill out the intent forms in the registration packets.  The intent form does not bind you to the tryout event. Applications will be used to determine the event roster.

Here is the ESE intent form to be filled out by May 1st.  Approval forms must also be filled out and sent to your county office by May 1st as well.

If you have any questions, please reach out to: Tara Marble, tara.marble@maine.edu, or 207.778.4650.

New SPIN Club: Farm Animal Care – FUNdamentals

Are you interested in learning about livestock animals (such as cows, goats or sheep)? How to care for them? How do you know what to feed them, how do you actually do regular health checks and have proper housing? Join the 4-H Animal Science SPIN club. We will have 3 virtual sessions focused on what livestock need to live a healthy life and one field day that provides hands-on experience. Set yourself up for success in your 4-H project by learning the basics of animal care. Participants do not need to have any prior animal experience or currently own livestock to participate. This is a beginner/introductory level program.

Virtual sessions will be on Wednesdays, April 24, May 1, and May 8, 2024. An Optional in-person field day will take place Saturday, May 4.

This club is open to youth ages 9 – 18, space is limited to 15 participants.

More information and registration are available online.  Registration closes April 8, 2024.

Save the Date: Maine 4-H Days is Happening in 2024!

Where: Windsor Fairgrounds, Windsor, Maine
When: Friday evening, July 19 – Saturday, July 20. Animal Science tracks are being scheduled from Friday, July 19 – Sunday, July 21.
Workshop sessions for Saturday are still needed. If you know anyone who might want to run a workshop on Saturday, please reach out to Karen Giles via email or phone: 207.474.9622.

All workshop forms are due by May 1, 2024.

Registration for the event for 4-H’ers and their families will be opening in mid-May.  More information is coming soon.  We can’t wait to see you there!

Other UMaine Extension Cumberland County News

UMaine Extension Cumberland County offers many different workshops throughout the year. To learn more about our workshop offerings please visit https://extension.umaine.edu/cumberland/events/category/all/