January 2024 4-H Newsletter

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

January 5: Fryeburg Fair Market Steer Intent due

January 15: Maine 4-H ESE Beef Team Intent due

January 16: SpeechCraft: Public Speaking Workshop, 6:00-8:00 p.m., 4-H Office in Falmouth

January 18: CC 4-H Leaders & Volunteers Meeting, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Online & 80 Huston Road, Gorham, ME

January 19: Fashion Revue, Intent to Participate Form is due

January 24: Wacky Wednesday, 3:00-4:00 PM, Windham Public Library

January 29: Maker Monday, 4:30-5:30 PM, 4-H Office

February 3: 4-H Public Presentation Day, 10:00 a.m., Inn at Village Square, Gorham, ME

Fryeburg Fair Market Animal Intents

Intent to sell forms for Fryeburg Fair 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 31st and intent forms, including RFID tags, bill of sale, and photos of the steer must be submitted by January 5th

Lambs must be owned and in the possession of the 4-H member by June 1st and intent forms, including bill of sale, scrapie tag number, and photos of the animal, must be submitted by June 5th

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

The 2024 Maine 4-H Beef ESE Intent to Participate form is now available online 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.

SpeechCraft: Public Speaking Workshop

Do you ever feel stressed about making in-class presentations? Do you wish you were better at speaking in front of a group?

Come learn how to write a speech, work on your public speaking skills, learn how to present on a microphone and conquer your presentation fears in a safe environment. Join us on January 16th from 6pm-8pm at the 4-H Office in Falmouth. 

Please RSVP on this Google Form, if you have any questions, contact Allison at allison.pollock@maine.edu


4-H Leaders Association Meeting – January 18, 7:00PM

Join us on Thursday, January 18 at 7:00p.m. in-person at the Gorham Public Works Building (80 Huston Road, Gorham) These meetings are a chance to meet volunteers, and to offer input on 4-H programming in Cumberland County! All volunteers are welcome and encouraged to attend! If you would like the Zoom link please email Allison, allison.pollock@maine.edu

Fashion Revue Intent to Participate Due January 19th

The 2024 4-H Fashion Revue invites members that enjoy designing and making their own sewn, crocheted or knitted projects to showcase them in this year’s event. Our theme is Fashionably 4-H, and we are encouraging all participants to get their creative juices flowing with great materials, yarns, and patterns, resulting in some great projects.

Fashion Revue is open to all ages, with categories for Cloverbuds (ages 5-8 years), beginner, intermediate, and advanced sewers, knitters, crocheters & upcyclers. Items crafted can include garments, accessories, stuffed animals, livestock blankets or any other item your creative mind can imagine and your talented hands can produce.

You must fill out an Intent to Participate form (https://forms.gle/bRsZ9h7eGR4dzg4i8) by Friday, January 19th. You will need to have your completed project dropped off at the UMaine Extension Cumberland Office by 4:00PM on Thursday, February 22 along with the necessary forms, or make other arrangements with Jenn Grant. Deadline with date and time of project drop off are non-negotiable.

Questions? Call Jenn Grant, 207.318.9166 or findviewfarm@juno.com.

Judging for Fashion Revue will take place in-person on Saturday, February 24 at The Little Falls Activity Center (40 Acorn Street, Gorham). Your creation will first be judged off-person, then you will either wear or bring your entry before the judges starting at 1:00 PM. A Fashion Show will take place at 2:30 PM following the judging. The snow date for judging is March 2nd, 2024.

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, January 29, February 26, March 25, 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: Click here for January
  • Other registration links coming soon for other dates


  • Dates: Wednesday, January 24, February 28, March 27, April 24, May 22
  • Time: 3:00-4:00 PM
  • Grades: K-6th
  • Location: Windham Public Library, 217 Windham Center Rd, Windham
  • Cost: Free drop-in programs no registrations are needed for these sessions.

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

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.). State of Maine 4-H also sends 4 delegates to “The National Congress” on November 29-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 significantly to these trips. For more information or help with the interviewing process, please contact heidi.palmer@maine.edu.

4-H Public Presentation Day

This event will occur at 10:00 AM on February 3rd at the Inn at the Village Square in Gorham. 4-H members will be able to do either public speaking or a demonstration alone or in groups. The Inn at Village Square is an assisted living facility in Gorham where the All-Star Dairy Club regularly meets with the seniors that live there and they are always looking for more visitors. They are excited for our program to be at their place!

Submit your registration form here: https://forms.gle/rpdhAFHD62hgqwNc8. Registration Deadline Thursday, February 1st!

More information is available on the website. For tips on giving a 4-H presentation or demonstration please visit our Giving a 4-H Presentation and Demonstration page.

For questions or more information please reach out to Allison Pollock, allison.pollock@maine.edu

Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF)

Would you like to go to Washington D.C.?  Would you like to meet 4-Hers from other parts of the country?  Do you want to use a hands-on approach to learn about our government? 

CWF is a weeklong experience in Washington D.C. While in D.C. you will stay at the hotel 4-H uses in D.C.  You will learn how to develop communication and planning skills, discover your role and responsibilities as a citizen and learn about our government. You will also visit with Maine’s congressional delegation, spend a day on Capitol Hill and tour other D.C. landmarks.  You will have fun!

The CWF trip will be June 20th – June 27th, 2024. The deadline to submit your application is February 9, 2024, by 4:30 P.M. in the county 4-H office. Interviews will be conducted with members of the Cumberland County Leaders Association Awards Committee. Interviews will be held the evening of Tuesday, February 13th. You will need to schedule your interview before or when you turn in your application. 

 For information: https://extension.umaine.edu/cumberland/4h/events/citizenship-washington-focus-scholarship-info/

Club Happenings

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 January 2024

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 Jan. 16 & 23 from 6 – 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 8th.

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 27th, so supplies can be mailed to attendees’ homes.

  • Dates: Tuesdays, 4:00-5:00, April 9, 2024 through May 11th.
  • In person field day at SMCC, South Portland (optional) scheduled in South Portland on April 13th (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.
  • Pre-registration 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 at the forest and beach, and read stories. Ages 3 – 5, M, W, & F from 9 am – 12 pm. More information: extension.umaine.edu/tanglewood/st-george-school-programs/young-explorers-day-program/.

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.

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 on 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, Jr.’s ages 9-11 and Sr.’s ages 12-18.  In the event of inclement weather on the 17th, the event will be rescheduled for February 24th.

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.

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/upcoming-events/