Franklin County 4-H Newsletter, March

Table of Contents

Franklin County 4-H Calendar

  • March 7: Total Eclipse Prep Party for 4-H Volunteers
  • March 9: Western/Central Regional Public Speaking Contest @ University of Maine at Augusta (snow date: March 10)
  • March 12: 4-H Volunteer Connections – Finding Space for Mental Wellness in Every Program
  • March 13-17: Ignite by 4-H Conference, Washington D.C.
  • March 17: Yoga at West Farmington Grange 11:00 AM – 12:00PM
  • March 18: Franklin County Leaders Association Meeting
  • March 19 & 26: Start Your 4-H Volunteer Journey Training
  • March 19-April 9: Maine 4-H Ag Ambassadors
  • March 22: 4-H Science Friday- Eclipse Investigations
  • March 27: Registration Deadline for Tide pool Immersion Discovery + Ecology Workshop Series
  • April 6: State 4-H Public Speaking Tournament, Orono
  • April 8: Solar Eclipse
  • April 9: 4-H Volunteer Connections – Animal Science: Strong Relationships and Sportsmanship
  • April 9-May 11: Tidepool Immersion Discovery + Ecology Workshop Series
  • April 18-19: Maine Agriculture Symposium at the University of Maine
  • April 22: 4-H Solar Eclipse Wrap-Up Extravaganza
  • April 24-May 5: Farm Animal Care SPIN Club – FUNdamentals
  • April 26: 4-H Science Friday
  • May 1: Equine ESE Intent forms Due
  • May 24: 4-H Science Friday-Vernal Pools
  • June 5: Fryeburg Market Lamb Intent to Participate Deadline
  • June 20-27: Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF), Washington D.C.

Franklin County 4-H Leaders’ Association

The March Leaders’ Association meeting will be held in person or via zoom. Please bring your questions and ideas! We all look forward to seeing you all at 7:00 p.m. on March 18.

Zoom information will be included in the Agenda for the meeting.

All enrolled 4-H Volunteers are members of their county Leaders’ Association. Your leadership support is encouraged and vital in deciding the focus of our county 4-H programs.

County 4-H News

Forest Learning Day at the Maine Local Living School

We had a very unique and fun experience collaborating with the Maine Local Living School in Temple, ME during February vacation week.  Youth got a chance to work with their hands as they smashed red acorns to remove the nutty pulp.  They then ground up the acorns into fine flour.  Participants learned how adding water (and butter and maple syrup) really takes the bitterness out of the raw acorn flour.  Once the flour had been transformed into a dough, the group cooked and tasted the acorn biscuits on an outdoor fire. The reviews were positive!  Other things they got to do that day were gathering hemlock branches to make hemlock tea.  The kids then got to do a forest scavenger hunt and learn about the similarities and differences in the forest during the winter.  It’s MUCH trickier to identify trees when there aren’t leaves!

Thank you to the Maine Local Living School and the youth and parents who were able to make it that day.  It was a cold one, but the tea kept everyone warm.  We will definitely be working with the Maine Local Living School again!

4-H Youth and volunteer smashing acorns. Making acorn flour
Smashing acorns with special hand-made mallets to get the “meat” out of the shells
Youth grinding acorns into flour.
Grinding up the acorns into flour.
Youth gathering materials for a fire
Gathing materials for the fire
Youth enjoying Hemlock Tea outside in the winter
Enjoying some hot hemlock tea by the fire

March 17 11:00AM – 12:00PM Yoga at West Farmington Grange Hall

Come and learn about how to use yoga in the environment you are in with instructor Bella Russo!  We will be hosting a fun yoga (and snack) session for youth members, their friends, and families.  Join us! Make sure you wear clothing that you can move around in.  If you have a mat you’d like to bring feel free but it won’t be required.

Please call the office to let us know you are coming 207- 778-4650.

The address for the hall is: 4 Bridge St, West Farmington, ME

Western/Central Public Speaking March 9th At University of Maine Augusta

Come check it out if you are curious. Late registration can be accepted by March 7.  Reach out to if you are interested!

State 4-H News

How to Safely View the Maine Solar Eclipse
Can you believe the solar eclipse is just a month away?! It is necessary that you review how to properly view the eclipse before April 8th, the day this spectacular event will occur. When you are viewing the partial phases of the eclipse with your eyes, which are all times except for totality when the moon completely covers the Sun’s face, it is crucial that you are looking through viewing glasses (sometimes called “eclipse glasses”). Yes, this is true even if it’s cloudy or rainy!

  • The only safe way to view partial phases of the eclipse are 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)
  • If you are outside for hours on April 8th make sure you drink water, wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen.

Happy safe viewing!

4-H Solar Eclipse Wrap-Up Extravaganza
Solar Eclipse Coming to Maine! On April 8th, 2024 Maine will experience a full solar eclipse. Although this is a once in a lifetime event for us folks in Maine, there is no way we all experienced the same thing. Join 4-Hers from all over the state to share stories, observations, and experiences from the 2024 eclipse. Let’s see what heliophysics enthusiasm can look like!

To join the conversation, register by March 28th.

If you need solar eclipse glasses, we can provide them for you, register by March 1, 2024.

We invite youth ages 5 – 18 to sign up, the eclipse will take place on April 8th around 3:00 pm, and this celebration will take place via Zoom on Thursday, April 22, 2024, 4:00 – 5:00 pm.

Tidepool Immersion Discovery + Ecology Workshop Series
The 4-H Tidepool Immersion Discovery + Ecology Workshop Series will 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.University of New England graduate students Emily and Sam will lead the workshop. An optional in person field day exploring tide pools is scheduled for Saturday, April 13th.The workshop is free; participation is limited to 15. Required registration closes on March 27.  Register on the event webpage to receive the link and at-home materials.

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:
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 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.

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 + or -.  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.  They in turn will correspond, on behalf of their entire county to me.   **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.  (County Offices, Heidi Palmer will need your delegate names by March 20, 2024). This trip is amazing and very well known and liked.  This trip will be on a first come 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:

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,, or 207.778.4650.

Know someone who is interested in becoming a 4-H volunteer? Tell them about Start Your 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 March 19 & 26 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,, 207.255.3345.

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.

Maine 4-H Ag Ambassadors – Spring 2024
Maine 4-H is launching a new session cohort for interested eligible youth for the Maine 4-H Agricultural Ambassadors program!  The program is designed for youth ages 14-18 who are interested in any aspect of agriculture.  Youth spend time getting to know each other and learning both online and in person facilitated by UMaine 4-H Staff, and community partners. Sessions will focus on career exploration, exploring the Maine Food System with farm and production visits around the state, and building relationships with industry professionals.This season we will be visiting local Maine Ag business like Springworks Farm where youth will get to tour and explore the facilities and learn about their state-of-the-art organic aquaponics system. Check them out!

In addition to the multi-week session, youth will serve in their ambassador role for at least 1 year. Youth will pick an agricultural area to focus on (ex. livestock, ag literacy/food systems, environmental stewardship, Ag and health) during their term and explore opportunities for leadership locally, statewide and even nationally. Register today!

Spring 2024 Dates
Online: March 19 & March 26, April 2 & April 9
In-Person: March 23 & March 30
Maine Agriculture Symposium at the University of Maine: April 18-19 (optional overnight)

For more information and to register, click here. Or visit:

Western/Central Regional Public Speaking Contest
Join other 4-H youth for a Regional Public Speaking contest at UMA in Augusta on March 9 (March 10 snow date) at Jewett Hall at 9:30. We welcome 4-Her’s of all ages, including Cloverbuds. Register online.Want to know more information about Public Speaking? Check out this link: Contact: Tara Marble ( at the office if you have questions or need an accommodation.