December 2019 4-H Newsletter

4-H Happenings

A monthly newsletter for Hancock County 4-H Members

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Table of Contents

Upcoming Dates| County News | Club News | State News | Leaders Meeting Minutes | Cooking with Kids

Upcoming Dates to Remember

December 25 – Christmas Day – Extension Office Closed
December 31 – State Deadline for Re-enrollment Forms – No Exceptions
December 31 – Deadline to submit Volunteer Background Check Online
January 1 – New Year’s Day – Extension Office Closed
January 14 – 6:30 pm – Leaders’ Meeting – Extension Office
January 21 – Martin Luther King Day – Extension Office Closed

County News

Leadership in Action 2019


The recipient of the 2019 4-H Youth Leadership in Action Award was McKenzie Evans of Gouldsboro.  She is an active participant and supporter of the Hancock County 4-H program and has taken full advantage of just about every opportunity that 4-H has to offer.   At 16 years old, she has already acquired an impressive set of skills such as speaking comfortably in front of large crowds, facilitating activities for groups of all ages, and gaining a strong sense of responsible citizenship. She has become a star in our Public Speaking program and pursued leadership opportunities at the county, state, and even national level – traveling all around New England and even Washington D.C. for a National 4-H Youth Summit Series in Agricultural Science.
Her leadership in Hancock County 4-H is about more than simply a list of her skills and accomplishments – but rather, in true 4-H fashion, it is about what McKenzie does everyday to “make the best better”.  We are looking forward to following McKenzie’s bright future ahead.

Last Reminder – New Background Check Policy for Volunteers – Our Maine 4-H program takes the safety of our program participants very seriously and has implemented an important policy change that will affect some Hancock County 4-H Volunteers this year. All Maine 4-H volunteers are now required to have a background check every three years. If you have not had a background check within the past three years, you should have received an email with instructions for how to submit your background check online. If you are a new volunteer within the past three years, you don’t have to do anything at this time!
If a volunteer does not pass a background check or refuses to follow through with this policy, then the volunteer will no longer be able to serve as a UMaine Cooperative Extension Volunteer. This re-screening will be done at no cost to the volunteer.
Our currently enrolled volunteers will have until December 31, 2019 to submit your background application online. Please notify the Extension Office once you have completed and submitted the form so we can complete the process. Further instructions are included in your re-enrollment packets.

Welcome New Volunteers – We are pleased to announce seven newly VOLTed leaders who have completed their training and paperwork in Hancock County.

  • Elizabeth Dickens – Peninsula Explorers
  • Emily Ellis – new club coming
  • Courtney King – new club coming
  • Landere Naisbitt – Peninsula Explorers
  • Goshia Parker – Peninsula Explorers
  • Holly Riordan – new club coming
  • Michael Rossney – Peninsula Explorers

Welcome to the 4-H Family!

County Budget Update – We can’t thank the 4-H community enough for all of your support during the proposed budget cuts this fall. We are thrilled to announce that the County Commissioners voted against a budget cut to the Hancock County Cooperative Extension Office, which keeps us at the same level funding as last year. It was made clear that your voices, letters, emails, and calls made a significant impact on this decision and the commissioners are continually impressed by the good work of Extension in our community. THANK YOU!

4-H Archery & Riflery Training Level 1 – Augusta, January 4th – The University of Maine 4-H Shooting Sports Program will host a one-day workshop to certify volunteer leaders in archery and rifle. Participants will be certified to teach one specific discipline to youth participating in a formal 4-H Shooting Sports Program. Participation in the 4-H Shooting Sports has steadily grown in recent years and with this growth comes a greater demand for volunteer instructors. The 4-H model is a comprehensive youth development program that utilizes shooting sports as a way of connecting with young people teaching life skills such as teamwork, respect, and discipline as well as safety and enjoyment. Currently there are certified 4-H Shooting Sports Instructors in every county in the state and that list is growing.It’s going to be a really fun day! Register online

Volunteer Insurance & Liability

In this day and age, we are all concerned about our potential liability exposure. What will happen if someone is injured or property is damaged during a 4-H event that I am leading? What happens if I am sued because of an accident that happens while I am volunteering? Generally, authorized 4-H volunteers have liability protection while doing educational activities on behalf of University of Maine Cooperative Extension. However, the University will not pay expenses if the person did not act in good faith and with the reasonable belief that their action was appropriate and in the best interest of the University, or if the person had reasonable cause to believe that their action was illegal.

As I continue to work with Cooperative Extension’s many policies and procedures, I feel it is important to ensure that you are informed and knowledgeable about what you need to do to protect yourself from potential liability issues.

The University requires that 4-H volunteers follow these steps to make sure they are protected by the University’s liability insurance while performing University-related activities:

  • Be a certified and enrolled 4-H Volunteer with the Extension office. Other adults who support the 4-H program should be under the direction of enrolled, certified volunteers. The Good Samaritan Law and the Volunteer Protection Act may provide protection for other volunteers.
  • Teach, model, and emphasize safety in all 4-H activities, as outlined in the Standards of Behavior (PDF) contract that you are required to sign annually. If there is an issue, the University will ask detailed questions about your risk management practices (see Risk Management Practices at
  • Make sure that activities are approved by County 4-H Staff; this includes any field trips, fundraising events, or “special events” that your club is organizing. Documentation is important in case we are questioned about whether a specific volunteer or activity is covered.
  • Make sure Extension staff know when and where the approved activities take place. You can inform us in whichever method of communication works for you — email, phone, in person, or even Facebook!

If you haven’t reviewed these policies in awhile, or if you are a new 4-H Volunteer, I encourage you to explore the Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines for Volunteers . This is a very large document with a lot of important information, so please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions, or are looking for specific information. I am always eager to meet with any volunteer to discuss what these policies look like “in the real world” – in a way that is most applicable to your program. I am always learning along with you and want to be sure you are protected while doing the great work that you do!
Contact:  Carla Scocchi, 4-H Youth Development Professional
(207) 667-8212

Leaders’ Banquet 2019 –  The 2019 Leaders’ Banquet was a small, yet cozy evening. Hosted at the Eastbrook Community Center on November 15th, 2019, thirty-four leaders from all over Hancock County came out to celebrate their commitment to 4-H. A delicious dinner was catered by Helen’s, replete with pot roast, baked haddock, pie and more. Everyone was fully sated by the end of the niLeaders Banquetght!

Do you remember what were you doing back in 1979? Several of our leaders were just starting their leadership journey with 4-H! We were incredibly honored and grateful to give a 40-years of service pin to Chris Kravitt, Dwight and Gail Sargent, a 35-years of service pin to Becky Ames, Judy and Peter Nevells, and Judy Hellum, and a 30-years of service pin to Norwood Ames. What a joy and inspiration to work alongside these members – and all of you – who are so committed to fostering leadership and learning in our youth.

We had a few “special” awards that evening as well. Brenda Jordan, president of the Leaders’ Association, won the “Stepping Up” award. Brenda has been an incredible leader and we are grateful for her guidance this year: she received a 4-H camp-chair so she can sit down and take a break once in a while! Kristen Beauchamp of Spruced Up Homesteaders won the Rookie of the Year award. She’s contributed a ton during this first year, and we are excited to see what she brings to the table in the years to come. Finally, we wanted to extend a special thank you to the officers and board of the leadership association, all of who have put in a tremendous amount of work and energy into events, fundraising, and more. They will be receiving a special dinner catered by the 4-H extension staff at the January board meeting.

For those who couldn’t come to the leadership banquet, we extend a huge THANK YOU for the commitment and work you do with 4-H. We are truly excited to continue working with you all in 2020. Until then, happy holidays!

Club NewsPeninsula Explorers

Peninsula Explorers – Over the course of the session we explored local food traditions, taught by a variety of local experts! We did local harvest and outdoor cooking at Horsepower Farm and with Michele Levesque and Michael Rossney, owners of El El Frijoles.  We learned about food preservation and worked with Apples 4 ways (drying, canning, baking, and eating raw) with Jo Barrett, a local homesteader and former farmer and educator.  Hans Carlson of Blue Hill Heritage Trust talked to the kids about distance hiking and demonstrated how you pack and plan for a long distance hike. We also made beef jerky in preparation for our own distance hike! And our final meeting was a big old hike complete with our jerky and dried apples on Blue Hill Heritage Trust’s Penny’s Preserve trail system in Blue Hill.  We had a wonderful time!  Submitted by club leader, Chrissy Allen

Spruced Up Homesteaders – The Spruced Up Homesteaders have been having tons of fun getting messy (and hungry!) in the kitchen during our baking session for November and December! The kids have made baguettes, scones, and will tackle crackers next! We’ve talked about and practiced setting a proper table, and most importantly always sit down to break bread together at the end of our day! The children have also enjoyed bringing their creations home to their families and are accumulating recipes for their own cookbooks!Submitted by Club Leader, Kristin Beauchamp


State News

  1. Save the Date for 2020 Maine 4-H Days
    Maine 4-H Days will take place July 16 – 19, 2020 at the Windsor Fairgrounds. If you are interested in helping to plan next year’s event, please contact Jessy Brainerd at or 207.581.3877.
  2. 4-H Science Saturdays are Returning in 2020!
    Thanks to the generous support of the Maine 4-H Foundation, we will be offering opportunities for middle/early high school aged youth to visit the UMaine campus for targeted science or engineering experiences!
    Science Saturday programs run from 10 AM – 1:30 PM, and include time for youth to engage in hands-on activities with professors and current UMaine students, as well as time for lunch in a UMaine dining hall!
    We need your input!  What topics should we offer?  Please let us know by filling out the survey here:
  3. 4-H Statewide Teen Dance Seeks Planning Committee Members
    There is a small group of 4-H members who would like to plan a statewide formal dance for teen 4-H members across the state. We are looking for teen volunteers who would like to be a part of the planning committee for this Winter event. FMI please contact Maddie Gray
  4. Winter Becoming an Outdoors Woman Program
    The 2019 Winter Becoming an Outdoors Woman program will be held on February 21 – 23, 2020 at Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center, 17 Conservation Lane, Bryant Pond ME 04219 in Oxford County. This fun weekend is geared towards women seeking new ways to get outdoors, meet new friends, and challenge themselves. All meals and lodging are provided and space is limited to 36 participants. FMI: call 207.665.2068.
  5. Save the Date! 4-H Animal Science Bonanza
    January 11, 2020 at the Walpole Elementary School, 8 Bemis Rd, Walpole, NH. This 4-H program will have beef, sheep, goat, dairy, and horse workshops with guest speakers. For more information contact Andrea, Extension Field Specialist, 603.352.4550 or
  6. Save the Date: 4-H Page Day will be Thursday, February 6. From 8:30-12:30 youth will serve as pages in the House and Senate- ushering notes and correspondence within and between chambers. And in the afternoon, details still working themselves out, our group will meet at the Maine State Library/Museum to learn more about Maine’s history and having hands-on experience with the archives related to the Bicentennial.
    What does a page do? Legislators are constantly communicating and making decisions while in session and pages make that communication possible. Pages hand out information packets or place the paper information on their desks. Pages will also run communication and documents directly from legislator to legislator.
    If you are interested in serving as a page, please contact  Diana at 207-622-7546 or


Cooking with Kids

Peanut Butter Balls

¼ cup peanut butter
¼ cup honey
½ cup instant nonfat dry milk powder
½ cup crushed whole wheat cereal flakes

1.Mix peanut butter, honey and dry milk in a bowl.
2.Shape into 1-inch balls.  Roll in cereal.
3.Chill until form for 30 minutes or longer

Makes 12 servings