December 2020 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 24-25 – Christmas Observation – Extension Office Closed
December 31 – State Deadline for Re-enrollments – No Exceptions
January 1 – New Year’s Day – Extension Office Closed
January 12 – 4:30 pm – Leaders’ Meeting via zoom
January 18 – Martin Luther King Day – Extension Office Closed

County News

4-H Leaders – Although we couldn’t celebrate the Hancock Ken celebrating 50 yearsCounty 4-H volunteers and leaders via our usual leaders banquet this year, we appreciate everyone who has worked with 4-H this year and EVERY year. A big shout out to Ken Silsby, who has volunteered with us for fifty years! We made him a video of appreciation with photos and messages from 4-H staff members, fellow volunteers and leaders, and youth. Robin Foster presented it to him along with his 4-H jacket.  (Thank you Robin for your help!)  Sally Jordan celebrated her ten year volunteering anniversary this year as well, and was sent gifts of appreciation from her club members and the Extension office (thanks to Horse & Rider for their service with this!).. Thank you to Ken, Sally, and to everyone! Your dedication to 4-H is integral to the success of positive youth development in Hancock County — especially during this crazy year. We really appreciate you all.

See a full list of volunteers who reached milestones this year below.

Leaders’ Meeting – The next Leaders’ Association meeting will be by Zoom on January  12,  at 4:30 pm. Email for the private link.

Re-enrollment 2020-2021 Final Reminder – Another 4-H year has begun! If you have not submitted your paperwork – the state deadline is December 31. Absolutely no exceptions will be allowed after that date.

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.  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!

Election of Officers –  for the Hancock County Leaders’ Association:
President: Brenda Jordan
Vice President: Heather Linnehan
Secretary: Lisa Carney
Treasurer: Terry Swazey
Board Members: Joanne Jodrey, Dwight Sargent and Lee Sargent

4-H Bird ChatsCEA Zabet NeuCollins will be leading a statewide virtual birding group for youth. 4-H Bird Chats will meet monthly from December through April. The club will focus on sharing observations and contributing to Project FeederWatch, a citizen science bird survey that spans November through April. Due to the overwhelming and immediate positive response, we have already closed registration! However, we encourage interested 4-H’ers or 4-H club leaders to reach out to the Hancock County Extension Office if they’d like to learn more about birding, want help setting up a Project FeederWatch account, or would like activities that they can do at home or with their club.

Aquaponics – We wanted to share this great photo and note Aquaponicsfrom Robert and his mom…. It made us beam! We’re proud of you too, Robert!
“Robert started a 4-H Aquaponics group this summer and built a tank, wrote a grant, recorded daily, kept seven fish alive, and grew his own romaine lettuce that we now use regularly for meals. I’m so thankful for this light for him, and him learning to stick with a long term project.”

Leaders  – Thank you again to all of our 4-H leaders.  Listed below are leaders who have reached important milestones this year through their volunteer service with 4-H.

First Year Volunteers

  • Thomas Beauchamp
  • Elizabeth Dickens
  • Emily Ellis
  • Courtney King
  • Landere Naisbitt
  • Zabet NeuCollins
  • Goshia Parker
  • Holly Riordan
  • Michael Rossney

Five Year Volunteers

  • Henry Bowden
  • Robin Davis
  • Katherine Jordan
  • Hugh Lassen
  • Jenny Lassen
  • Rebecca Maddocks-Wilbur

Ten Year Volunteers

  • Sally Jordan

Fifty Year Volunteers

  • Kenneth Silsby


State News



1.Only TWO More 4-H Virtual Teen Science Cafes in 2020!
There are two more 4-H Virtual Teen Science Cafes happening in 2020! On December 3, Shawn Laatsch will join us to talk about the Mars Rover Perseverance, and on December 9th Dr Pauline Kamath will teach about how to be a Genetic Detective tracing the source of an outbreak. The program will be running again in Spring of 2021, if you have ideas of new topics, please email Alice Philbrick at . Register today

Every Wednesday, you have the opportunity to participate in The University of Vermont’s VTeen Science Exploration – these are a similar format and run from 3:30 – 4:45 pm.  On their announcements page, scroll down to VTeen Science Exploration for details about the different offerings, and registration links.  View spring session webinars, visit:

2. 4-H Tuesday Trivia
Come join the fun and test your knowledge in a variety of topic areas, including your knowledge of 4-H and our land-grant university, the University of Maine!

When? Every Tuesday in December! Register to play and each Tuesday at 12:00 noon you will get an email with your link to the week’s trivia game. The quiz will close at 11:59 pm that night. Each game will have questions about 4-H, the University of Maine, and one of these themes : Disney, Winter, Animals, Star Wars, and the State of Maine.

Who Can Play? Any 4-H member, family, or volunteer can play. We will have four age categories: Cloverbuds (age 5-8), Juniors, (9-12), Seniors (13-18), and Adults (4-H volunteers, parents, and   4-H staff) In addition, you can invite your non-4-H friends to join the fun and play along too!

Does it cost anything? Nope, it’s free! AND, you can win prizes!

Did you say prizes? Yes! Prizes include t-shirts, 4-H swag, gift cards, and a 4-H Camp and Learning Center scholarship! Each week we will draw random winners. Top scores at the end of December in each age group will receive prizes. You can even receive an award for recruiting the most non-4-H friends to play! Each week youth play, their name will go into a drawing that will take place at the end of the month for a partial 4-H Camp and Learning Center scholarship up to a $150 value.

How do I sign up? Head here and click on the form. Then, each Tuesday in December, watch your email for your link to your trivia game. Submit your answers. Speed and accuracy count. Check back on the webpage to follow the leader board and see who the weekly prize winners are.

3. Maine 4-H Foundation Scholarships
Graduating seniors can apply for a 4-H scholarship from the Maine 4-H Foundation. Applications are due on March 1, 2021 to the local county office and on March 8, 2021 to the Maine 4-H Foundation. For more information please go here.  

4. Virtual National Youth Agri-Science and Healthy Living Summit Applications for 2021 are Available Now! The National Youth Summits on Agri-Science and Healthy Living will be held virtually this year allowing us to add more youth to our teams. Attendees will learn more about their area of interest by attending interactive workshops, and pitching their own action plan ideas. The Summits were created to empower youth to be well-informed citizens, expand engineering and agriculture experience, and increase connections to living a healthy lifestyle, all while being actively engaged in their communities.
Healthy Living: February 11 – 14, 2021
Agri-Science: March 4 – 7, 2021
Eligibility: Youth ages 14-18, enrolled in 4-H by December 31, 2020 – this year youth may enroll in Maine 4-H solely in order to attend the Summits and participate on the team.
Cost: $75.00 – we are currently working on funding sources and expect the participant cost to be closer to $25.00 per youth.
Application: This is a combined application for both the Agri-Science and Healthy Living Summits. Please note that references are not required this year.
For more information about the National Youth Summits please visit: or check out the application for more details. Email or call Sara,, 207-781-6099, with any questions. Applications are due by December 11, 2020.

Leaders Meeting Minutes

Present (5)- President Brenda Jordan, Treasurer Terry Swazey, Secretary Lisa Carney, Board Member Lee Sargent, Vice President Heather Linnehan, and office staff Carla Scocchi and Zabet NeuCollins.

Secretary’s Report:

Treasurer’s Report: Submitted online by Terry

Club reports: Lee’s club met on Saturday; she is hoping the weather stays nice. Brenda’s club is meeting for the first time this week.

Old Business:

Ken’s 50th recognition video is done and will be shown this Friday.

New Business:

Election of officers: President Brenda, VP Heather, Secretary Lisa, Treasurer Terry, Board Members Dwight, Lee, one seat vacant for now. Brenda will ask Joanie.

Should we meet in December? Usually the meeting is skipped.

Office Notes:

Possible activity: send out wreath making supplies, have kids make some for Wreaths Across America. Maybe decorating ornaments?

Zabet will be starting a virtual bird watching club in conjunction with the Cornell Ornithology Lab.

Most of the clubs plan to re enroll this year even if they are not meeting in person.

Meeting adjourned at 5:45 pm

Respectfully submitted by Lisa Carney, Secretary