February 2022 4-H Newsletter

4-H Happenings

A monthly newsletter for Hancock County 4-H Members

County 4-H News

College Scholarships

Hancock County high school seniors are encouraged to apply for two scholarships being offered.

Merit-based college scholarships, varying amounts up to $600 are available to past and present members of Hancock County 4-H thanks to the generous support of the Hancock County 4-H Leader’s AssociationThe deadline to apply is April 1, 2022.

College scholarships in the amount of $400 are available through the Hancock County Extension Homemakers. The deadline to apply is April 8, 2022.

To find out more about how to apply, visit Hancock County Extension’s 4-H Scholarships page.

State 4-H News

4-H For All: Spring 2022

The purpose of this virtual club is to provide new and potential members and their families a place to learn about 4-H and to connect youth across the state. Youth will choose a project to complete and learn more about 4-H and how to become involved. We want you to join and engage in our 4-H program! There is no cost, and meetings will help challenge you to create new goals and discover new passions. Open to youth 5-13, dates will be March 24, April 28, May 26 at 10 am and 6 pm. Register on the 4-H For All Club page.

Union Fair: New Dates in 2022

The Union Fair will be happening earlier in the summer, starting this year. The dates for Union Fair 2022 will be July 27-31, about a month earlier than in years past. Please plan accordingly, and check UnionFair.org for updates. Knox-Lincoln Extension staff produce a 4-H Union Fair Information Booklet each year. Once the 2022 PDF document is ready for distribution, it will be shared with all Maine county Extension offices. The booklet will also be available for download on the Knox-Lincoln 4-H website. Questions? Contact cynthia.rogers@maine.edu.

Special Events at the Versant Astronomy Center

The Versant Astronomy center is open at UMaine, welcoming groups as well as individuals.  Their current programming and other information is available on the Versant Power Astronomy Center and Maynard Jordan Planetarium website. Some great upcoming events are:

  • February 5: Telescopes, Binoculars and Stargazing – this is a hands-on workshop!
  • February 11: Science Lecture Series including Melissa Maginnis and Ben King
  • February Public Show: Skywatchers of Africa

Hudson Museum Virtual Lunar New Year Celebration

The University of Maine Hudson Museum in Orono has put together some great resources to help celebrate the Year of the Tiger. Watch a pre-recorded presentation about how Lunar New Year is celebrated. A downloadable instructional packet will have templates, directions, and information on how you can create your own New Year’s decorations to celebrate. The Hudson Museum will offer a limited number of kits to create traditional decorations. These kits will include arts and crafts materials and instructions for their use in the classroom. This event is geared toward elementary and middle school students. To get information on this event or to reserve a kit, please email elliot.bowen@maine.edu, or visit the University of Maine Hudson Museum website.

4-H Pitch Project

The Youth Trustees have established a fund to support young entrepreneurs in 4-H. Pitch us your idea for a business and we may fund the start-up idea. Check out the Pitch Your Idea project on UMaine 4-H Foundation’s Receive Funding page.

Maine’s Mysterious Marshlands: Using eDNA to Understand Climate Change

Are you interested in learning more about Maine’s changing climate? Salt marshes have the potential to lessen the impacts of increasing carbon dioxide in our atmosphere! Join University of Maine graduate student, Heather Richard, in exploring Maine’s salt marshes and learn more about how environmental DNA (eDNA) can help us to understand more about the role of this important habitat in our changing world. Hands-on games and demonstrations will give participants an in-depth perspective into the science of eDNA and salt marsh ecology. Youth ages 12-18 can register on the Maine’s Mysterious Marshland: Using eDNA to Understand Climate Change page now to participate in the approximately one-hour workshop on February 23, 2022, at 1:30 pm.  The workshop will take place over zoom; pre-registration is required by February 11, as materials will be shipped to participants’ homes.

Maine 4-H ESE Sheep Intent Forms are Now Available

The 2022 Maine 4-H Sheep Eastern States intent to participate form is available on 4-H’s Sheep page. In order to be eligible for participation on the Maine 4-H Sheep Eastern States Team this fall, 4-H members must complete the fillable PDF form or mail a hard copy of the intent form to the Oxford County Cooperative Extension office before April 1, 2022. Please contact Sara King at sara.king@maine.edu or  207.342.5971 with any questions.

Maine 4-H Dairy Quizbowl Tryouts

The 2022 Maine 4-H Dairy Quizbowl tryouts will be held in person on February 26 at the Randall Student Center at the University of Maine Augusta. This event will serve as the official tryout for the Maine 4-H Dairy Quizbowl Team. Those who make the team may have the opportunity to travel in person or compete virtually at a regional competition.

Maine 4-H Dairy Quizbowl tryouts are open to all enrolled 4-H dairy members ages 9-18. Youth will be divided into two age categories, Jr. ages 9-11 and Sr. ages 12-18. If you plan on attending please notify Sadee Mehuren via email at sadee.mehuren@maine.edu so that we can prepare for the event. Per the University of Maine’s covid guidelines, masks will be required for all attendees. For more information visit the 2022 Maine 4-H Dairy Quizbowl page.

Start Your 4-H Volunteer Journey Today

Do you know someone who is thinking about becoming a 4-H volunteer? Or someone YOU think would make a great 4-H volunteer?  We are looking for people to help youth find their spark and thrive! If so, please encourage them to sign up for Start Your 4-H Volunteer Journey Today! These two one-hour virtual sessions on March 1 and 8 from 7:00-8:00 pm will provide initial training and information about 4-H. There will be hands-on activities, opportunities to hear from youth, other volunteers, and more. No pressure to commit, no cost, and no reason to not attend! Invite someone you know to register on the Start Your 4-H Volunteer Journey Today! Training page by February 18. For more information contact Jen Lobley at jennifer.lobley@maine.edu or 207.255.3345.

Public Speaking Workshops

Are you interested in learning more about giving a polished, interesting presentation? The Maine 4-H Communication Science Team members will be leading two workshops in February and March. Workshops are designed to help 4-H members learn new Public Speaking skills and to prepare for the upcoming state Public Speaking Tournament in April.

Workshops are open to 4-Hers age 9 and up, and will take place on February 16 and March 16 from 6:00-7:00 pm, via Zoom. Contact cathy.gray@maine.edu if you would like to attend this Free Online Workshop.

The Maine App Challenge

Love technology? Here is a chance to put your passion to a purpose and win a scholarship along the way! The Maine App Challenge is an incredible opportunity for Maine middle school and high school students who are 13 years of age and older to create a mobile application with a chance to win a scholarship and other valuable rewards. A series of innovation workshops from the University of Maine Foster Center for Innovation will help you get started! There are three scholarships available for the top mobile apps: $6,000 for first place, $3,000 for second place, and $1,000 for third place.

Other awards include $500 to the high school with the highest participation, Tablets to the first 50 completed submissions, a guaranteed internship interview for the top 10 submissions following his/her college sophomore year.  Visit the Tyler Technology Maine App Challenge website for more information.

Maine 4-H Foundation Scholarships

The Maine 4-H Foundation is pleased to announce a number of scholarships available to 4-H members. They range in value from $1,000 to $2,500. Donors from around the state have been very generous in supporting our 4-H seniors as they pursue their dreams and aspirations. Scholarships are due March 1, 2022, to your county office. Please visit the Maine 4-H Foundation website’s Receive Funding page.

Maine 4-H Virtual Learning Hub

Maine 4-H Virtual Learning is a hands-on, virtual learning program for youth ages 5-18. Workshops will be organized by age and topic. Topics include engineering, science, animals and agriculture, teen leadership, and more.

Workshops will range from single-time events to short-term programs (typically four to six sessions). Participants will engage in hands-on activities, interact with other 4-Hers, and be positive adult role models.

No prior experience with 4-H is required to participate. This is a great way for those who are interested to learn more about 4-H.

Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF)

We have exciting news! We are now planning for an in-person CWF 2022! Many things are changing within the programming schedule and event place.  As some of you know the National 4-H Center has been sold or is in the process.  Therefore, CWF will no longer be held there but will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda, Maryland. This event center is not far from where we previously have been, but we will forever miss our own 4-H Center.

In 2020, CWF was canceled due to the pandemic, and the 2021 program was held virtually.  We as a state did not participate in the virtual 2021.  We still do, however, have a list of participants that have never been able to go on the trip.  This list is currently being contacted to see if they are still enrolled members wanting to participate. Once those numbers have been finalized, we will open up the list to “fill the bus” for 2022. All delegates must be currently enrolled and between 14-18 years old as of January 1, 2022.

We have held records of who in the past has paid monies and are also working that through.  The total cost for this year’s trip will be available very shortly.  A note will be going out to your local office with all information and please note: we will be on a short timeframe to get delegate information in. The date that has been reserved is June 25-July 1, 2022.  We will be leaving on a Saturday and coming home on the following Friday.  As always in today’s world, all plans are Covid sensitive but as the true 4-Hers that we are, we adapt!  If you have questions, please feel free to email Heidi Palmer, State Activities Coordinator at heidi.thuotte@maine.edu.

2022 4-H National Trip Interviews

As in the past, we will be holding interviews for National trips in the early spring.  The National 4-H Trips page is currently being updated to work towards that same schedule with a date to be announced very soon.  At this time, we will be interviewing for National Congress in 2022 and National Conference in 2023. National Conference 2022 which will be held on March 20-24, 2022 is currently still being reviewed within our state guidelines due to the Covid travel situation that seems to be strengthening daily, information will be shared as it becomes available. If you have questions. Please feel free to email Heidi Palmer, State Activities Coordinator at heidi.thuotte@maine.edu.

New Impromptu Category at State Public Speaking Tournament

The Maine 4-H Public Speaking Committee is pleased to announce a new category at the State Tournament in April 2022!

Impromptu is a fun and exciting category that gives participants the opportunity to practice off-the-cuff presentations. Youth will be given three topics to choose from and then have several minutes to prepare a short presentation for an audience. For this year, Impromptu will be a non-scored category. However, participants can expect to receive feedback from judges and peers. Youth who participate in the Maine 4-H Public Speaking Tournament will also be able to participate in the Impromptu category as a bonus opportunity. Visit the 4-H Public Speaking Tournament page for more information.

4-H Volunteers Register Now!
February 16 * March 16, 6:30-8:30 pm

This year’s Cabin Fever Series for 4-H Volunteers is combining efforts with other states in the Northeast region! The following three topics will be featured in virtual workshops this winter:

  • re-engaging and motivating youth
  • designing captivating and fun activities
  • expanding possibilities for youth to broaden their world

These workshops will offer a great chance to learn something new, brush up on your skills and connect with 4-H volunteers from across the Northeast! Register now on Zoom’s Meeting Registration page!

4-H Club Resources

The Norma Hardison Fund has been created to support 4-H club special projects. 4-H Club Creativity Grant application ideas should tie into the 4-H program priorities for Maine, including club and community learning projects, philanthropic projects that engage members in the community supporting 4-H program work, and/or new creative educational ideas. Funds can be requested for amounts up to $200; on a rare occasion, the grant request may be considered for more than $200. Sponsor: Maine 4-H Foundation Youth Trustees in Philanthropy. Application Form available on the 4-H Service, Innovative Education, and Philanthropy Grants page.

4-H Service Innovative Education, and Philanthropy Grants

Grant application ideas should tie into the 4-H program priorities for Maine including club and community service learning projects, philanthropic projects that engage members in the community supporting 4-H program work, and/or new creative educational ideas. Funds can be requested for amounts from $100 to $500; on a rare occasion, the grant request may be considered for more than $500. Sponsor: Maine 4-H Foundation Youth Trustees in Philanthropy. Application Form available on the 4-H Service, Innovative Education, and Philanthropy Grants page.