April 2023 4-H Newsletter

4-H Happenings

A monthly newsletter for Hancock County 4-H Members

Table of Contents

Upcoming Dates| County News | Club News | State News | Leaders Meeting Minutes

Upcoming Dates to Remember

April 1-30 – Hancock County Read-A-Thon
April 7 –
 Hancock County Extension Homemakers Scholarship Deadline
April 8 – State Public Speaking Competition
April 11 – 6:00 pm Leaders’ Meeting at the Extension Office
April 12 – Deadline to apply for CWF
April 15-23 – Meals For Miles
April 21 – After School Workshop at Ellsworth Public Library 2:00 pm-3:30 pm
April 16 to May 7 – Paper Clover Event @ Tractor Supply
May 1 – Deadline to apply for Kids Can Grow
May 1 – Deadline for ESE 2023 Animal Intent Form
May 12 – Style Revue (details coming soon)

County News

Photo Contest News!

Exciting ideas have been brewing at the office, and they are ready to be shared with you! We’ve officially made some changes to our photo contest this year. From now on, monthly photo scavenger hunts will be posted in our newsletters. We encourage all 4-Hers to take inspiration from our hunt and snap the perfect pictures. Then, you can submit your photos on the photo contest webpage for a chance to be featured in the following month’s newsletter!

April Scavenger Hunt Themes
– Spring has sprung
– A little bird told me
– I spy with my little eye something that is… green!
– Mud season

Come the end of the 4-H year (October 1st), we’ll ask that youth select their top 5 favorite photos from the year and submit them for judges’ feedback. Your favorite photos are also eligible to be submitted to the Blue Hill Fair for a fair prize! Now hurry and go find that perfect shot!

For any questions, please reach out to leah.mccluskey@maine.edu or call 207.667.8212.

Attention Seniors! Scholarships Available

Our Hancock County Extension Homemakers group is accepting scholarship applications for the 2023 academic year. A scholarship in the amount of $400 will be awarded to a deserving Hancock County senior who will be enrolling full-time in a college or school. Application forms can be obtained at your local high school guidance office or the Hancock County Extension Office. Deadline to apply: April 7, 2023

Aquatic Tankers Field Trip

Join the Aquatic Tankers for a science-filled afternoon at the University of Maine on April 30, 2023, from 11:00-1:00 pm! Participants will get the chance to chat with a real UMaine aquatic animal scientist, tour the 4-H building on campus to see the aquaponics tanks they’re setting up, and do a fun aquatic-themed craft to wrap up the meeting. To sign up or learn more about the day, please contact leah.mccluskey@maine.edu.

Style Revue

Attention 4-H Members and Leaders! Have you been sewing, knitting, or crocheting this winter? Or maybe you have created a project out of recycled items to make something new? Maybe you have just been waiting to decide on a project? The time to show off your creations is now! Style Revue is an annual contest for all sewers, knitters, crocheters, or embellishers to share their work! This event is open to 4-H members of all ages in Hancock County. The 2023 4-H Style Revue and dress rehearsal will be held on May 11th and 12th, 2023 at Surry Elementary School. We are excited to announce that this year’s Style Revue theme is “Sewing Fair.” Registration is now online. Guidelines, helpful instructions, and judging sheets can also be accessed there. The registration deadline is Monday, April 17, 2023.

Kids Can Grow 

The Kids Can Grow program is returning to Hancock Maine Coast Heritage Trust LogoCounty! Our Master Gardener Volunteers are partnering with Maine Coast Heritage Trust to welcome youth back to their gardens in Somesville!

This program is designed for youth aged 7-12 on or around MDI. It aims to teach participants basic gardening techniques, food safety and nutrition skills, and how our inputs may affect our harvest.

This program is $20 per participant, though financial aid is available. Space is limited to 14 youth on a first-come, first-served basis. To learn more, or to register now, visit the Hancock County Kids Can Grow websiteDeadline to apply: May 1, 2023

After School Workshops

Three young kids (2 boys and 1 girl) standing with their hand made plant pets (plants in cups decorated with faces, hands, feet, bows, etc)
Leah McCluskey“Plant pets” at the Ellsworth Public Library

We would love for you to join us for an after-school workshop at the Ellsworth Public Library! Every Friday from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm the library will offer workshops for elementary and middle school youth. On the 3rd Friday of every month, 4-H will be the featured presenter.

Last month, Ms. Sue taught participants about different types of seeds and everyone made plant pets to take home! This month, Ms. Andrea will lead a watercolor painting of a dreamcatcher on Friday, April 21. Topics will change from month to month so be sure to check in with the library to see our offerings!


Throughout April, K-8 readers can give back to their community and win prizes by fundraising for every minute they spend reading. The top 3 participants who spend the most time reading will each receive a gift certificate to a Hancock County bookstore. Check out the Hancock County Read-A-Thon website to learn how to get started!

Miles for Meals

Whether you are training for your next triathlon or looking for a reason to move more in 2023, the Hancock County Food Drive invites you to sign up for the Miles for Meals challenge! Register and fundraise for every mile you walk, run, hike, bike, or swim between Saturday, April 15, 2023, and Sunday, April 23, 2023. 100% of the funds raised will go toward helping the Food Drive raise $50,000 (150,000 meals!) this April. Lace-up those running shoes and hiking boots, put on your swim caps and bike helmets, and join us in building food security in Hancock County!

Page Day

4-H youth gathered on the steps at the Maine State House.
Andrea Mahoney4-H youth gathered on the steps at the Maine State House

On Thursday, March 23, 11 4-H Members traveled from across the state to participate in 4-H Honorary Page Day. Three of those members are from Hancock County and we hope to double our participation for next year! After participating in being Pages on the House and Senate floor, we walked over to a tour of the First Amendment Museum, where youth discussed their thoughts on actual cases that have been in front of the Supreme Court, after dissecting and clarifying what the First Amendment covers. It was powerful to hear the collaboration, questions, and compromises that these teens discussed in a safe space even with different views and life experiences.

County Public Speaking Tournament

Hancock County showed up and spoke up at our county Public Speaking Tournament! We are so proud of everyone who participated. It takes a lot to speak in front of a crowd and your courage does not go unnoticed! We especially want to congratulate Olivia D, Jaxson H, Wyatt B, Ruby B, and Alexis M for qualifying to move on to the state Public Speaking Tournament.

Young girl holding up kitchen tongs during her public speaking demonstration
4-H Staff - Leah M“How to Make a Homemade Fire Starter”
4-H youth biting into a sandwich with a smile
“How to Make a Hazelnut and Peanut Butter Sandwich”
Two 4-H youth presenting how to make a grilled cheese, with one of the youth pointing to the crowd as if she were selecting someone to ask a question
“How to Make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich”










Maine CDC Poster Contest

Each year, Maine CDC hosts an annual Lyme Disease Awareness Month poster contest for K-8th graders in Maine. Ticks and tick-borne diseases are an ever-increasing threat, especially among children in this age group. The topic of this year’s contest is “Tick Free ME.” Posters will be accepted through Friday, April 28, 2023. Only one poster per participant will be accepted and posters must be accompanied by a signed release waiver. Winners in each category receive a one-day park pass to any Maine State Park for their family and tick removal kits for their classroom. One grand-prize winning poster will be chosen to feature as the 2023 Lyme Disease Awareness poster for Maine CDC. Visit the Maine CDC website to see last year’s submissions, and to learn more.

Wellness Warriors

Let’s give a warm welcome to our newest 4-H club, Wellness Warriors! Wellness Warriors is a club all about encouraging youth to find an inner balance through connections with nature. Located at Lone Spruce Farm in Dedham, club leader Kristin will host activities like hiking farm trails, spending time with farm animals, outdoor yoga, and learning about nutrition. This club aims to create an environment where youth can safely explore peer to peer networks and mindfulness. By giving young people the tools to find what they need, Wellness Warriors empowers youth to care for their mental and physical health.

If you’re interested in learning more, give the Extesion office a call at 207.667.8212 or email leah.mccluskey@maine.edu with your questions.

4-H Camp

Have you made Summer 4-H Camp plans yet? Maine’s priceless words, waters and wildlife habitats at our 4-H Camps are perfect settings for youth to learn hands-on skills, build self-confidence, make new friends, and share a sense of belonging. Visit 4-H Camps & Learning Centers to learn more or register!

Club News

Jolly Juniors

4-H youth and volunteer creating pin cushions for Blue Hill Fair.

Written by Club Reporter, Jaxson H

During March the Jolly Juniors were busy practicing public speaking.  We had four club members do demonstrations and one did an illustrated talk for the County Public Speaking Tournament. This is Abby DuBois and Coryann Smith’s first year in 4-H, and they did a great job with their demonstrations!

Coryann Smith and I made breakfast sandwiches for the Waltham town meeting. Our club prepares and serves refreshments every year as a community service project to give back to our town.  We liked making the sandwiches and think we will do this again next year.

4-H member making fire starters,The Cloverbuds and some of the Jolly Juniors made fire starters and sewing notion jars to put into the fair at a club meeting.  Abby DuBois showed us how to make the fire starters for her demonstration and we thought it would be fun to make them for a fair project.  Our families can use them to start a fire in a fire pit or a wood stove.  Lots of our club members sew so we can use our sewing notions for future projects after entering jars into the Blue Hill Fair.

Lock, Stock, & Barrel

Lock, Stock, & Barrel will continue its archery program from March through April 5. Club leader Chris will be going in for surgery on April 12, so the group will be taking a two-week break. There will be no meetings on April 12 or April 19. The club will start back up Wednesday, April 26 for wildlife/shotgun discipline and plan to continue the lessons on May 3, 10, and 17. As a reminder, all wildlife/shotgun lessons will take place outside, so come dressed appropriately and bring bug spray! On Wednesday, May 24 at 6:00 pm, the club will have dinner and awards to celebrate another great year!

Horse of Course

At our March meeting, Horse of Course members worked on their project records. The club also received a donation of some wonderful fleece material and decided to make a tie blanket to raffle off in the near future  (potentially during the Paper Clover event at Tractor Supply in Ellsworth). Members also talked about doing another bake sale outside The Galley, a convenience store in Deer Isle, to raise money to split between two local non-profits. The club had a bake sale here last year and raised enough for club t-shirts and sweatshirts.

Three young girls and their club leader making cuts in a fleece fabric for a tie blanket.

State News

  1. New Project Records are HERE!
    Co-designed with Maine 4-H volunteers, youth and staff; these project records have been designed to best serve the needs of Maine youth. Please visit our newly designed project record website https://extension.umaine.edu/4h/volunteers/project-records/. Project records are required for all Maine 4-H Youth. Stay tuned for upcoming trainings. Please contact your county 4-H staff with questions.
  2. Maine 4-H Youth Council Annual Conference – May 13 – 14, 2023
    SAVE THE DATE! May 13-14, Maine 4-H Youth Council Annual Conference. An annual conference for youth ages 15-22. This year’s event will be held at the Windsor Fairgrounds. More information to come.
  3. Workshops Needed!
    The Maine 4-H Youth Council is holding a conference for youth ages 15-22. The conference will be an overnight event and held at the Windsor Fairgrounds May 13th and 14th. We would like to invite you to submit a proposal to present a workshop.

    The Council is specifically looking for 45-minute-long workshops focused on mental health, stress management, communication, creativity, time management, leadership and conflict management. To submit a workshop please visit: https://forms.gle/3z2FN4F6roVeGLX69.
  4. 2023 ESE Horse Intent Form
    The 2023 ESE Horse Intent form is now live. The form is due by May 1, 2023.

    The form indicates your intent to participate in the 2023 4-H Eastern States Horse tryout process. By completing this form, you are verifying that you are currently enrolled in a Maine 4-H Horse project and are a 4-H member of good standing in your county. 4-H enrollment requirements will be verified by 4-H staff.

    We hope to send out more information about the upcoming season and an updated packet as soon as possible. We will have a new layout this year with multiple opportunities for youth to participate and qualify.

    This form is a requirement for trying out for the Maine 4-H ESE Equestrian Team. You will not be eligible to join the ESE Horse Team if this form is not completed by May 1, 2023. If you have questions or need a hard copy of the form please email tara.marble@maine.edu.
  5. Join us for the Maine 4-H Agriculture Symposium!
    You are invited to the Maine 4-H Agriculture Symposium, an overnight event for youth ages 14-18. Participants will take part in hands-on learning opportunities, engage with industry professionals on the UMaine Orono campus, develop leadership skills, and make friendships with teens from around the state April 20 – 21, 2023.

    Symposium attendees will test recipes at the state of the art Food Innovations Lab, participate in hands-on learning experiences at the UMaine Witter Farm, investigate permaculture methods at the Terrell House and more! 4-H membership is not required for participation in the symposium and there is no cost for the event. Transportation assistance is available upon request.

    For more information visit extension.umaine.edu/4h/youth/ag-leadership/4-h-agriculture-symposium or contact Alisha Targonski at 207.622.7546; extension.4hagleadership@maine.edu.
  6. 4-H Shark SPIN Club
    One of the most requested topics of all times: SHARKS!  Have you wondered how sharks find their food? How do they exist in the ocean with other creatures? Interested in learning about their patterns and habits as they swim along the Maine coast? Participants will explore shark behavior, food chains, types of sharks and more with shark scientist, Kyle Oliveira. Participants will receive a packet of materials to engage in hands-on activities that help us explore these questions, as we learn about the exciting water world of sharks.  This workshop is supported by Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine. Register by April 25th, so supplies can be mailed to attendees’ homes. Limited to 10 participants.

    Who: Youth ages 9 – 18
    When: Tuesdays, 4:00 – 5:00 pm, May 16 – June 6, 2023
    Where: Join via zoom
    How: Register by April 25, 2023 at https://extension.umaine.edu/4h/virtual-learning-hub/open-registrations/
  7. Help Project ITCH to Better Understand Tick Control
    The New England Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases (NEWVEC) is seeking your help in better understanding residential tick control.  NEWVEC began as a partnership of university research teams from each of the six New England states joining with state and local health departments and agricultural extension programs to discover, evaluate, and promote practices that reduce the burden of tick- and mosquito-borne disease.

    NEWVEC’s inaugural undertaking is Project ITCH, our acronym for “Is Tick Control Helping.”  Project ITCH will be carried out in two phases starting Spring 2023. In Phase 1 – NEWVEC is asking for your participation to tell us about what you are doing at your home to reduce the incidence of ticks and tick bites. In Phase 2 – NEWVEC will gather the information you share and through a lottery process select residential properties to participate in a research study to test what’s working.

    It all starts with you taking a few moments to answer a few survey questions.  To complete the survey, please visit the web page at www.NEWVEC.org/itch.  Participants in this survey will be eligible for consideration for Phase 2 enrollment in the future.  To learn more about NEWVEC and Project ITCH, bookmark the web page and/or sign-up to receive updates on NEWVEC projects.
  8. Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF)
    Start making plans now to visit our Nation’s Capitol during the week of June 25 – 30, 2023. CWF is a leadership program conducted by the National 4-H Council for high school youth ages 15 to 18. Delegations of 4-Hers from across the country spend six days touring the city and attending leadership skill-building workshops. This summer, the Maine delegation will travel down on June 25 and travel home on June 30. Youth will be staying in a hotel just outside of the DC limits. Visiting the most popular sites in Washington, DC will be a part of the trip. There is a highly recommended orientation for Maine delegates on May 20, 2023. (Location of orientation changes each year due to availability of space and logistical location of delegates going.)  For more information visit https://extension.umaine.edu/4h/annual-events/citizenship-washington-focus/. Contact your county 4-H office for details about how to be a part of this. All county offices have different criteria/dates to apply.
  9. Apply by April 25th for National 4-H Trips
    National 4-H Trips are excellent opportunities to meet 4-H members from across the nation. Participants learn about many career options, and learn through educational workshops at Congress or become a part of a team making recommendations to National 4-H Council at Conference. To learn more about these trips, visit: https://extension.umaine.edu/4h/national-trips/.

    New for 2023: Complete and submit your application and supplemental materials online!

    Any Maine 4-H Youth, ages 14 to 18, is eligible to apply. Applicants must be current Maine 4-H members both at the time of application and the time of the actual trip. Application packets must be submitted online, or sent to your county office and postmarked by April 25, 2023. Interview dates will be the second week of May, 2023.  If you have any questions, please contact Heidi Palmer at 207.310.4235 or heidi.thuotte@maine.edu.

    The 2023 National 4-H Congress is November 24 – 30, 2023, in Atlanta, GA, with an orientation for the trip on October 21, 2023.  2024  National 4-H Conference has not yet been announced, but will likely take place in April of 2024 in Washington, DC., orientation for that trip will be announced to those selected.  Leaders and office staff, if you have senior members in your clubs, please encourage them to participate.  They are amazing trips!
  10. 2023 4-H Volunteer Training Opportunities
    As we prepare for the new 4-H year, we look forward to offering a variety of learning experiences (both in person and virtual) for our 4-H volunteers. Sessions are free of charge, but require registration. Some sessions have limited space. Visit the 4-H Volunteer Calendar of Training Opportunities to learn more and register! 
  11. Save the Date for 4-H Dairy Judging and State Show!
    The Maine 4-H Dairy Judging Contest will take place on May 6th, 2023 at Hardy Farm in Farmington, ME and Silver Valley Farm in New Sharon, ME. The contest is open to all enrolled dairy members and will serve as the official tryouts for the Maine 4-H Dairy Judging Team. 

    The Maine State 4-H Dairy Show will take place on July 22nd and 23rd at the Windsor Fairgrounds in Windsor, ME in conjunction with Maine 4-H Days. The contest is open to all 4-H members who want to participate and will include educational workshops, a fitting contest, a grilled cheese contest, and more!

    For more information on upcoming 4-H dairy events visit extension.umaine.edu/4h/dairy or contact sadee.mehuren@maine.edu; 207.342.5971
  12. Maine 4-H Days: Save the Date! July 21 – 22, 2023
    We’re back for fun times, workshops, overnight camping and more at the Windsor Fairgrounds in Kennebec County! More information to come, so save the dates! 
  13. Cooking for Crowds – Food Safety Training for Volunteers
    There’s a lot to learn about safe food preparation and handling.  Unsafe food can “spoil” your group’s reputation — and its finances. Don’t take a chance. Sign up for the “Cooking for Crowds” workshop. Learn up-to-date methods for safely preparing, handling, and serving food for large group functions such as a 4-H food booth, a club event or community fundraiser. Participants receive Cooking for Crowds – a manual specifically designed for volunteer cooks, a certificate of attendance, and an instant read thermometer. Sessions take place March 28-April 25.  Materials fee is $15 and registration is required.  Visit the Cooking for Crowds website to register for a session near you or a virtual workshop.

Leaders’ Meeting Minutes

Hancock County 4-H Leaders Meeting of March 15, 2023

–Zoom Meeting–

Present- Brenda Jordan, Joannie Jodrey, Lisa Reilich, Elaine Gokey, Jo Ann Joray, Terry Swazey, and office staff Leah McCluskey. (7)

The Secretary’s and Treasurer’s reports for January were accepted as written and read.

Club reports:

  • About the Farm: First meeting since the new year, have been chatting about chickens. Some members have hatched eggs and they have an incubator going now
  • Horse of Course: Will be meeting this weekend and will update next month
  • Jolly Juniors: Met 3-4 times to practice demonstrations for the County Public Speaking Tournament. Also brainstormed ideas for the photo contest.

Old Business

  • Public Speaking Tournament: Turnout was great! Over 58 people attended, and we matched our pre-COVID numbers. Big thanks to Andrea, Leah, and Carla for planning everything. 
  • Style Revue: Leah sending Brenda scanned copies of past files/letters so that we can update info and set a date. Maybe the first Friday in May?
  • Government Day: Not happening this year. 
  • Photo Contest: Change Blue Hill Fair requirements so its no longer a photo story. Kids will have to submit printed and backed photos. Photo contest now going to have monthly submissions based on a photo “scavenger hunt” for the chance to submit into the office to be featured in the newsletter. Come October, kids can submit their top 5 to be judged and then their photos can be featured in the slideshow at Cloverfest. 
  • Discussion of budget: Yearly budget comes out to about $15,000

New Business

  • “Stepping Stones” to Life: Possibly hosting a workshop for kids to create a stepping stone. Can be used as a fair project, can be used for a path at the exhibit hall. 
  • Exhibit Hall Renovations: No updates from fair people. Will pick up this topic with more info next month. Brenda also plans to repaint the food booth sign and maybe lacquer it so we don’t have to repaint it as often. 

Office Report

  • Next meeting April 4th, 6:30, planning to be in person and make stepping stones! (This was then changed to April 11, at 6 pm)

Meeting adjourned at 7:55 pm