January 2024 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

January 5 – Intent to Sell Beef at Fryeburg Forms Due
January 7 – Public Speaking Workshop at the Extension Office 2:00–4:00 pm
January 9 – 4-H Leaders Association Meeting 6:30 pm
January 15 – Maine 4-H Beef ESE Intent to Participate Form Due
January 15  Martin Luther King Jr. Day-Extension Office Closed
January 16 and 23 – Start your 4-H Volunteer Journey Training (via Zoom) 6:00 – 7:00 pm
January 19 Escape Room at the Ellsworth Library with 4-H Staff 2:00-3:30 pm
January 26 – National 4-H Trips Application Deadline
February 17 – Maine 4-H Dairy ESE Intent to Participate Form Due
February 17 – Maine 4-H Dairy Quizbowl Contest in Augusta
March 9 – Hancock County Public Speaking Tournament
March 18 – Last Day to Register for CWF With County Staff

County News

Public Speaking

Young girl holding up kitchen tongs during her public speaking demonstration
4-H Staff - Leah M“How to Make a Fire Starter” 2023 presentation

Attention Hancock County! Do you have youth that LOVE to talk? Or maybe some kids who want to step out of their comfort zone? Well then sign them up for our Public Speaking Workshop!

Hancock County will be hosting a Public Speaking workshop on Sunday, January 7th from 2:00 – 4:00 pm. By attending this workshop, youth will begin to learn what it takes to give a good presentation and get the chance to practice the skills they learn in small groups! Space is limited to 16 youth. Small snacks and refreshments will be provided. Sign up today on the Hancock County Public Speaking Website to reserve your place or contact the Extension Office at 207.667.8212.

Save the Date: All of our 4-H youth are invited to prepare for this year’s Hancock County 4-H Public Speaking Tournament, which will be held on Saturday, March 9 from 10:00 – 3:00 pm.

Intent to Sell

Intent to Sell forms are due January 5! As a reminder, youth MUST have already enrolled by December 31, 2023, in order to sell at the Fryeburg Fair. Once re-enrolled, families can contact the office for Intent to Sell forms or submit an online form for market beef at our state website.

Intent to Participate in the Eastern States Exposition

For those interested in participating at the Eastern States Exposition with the Maine State Beef team, the due date for the Intent to Participate form is January 15. The form is online this year and can be found at the bottom of the beef project resources website.

4-H Leadership in Action Award

Lexi celebrating with her family
4-H Staff- Carla S“Lexi celebrating with her family”

Congratulations to Lexi M., Hancock County 4-H member and the 2023 recipient of the Hancock County Extension Association’s 4-H Leadership in Action Award! In 4-H we regularly recognize youth for developing skills and knowledge, but this award is unique in that we recognize a member who has put those skills and knowledge into action and as a result, has become a leader among her peers and in her community. We cannot thank Lexi enough fo the behind the scenes work she’s done to support her fellow 4-Hers this year. She has helped with countless county events, planned and executed her own workshops, and shared her love of 4-H with all. We’d also like to thank the Hancock County Extension Association for taking the time to recognize this hard worker.

4-H Event Bingo

Hancock County 4-H is bringing something new to the table this year and it’s 4-H Bingo! If you haven’t already seen our new Bingo cards, you can check them out here. They’re a fun tool our youth can use to keep track of what events they can participate in throughout 4-H, and win some neat prizes along the way! Bingo cards will be mailed out to all our independent 4-H members, and those who are in a club can receive theirs from their club leaders at their next club meeting.

4-H After School

Youth holding up his vision board for 2024, filled with images of dogs
4-H Staff - Leah MCan you guess what Isaac’s goal for 2024 is?

This month at the Ellsworth Public Library, join Leah and Andrea for a library escape room. Get ready to gather clues, solve puzzles, and find secret codes to escape the Ellsworth library!

Last month, our group visualized our goals for the new year with a creative mood board activity. Check out some of the results! Can you guess what our youth’s goals are?

Every Friday from 2:00 – 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. Hope to see you there!

Photo Contest

The feedback has been collected, and our judges say that Hancock County 4-H is full of wonderful photographers! Thank you to all of the participants in this year’s photo contest! Your ribbons and feedback have been mailed out to you, so be on the lookout. If you know any of the youth below, be sure to check out their work by taking a walk through our virtual art gallery!

  • Alexis M, Independent

    Photo of a iceskater on a pond backlit by the sunset
    Nora M“Sunset Skating” by photo contest participant Nora M
  • Finn M, Independent
  • Robert M, Independent
  • Sadie M, Independent
  • Nayeli M, Independent
  • Essie C, Horse of Course
  • Esther L, Horse of Course
  • Olivia D, Jolly Juniors
  • Adalyn J, Jolly Juniors
  • Lily M, Jolly Juniors
  • Nora M, Jolly Juniors
  • Josie R, Jolly Juniors
  • Coryann S, Jolly Juniors

Photo Contest Scavenger Hunt!

Join our monthly newsletter photo scavenger hunt! We encourage all 4-Hers to be inspired by our monthly themes 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!

January Themes
  • Jack Frost made a visit
  • Getting crafty
  • Snow sculpture
  • Warm and fuzzy

Club News

Lock Stock & Barrel

The Lock Stock and Barrel 4-H Club held their raffle on December 6 at their weekly club session. The first drawing was for the Wildlife wall hanging, made and donated by Holly Lutz, of Bucksport. The winner is Amanda H, of Prospect.

The second drawing was for a knife and sheath set made and donated by Tree Stump Leather’s owner, Chris Kravitt. The winner of the second drawing is Elaine Boober of Bucksport. The third drawing was for a 2lb box of homemade chocolate fudge, donated by Becky Ames. The winner is Elaine B, of Bucksport.

Noah R laying on the ground learning how to aim a rifle
4-H Volunteer - Dawn RNoah R at a Lock Stock and Barrel Club Meeting

Winners have picked up their prizes. The club raised $328. The youth enjoyed a pizza and ice cream event before the drawing. The proceeds will pay for the club’s expenses for ammunition, postal league dues, and other activities. We would like to thank everyone who purchased tickets in support of our youth and program. Noah R and his family are the top sellers of tickets. In January, the club will participate in Postal League, a competitive shoot with other youth clubs around the state. In February, the club will start archery. Anyone interested in archery may contact Norwood and Becky Ames at 207-567-3066.

Jolly Juniors

The Jolly Juniors have been busy starting our 92nd year! In October, we hosted a community pumpkin carving. Families came to carve pumpkins that would light the path at Cave Hill School’s Trunk or Treat. It was fun cleaning out the pumpkin guts. Some of us saved the seeds to grow pumpkins next year!

We had our club Cloverfest to celebrate the old year and start the new one. We had an ice cream bar which was really good. We were excited to get our fair projects and premiums plus our steer ticket money.

We are working on wooden pumpkin projects. We have painted them and we will be making faces on them soon. We will post an update when we finish them!

Olivia and Jaxson speaking on stage for the Wreaths Across America event
4-H Volunteer - Brenda J“Olivia and Jaxson leading the pledge”

At the end of November, each family made cookies for our annual cookie swap. While we enjoyed eating our cookies, we made bell ornaments, wooden ornaments, pine sachet bags, and a wreath. I didn’t know how hard it was to make a wreath until I made my own. 

We went to the Wreaths Across America event at the Downeast Family YMCA in Ellsworth. Here, the Cave Hill school kids sang The Grand Old Flag. During the ceremony, Jaxson and Olivia read their essay and led the 4-H pledge. Several of the Jolly Juniors were able to present veterans with a Wreaths Across America coin as the veterans were recognized. Jolly Juniors also got to present the wreaths for the different branches of the military. It was hard to know where to go and scary being in front of everyone, but it was cool meeting the veterans.

A few Jolly Juniors members looking at the toy selection at Walmart
4-H Volunteer - Brenda J“Jolly Juniors holiday shopping”

We also went shopping for kids for the Community Closet Christmas for Kids project. We each had a budget and shopped for six kids. It was hard to stay on the budget, but it was really awesome to be able to get the gifts for the kids.

The last thing we did this fall was donate a lot of toiletries, spices, socks, coloring books, and crayons to the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry. We each brought donations to our Christmas party where we swapped socks and cooked our own breakfast!

– Coryann S, Club Reporter


State News

Start Your 4-H Volunteer Journey: Do you know someone who is interested in becoming a 4-H Volunteer? Tell them to Start Their 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 Jan. 16 & 23 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 the 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, jennifer.lobley@maine.edu, 207.255.3345.

Solar Eclipse Coming to Maine: On April 8th, 2024 Maine will experience a full solar eclipse, a once in a lifetime opportunity!

What is a solar eclipse?
When the moon orbits the earth, sometimes the moon moves between the earth and the sun. At the right angle, the moon blocks the sun’s light from reaching Earth and causes a solar eclipse. During a solar eclipse, the Moon’s shadow is cast upon earth in certain locations.

What is a total solar eclipse?
A total solar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Moon and Earth are in a direct line. It is visible from only certain locations on Earth during a solar eclipse. When the center of the Moon’s shadow hits the earth, the sky goes dark and we can experience changes in a short amount of time (temperature, sounds, etc.).

This link will bring you to a short animation from NASA that explains what we will see during a solar eclipse and why it happens. Curious whether you’ll be in the path of totality? This solar eclipse look up tool allows you to see whether you will experience a total or partial solar eclipse on April 8th. Stay tuned for more eclipse information and opportunities!

Maple Sugaring 101: From Sap, to Syrup, to Sales: Not long after the New Year celebrations have ended and Maine hunkers down for several more weeks of winter, some farmers and landowners across the state turn their attention to maple sugar season. Depending on the weather, maple trees start to release their sweetness anytime between February and April and there’s a lot of work to be done to prepare for collecting the sap and boiling it down into syrup.

Maple Sugaring 101 is a 6-week program open to Maine youth ages 9 to 15 who are interested in learning about the entire maple sugaring process. Participants will learn about forest management, tapping trees, transporting sap, using an evaporator, grading and storing syrup, and operating a maple sugaring business.

Each week, participants will learn about the process and connect with other young maple sugar makers through online meetings and in-person workshops led by Extension and University of Maine experts. Online meetings are scheduled for Wednesday evenings: February 7, February 14, and February 28. On-site workshops will be held at participating sugarhouses following the virtual sessions.

Club leaders who would like to have their club participate in this program, please contact your 4-H County Professional or Andrew Hudacs by Monday, January 29, 2024: andrew.hudacs@maine.edu, (207) 581-8204. Youth who are interested in the program but are not a member of a participating club are welcome to register. Travel beyond their home county may be required to attend onsite sessions. Registration ends on February 5, 2024.

Tidepool Immersion Discovery + Ecology Workshop Series: 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 by just taking a picture. Please note that the ability to get to the beach and supervision are required (at least once, between sessions). Participants must have access to a durable digital camera (a phone is fine). This workshop is supported by Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine. Register by March 27th, so supplies can be mailed to attendees’ homes.

  • Dates: Tuesdays, 4:00-5:00, April 9, 2024 through May 11.
  • In person field day at SMCC, South Portland (optional) scheduled in South Portland on April 13th (rain date April 14).
  • Ages 11-18
  • Most activities will be held via Zoom. Materials will be provided and shipped directly to participants before the workshop. In-person field day scheduled in South Portland on April 13 (rain date April 14). Participants will be asked to visit the ocean at least once, at low tide, during this series. Facilitators: Emily P. and Sam B.
  • Preregistration is required by March 27, 2024.

Come to Work at Tanglewood and Blueberry Cove: Tanglewood and Blueberry Cove are now hiring for our spring and summer seasons! Positions include Educators, Counselors, Trip Leaders, and more. Please visit our website at extension.umaine.edu/tanglewood/employment/  for more information and to apply.

Young Explorers Early Childhood Enrichment: Young Explorers at Blueberry Cove, our new early childhood enrichment program, is accepting registrations for 2024! The program focuses on play, sensory learning, and developing social skills in an outdoor setting. Explorers spend time with our camp animals, play at the forest and beach, and read stories. Ages 3 – 5, M, W, & F from 9 am – 12 pm. More information: extension.umaine.edu/tanglewood/st-george-school-programs/young-explorers-day-program/.

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:
January 10 – Creating LGBTQ+ Inclusive Programs
February 13 – Be a Positive Communicator
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 partnership. 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.

Fryeburg Market Animal Intents Now Available: Intent to sell forms for Fryeburg market projects are now available at extension.umaine.edu/4h/animal-science-resources. Steers must be owned and in the possession of the 4-H member by December 31 and intent forms, including RFID tags, bill of sale, and photos of the steer must be submitted by January 5. Lambs must be owned and in the possession of the 4-H member by June 1 and intent forms, including bill of sale, scrapie tag number, and photos of the animal, must be submitted by June 5. For more information on 4-H market animal projects please contact your county cooperative extension office or call 207.581.3877.

Maine 4-H ESE Beef Intent to Participate Forms are Now Available: The 2024 Maine 4-H Beef ESE Intent to Participate form is now available online and must be submitted by January 15, 2024. This is a requirement for all youth intending to participate as members of the Maine 4-H Beef Team at the Eastern States Exposition in September. Youth must be 12-18 years old as of December 31, 2023 and have completed one year in a beef project prior to this year. Please contact Kristen Grondin, kristen.grondin@maine.edu, 207.581.8193, with any questions.

National 4-H Trips for 2024/2025: The National Trip websites will be updated by the beginning of the year. They will be updated with the current known information and will continue to be updated as details become available. The State of Maine 4-H Program wants to send 4 delegates to “The National 4-H Conference” in Washington DC held in April 2025. State of Maine 4-H also hopes to send 4 delegates to “The National Congress” on November 29 – December 3, 2024 to be held in Atlanta, GA. Interviews for both these trips will be set for Friday and Saturday February 9 and 10, 2024 via zoom.  All online applications are due on January 26, 2024, to your county office. As with all of our trips, special thanks to the Maine 4-H Foundation for significantly supplementing these trips. For more information or help with the interviewing process, please contact heidi.palmer@maine.edu.

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 + or – $1200. 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 by Monday, March 18. They will correspond on behalf of their entire county to me. They will also 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. It is an amazing opportunity for our youth to experience! This trip will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. As we approach the date of departure, an orientation will be planned for candidates to participate in. If you need more information, you can check the CWF UMaine website or email, heidi.palmer@umaine.edu.

National 4-H Congress, November 2023: This year, National 4-H Congress was held in Atlanta GA.  Maine sent 3 delegates and 1 chaperone in November. Congratulations to Kendall S. and Sadie O. from Cumberland County, Nathan D. from Waldo County, and our chaperone, Jenn G. from Cumberland County. A very special “thanks” to Jenn for agreeing to chaperone. Congratulations to our Maine delegation!

ESE 4-H Dairy Intent Forms: The 2024 Maine 4-H Dairy Eastern States intent to participate form is available online. In order to be eligible for participation on the Maine 4-H Dairy Eastern States Team this fall, 4-H members must submit their completed intent form online or to the Waldo County Cooperative Extension office before February 17, 2024. Please contact Sadee Mehuren at sadee.mehuren@maine.edu or 207.342.5971 with any questions.

2024 Maine 4-H Dairy Quizbowl Contest: The Maine 4-H Dairy Quizbowl contest will be held on February 17th at the UMA Randall Student Center in Augusta, ME. The contest consists of a general knowledge exam, individual questions, and buzzer questions. The contest will serve as the official tryout for the Maine 4-H Dairy Quizbowl Team that will represent Maine 4-H at ESE this fall. All 4-H dairy project members ages 9-18, regardless of whether or not they wish to try out for the Quizbowl team, are invited to participate. Contestants will be divided into two age divisions, Jr.’s ages 9-11 and Sr.’s ages 12-18.  In the event of inclement weather on February 17, the event will be rescheduled for February 24.

For a complete set of rules for the contest, study materials, and directions to the venue please visit our 4-H dairy resources website. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation please contact Sadee Mehuren at sadee.mehuren@maine.edu.

Leaders Meeting Minutes

There was not a December Leaders Meeting. The next Leaders Meeting will be held on January 9, at 6:30 pm.