February 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

February 13 – 4-H Leaders Meeting (6:30 pm)
February 16 – 4-H at the Ellsworth Library (2:00-3:30 pm)
February 17 –
 Maine 4-H Dairy ESE Intent to Participate Form Due
February 17 – Maine 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl Contest in Augusta
February 22 – Style Revue Workshop at the Extension Office (1:30-3:30 pm)
February 26 – Last Day to Register for Hancock County Public Speaking
March 9 – Hancock County Public Speaking Tournament
March 18 – Last Day to Register for CWF With County Staff
March 29 – Last day to Register for Style Revue

County News

Check Your Mail!

Our Leaders’ Association is sending home a physical February newsletter to every 4-H family in our county! They hope this will help make our newsletter more accessible to Hancock County youth, so they can learn about the various opportunities available to them as 4-H members! Also, use it as a tool to help you plan out completing activities on your Bingo Sheet. We’ve included a laminated QR code card, which will take you right to our page of 4-H newsletters and can be used all year! Please put it on your fridge or in another handy spot. Let us know how this works for your family!

Public Speaking

A 4-H Volunteer instructing two youth on how to make a public speaking poster
4-H Staff - Andrea M“A 4-H Volunteer, helping Kowen and Coryann with their demonstration poster”

Our county had a blast learning the 4-H way of public speaking! We’ve got lots of youth new to public speaking this year, and boy, did they exceed expectations! At the workshop, youth learned what every presentation needs, the difference between a demonstration and an illustrated talk, and what will help their presentation stand out. We can’t wait to see what they show us at the county competition.

I want to share a special thanks to all of the 4-H volunteers who helped our youth at this event, especially Lisa R! Lisa is our public speaking expert and it means the world that our kids can continue to learn from the best. Thank you Lisa!

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 (Location TBD). Visit our website now to register by the February 26 deadline! 

Style Revue

4 youth holding up pillowcases they sewed
4-H Volunteer - Brenda J“Jolly Juniors are getting ready!”

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 wanted to start a new project and have been looking for inspiration? 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.

To start the season, the 4-H Leaders Association will host a Style Revue Workshop for beginner sewers/knitters/crocheters. If you’re new to garment making and are looking for a place to start, join us on February 22 from 1:30 – 3:30 pm at the Extension Office in Ellsworth. Learn more about the workshop and register on our website!

For our returning participants, you can get started now by checking out our new guidelines here. Not much has changed, but a refresher is always helpful!

Save the Date: Style Revue will take place at Cave Hill Elementary in Eastbrook on Friday, May 10, with a dress rehearsal on May 9. Be sure to register by the March 29 deadline!

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

4-H Staff - Leah M“4-Her’s hard at work decoding with a cipher”

This month at the Ellsworth Public Library, join Leah for origami Valentine’s Day cards. We know we’ll be meeting after the holiday has come and gone, but there should always be a reason to give someone you appreciate a lovely note!

Last month, our group got together to escape from the library in a 4-H escape room! If you want to know if they succeeded, just check out this picture of our participants putting their heads together!

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 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! Thank you to Alexis M, Macy B, and Marina B for participating in the January search.

February Themes
  • Full of Love
  • Showing Appreciation
  • How soon will Spring Come?
  • I’m Excited For…
A small brook starting to freeze over
4-Her - Marina B“Icy Brook” – Jack Frost Made a Visit
Image of a dark blue sky with snow covered trees
4-Her - Alexis M“Snowy Trees” – Jack Frost Made a Visit
Half a wood cookie painted to look like a rainbow
4-Her - Macy B“Rainbow” – Getting Crafty


Club News

4-Her painting a wooden pumpkin lawn ornament
“Full focus for pumpkin painting”

Jolly Juniors – Six Jolly Juniors went to the public speaking workshop. We learned we could teach others how to do something by doing a demonstration. Last year I made a ham and cheese sandwich. Maybe this year I’ll try something different!

Lily, Jazzy, and Adalyn made boot jacks with our project leader, Brent. Jaxson told us the boot jack was one of his favorite projects he has done in 4-H! Miss Jess helped Adalyn and Jazzy start making their ice fishing trap. It will be a fair project, but our club hopes we can get enough ice to have our annual family ice fishing day.

At our Sunday meetings in January, most of us finished our jack o’lantern lawn ornaments that we will enter into the fair. Three new sewers made pillowcases that they will show at Style Revue and enter into the fair. Lorelei wanted to take her pillowcase home, but Brenda said, “Not yet!

Spoons decorated like snowmen with felt scarves and hats
4-H Volunteer - Brenda J“Snow spoon family”

For a craft, we made spoon snowmen using a clay pot and spoon, hot glue, fabric, ribbon, and paint. The following week some of us baked and decorated snowman cupcakes to share with our families!

We are saving can tabs for the Shriner’s Hospital. If you would like to donate some, you can drop them off at the Extension Office or give them to a Jolly Junior 4-H’er.

-Coryann S, Club Reporter

Lock Stock & Barrel – The youth will be participating in Postal League through January, with February 7 concluding the competition. On February 14, we will offer a “fun shoot” for the youth. This could include using different types of targets, or 22’s. The following week is school vacation week (February 19-24) and we will not be meeting. The club will start back up on Wednesday, February 28, with a 4-6 week archery session.

Remember, that if school is canceled due to weather on a Wednesday, then the club will not be meeting. We also want to remind folks that if you are sick, please stay home. If anyone in the family has COVID, we request that youth stay home until it is clear they are not sick. This goes for the flu as well. You can contact the club leaders with any further questions (Norwood and Becky Ames 567-3066 or Becky’s cell: 207-322-2793).

Horse of Course

4-Her with a wide smile excitedly vacuuming
4-H Volunteer - Terry S“Excited for clean-up time!”

At the last club meeting, Horse of Course members spent some time watching videos to learn about mustangs. We had a visitor come to this meeting to see what our club was about and she decided to join! The new 4-H Bingo Cards were also passed out and the kids looked them over to see which events they might want to attend to get Bingo! At the end of the meeting, the members decorated sugar cookies with vanilla or chocolate frosting, sprinkles, and mini M&M’s to enjoy while they got to thinking about which breeds they might want to research for the next meeting. The plan is for each member to bring some information about a breed of their choice and share the information they learned with the other club members.

State News

Virtual SPIN Club – Rising Tides, Rising Voices: Climate Science, Justice and Action in Maine: Learn how climate change impacts Maine’s ocean and coastline and what you can do about it in this six-part participatory online series! This program is free for Maine youth aged 13 – 18 and will occur weekly on Zoom from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays February 28 – April 3, 2024. Learn more or register here!

Solar Eclipse Coming to Maine: On April 8, 2024, Maine will experience a full solar eclipse. The last time Maine experienced this was in 1963, and the next one won’t be until 2079!

How we react and experience solar eclipses today may look different from the past and/or across cultures. The oldest known recorded eclipse is in 3340 B.C.E. based on petroglyphs found in Ireland. Around 1200 B.C.E scribes in China recorded experiences of eclipses, which later helped scientists calculate the speed of Earth’s spin. In some cultures it is believed that the sun is being eaten by a creature, as the beginning stages of an eclipse look like a bite has been taken out. For some, a solar eclipse is seen as a rebirth and for others it represents a scary, uncertain time and they do not go outside. Learn more about the history of eclipses. Whether you are creating new eclipse traditions or following generational experiences, you can find helpful information for eclipse safety guidelines and preparing audiences

Total Eclipse Prep Party for 4-H Volunteers: On April 8, 2024, parts of Maine will experience a total solar eclipse- and this won’t happen for another 20 years! A total solar eclipse happens when the moon lies exactly between the sun and the Earth, casting its shadow on a small patch of the Earth’s surface. Does the idea of a total solar eclipse light your spark? Are you interested in learning more about it and sharing your excitement with youth? If so, we want you to join us!

  • When: Thursday, March 7, 2024, 5:00 – 8:00 pm at the University of Maine campus in Orono. 
  • What should you bring: We want you to bring a friend, a colleague, a neighbor, a parent from your 4-H club… a SUN-BUDDY! This person doesn’t have to be an enrolled 4-H volunteer, but someone who is excited about the total eclipse and would like to share their enthusiasm and help you do ONE activity with youth prior to or on April 8th. 
  • What’s the plan: We will feed you dinner, take you to a show at the University of Maine Jordan Planetarium, do a hands-on activity with you, help you and your “sun-buddy” plan your activity, and have materials, supplies, and resources available to take. You will also receive free materials to implement activities, solar eclipse viewing glasses, AND a t-shirt!
  • Cost: The event is free, but registration is required and space is limited.
  • Registration: Register here! by February 16, 2024

Tidepool Immersion Discovery + Ecology Workshop Series: The 4-H Tidepool Immersion Discovery + Ecology Workshop Series will 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. University of New England graduate students Emily and Sam will lead the workshop. An optional in person field day exploring tide pools is scheduled for Saturday, April 13.

  • Dates: Tuesdays, 4:00-5:00, April 9, 2024 through May 11.
  • Ages 13-18
  • 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 L. 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.

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. Click here to register now! Come to one or come to all! We look forward to connecting with YOU! 

Topics include:
February 13 – Be a Positive Communicator
March 12 – Finding Space for Mental Wellness in Every Program
April 9 – Animal Science: Strong Relationships and Sportsmanship

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.

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.thuotte@umaine.edu.

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@maine.edu or 207.342.5971 with any questions.

2024 Maine 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl Contest: The Maine 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl contest will be held on February 17 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 Quiz Bowl 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 Quiz Bowl 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 website. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation please contact sadee.mehuren@maine.edu.

Leaders Meeting Minutes

Hancock County 4-H Leaders Meeting of January  9th, 2024

Present- Terry Swazey, Lisa Carney, Joannie Jodrey, Brenda Jordan, Elaine Gokey, Lisa Reilich, Lee Sargent, and Leah McCluskey (Staff) (7)

The Secretary’s and Treasurer’s reports for October 2023- motion made to accept the Secretary’s report as written, seconded, and accepted. A motion was made to accept the Treasurer’s report as read, seconded, and accepted. Some steer ticket prize checks are still out to several youth; maybe we should hand them cash next year.

Club reports:

  • Horse of Course will be meeting later this month. They did not meet in December. They will be decorating cookies!
  • Jolly Juniors made wreaths and had a club party where they made breakfast. Have meetings coming up at the end of the month.
  • Lisa R has been talking to Tanglewood camp about hosting a Farm Camp for 10-12 year olds the last week in June.

Old Business:

  • Public Speaking Workshop- rescheduled for this Sunday. There are 10 signed up for the workshop.

New Business:

  • Public Speaking
    • County (March 9)
      • Judges: Melissa M, Rachel W, maybe Nita (checking with Carla)
      • Timer/Tabulator: Lee/Terry?
      • Carla covering lunch
    • State (April 6)
  • Style Review
    • Leah and Brenda will connect to work on this
  • Budget Discussion
    • Insurance 
    • Increase Public Speaking from $100 to $125; motion approved.
    • Govt Days- not currently funded. Do we want to? 
    • Ribbons (for public speaking, photo contest etc.)
    • Increase Activity Tent from $75 to ??
    • Crown Trophy increase from $150 to $200?
    • How much are we paying for newsletter postage? Motion to mail out the February newsletter as a hard copy to all 4-H families.
  • Steer- we have a steer and someone to raise it. The pen needs a lot of work.
  • Jamboree- need to start organizing meetings. 6:30 on Thursdays will work. Budget was $600. Motion made increase Jamboree budget to $750. Seconded and passed.
    • We should be ask if the fairgrounds will be available. June 14, 15, 16 or the following weekend? Maybe just Friday and Saturday?
    • Terry will reach out to the fair board
  • Open Farm Days- not sure if we will be participating this year, would happen on July 28th.

Office Business:

  • Volunteer Directory
  • Update shared drive
  • Photo Contest money
    • Judges choice: $25
  • Stuff pickup: Blanket supplies, rolling pins, can tabs, etc.
  • Workshops at the office?
    • Possibly a Style Revue prep over February break? Thursday would be a good day for most
    • Cooking workshop
    • Possibly a recycled craft, such as jean purses.

Adjourned 7:25

Respectfully submitted by Lisa Carney, Secretary