March 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

March 9 – Hancock County Public Speaking Tournament
March 12 – Eclipse Exploration at the Extension Office (4:30 – 5:30 pm)
March 12 – 4-H Leader’s Meeting at the Extension Office (6:30 pm)
March 15 – Eclipse Exploration at the Ellsworth Public Library (2:00 – 3:30 pm)
March 18 – Last Day to Register for CWF With County Staff
March 29 – Last day to Register for Style Revue
March 30 – Eclipse Exploration at the Blue Hill Public Library (10:00 – 11:30 am)
April 1 – Hancock County Leader’s Association Scholarship Due to Office
April 5 – Extension Homemakers Scholarship Due to Office
April 6 – State Public Speaking Tournament in Orono
April 8 – Solar Eclipse in Maine

County News

Eclipse Offerings

Sunshine craft showing the stages of a solar eclipse
4-H Staff - Leah “Take home crafts ready for pick up at the Ellsworth and Blue Hill Libraries”

Did you know Maine is in the direct path of the upcoming solar eclipse? On April 8th, Northern Maine will experience a total blackout, and we want to help you prepare. Join 4-H staff and scientists from all over the state for any of these eclipse offerings!

The office will be stocked with eclipse glasses to share with our 4-H families. If you need a pair in preparation for the eclipse, be sure to swing by and pick some up!

Local Offerings

  • March 12 – Eclipse Exploration at the Hancock County Extension Office (4:30 – 5:30 pm)
  • March 15 – Eclipse Exploration at the Ellsworth Public Library (2:00 – 3:30 pm)
  • March 30 – Eclipse Exploration at the Blue Hill Public Library (10:00 – 11:30 am)

State Wide Offerings

Public Speaking

Our county competition is right around the corner! We hope all our participants are excited and practicing their talks because we can’t wait to learn about their topic of choice. If you missed the deadline to sign up for public speaking, don’t hesitate to reach out to our staff and see if there are other opportunities to qualify for states.

As a reminder, the event will begin at 10:00 am at the Extension Office on March 9, 2024. A catered lunch will be available, but you are welcome to bring along your own food if desired.

Style Revue

4-H youth laying a pattern piece over her fabric
4-H Staff - Leah “Getting to work at the Style Revue Workshop”

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.

For those who would like to participate, you can get started now by registering and checking out our new guidelines here!

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!

Scholarships Available

  • Our Hancock County Extension Homemakers group is accepting scholarship applications.  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: Friday, April 5, 2024 (PDF).
  • Merit-based college scholarships are available to past and present members of Hancock County 4-H thanks to the generous support of the Hancock County 4-H Leaders Association. Recipients must complete an application, submit all required paperwork, and meet merit-based criteria in order to be eligible for a scholarship, which may vary in an amount of up to $750. Download an application and submit it to the Extension Office.
    Deadline to apply: Monday, April 8, 2024 (PDF).

4-H After School

Youth holding up an origami butterfly
4-H Staff - Leah “Origami butterflies are easier to make than you think! Just ask our 4-H’ers”

Great news… The 4-H After School is growing! We’ve heard your requests and will now be offering the monthly library workshops on another date each month. Starting in March, we’ll begin to host workshops at the Extension Office. These will take place on the second Tuesday of each month from 4:30 – 5:30 pm, before our Leader’s Meetings.

This month, youth can prepare for the upcoming solar eclipse with Leah and Carla by taking a deep dive into how an eclipse happens, and what you should look forward to this April! No registration is required, but feel free to let us know if you plan to be there.

Every Friday from 2:00 – 3:30 pm, the Ellsworth Public Library offers 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 Scavenger Hunt!

Bunny rabbits made out of egg cartons
4-H'er - Lumi“I’m excited for… Easter!”

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 Lumi for sharing their bunny-themed art to show their excitement for Easter!

March Themes
  • So long winter, hello spring
  • Feeling lucky
  • Out of this world
  • Making strides

Needs Assessment

Rachel interacting with a baby cow
Jane Bell“Rachel meets one of the newest members of the livestock family at Tide Mill Farm”
Rachel White, Extension’s new Assistant Professor of Sustainable Agriculture and Livestock, is eager to build connections with farms in Hancock and Washington Counties and throughout the state of Maine.
Participate in her quick survey to contribute to the development of agricultural programming in the Downeast region or reach out to Rachel at
📸 Photo Credit: Jane Bell

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.

Club News

Lock Stock & Barrel: The club has started their archery session and still has a few spots open for any 4-H’ers who would like to learn a new skill. Contact the Extension Office for more details if you’re interested.

Horse of Course: Each member prepared facts about a horse breed of their choice to bring to this meeting and share with the group. Some of the breeds the youth chose to learn about were the Appaloosa, the miniature horse, the Assateague, and the Bardigiano. The club members did a great job sharing information.  One parent brought a horse encyclopedia and was able to look up each breed to show the group.

Co-leader Terry also prepared a slideshow of breeds, face markings, leg markings, and colors that we discussed and learned what their significance is. At our meeting next month, the group will let their creativity shine by learning how to draw horses.

State News

How to Safely View the Maine Solar Eclipse: Can you believe the solar eclipse is just a month away?! In preparation, let’s review how to properly view the eclipse. To protect your eyes, it is crucial that you use special viewing glasses (sometimes called “eclipse glasses”) to look through, even if it’s cloudy or rainy. The only time it is safe to remove your eclipse glasses is during totality, a short period of time when the moon completely blocks the sun. Not every area in Maine will experience totality though, so check in with your local staff for additional safety advice.

Please do not attempt to view the eclipse with sunglasses, through a camera lens, binoculars or a telescope. If you are outside for hours on April 8th make sure you drink water, wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen. Happy safe viewing!

The Hancock County Extension Office has glasses available for our 4-H families. Please stop by and grab a few pairs in preparation!

4-H Solar Eclipse Wrap-Up Extravaganza Solar Eclipse Coming to Maine: On April 8th at around 3:00 pm, Maine will experience a full solar eclipse. Although this is a once in a lifetime event for us folks in Maine, we won’t all be experiencing the same things. Join 4-Hers from all over the state to share stories, observations, and experiences from the 2024 eclipse. Let’s see what heliophysics enthusiasm can look like!

To join the conversation, register by March 28th. If you need solar eclipse glasses, we can provide them for you, register by March 1, 2024.

We invite youth ages 5 – 18 to sign up. This celebration will take place via Zoom on Thursday, April 22, 2024, 4:00 – 5:00 pm.

New SPIN Club: Farm Animal Care – FUNdamentals: Are you interested in learning about livestock animals (such as cows, goats, or sheep)? How to care for them? How do you know what to feed them, how do you actually do regular health checks and have proper housing? Join the 4-H Animal Science SPIN club. We will have 3 virtual sessions focused on what livestock need to live a healthy life and one field day that provides hands-on experience. Set yourself up for success in your 4-H project by learning the basics of animal care. Participants do not need to have any prior animal experience or currently own livestock to participate. This is a beginner/introductory level program.

This club is open to youth ages 9 – 18, with space limited to 15 participants. Virtual sessions will be on Wednesdays, April 24, May 1, and May 8, 2024. An Optional in-person field day will take place on Saturday, May 4. More information and registration are available online.  Registration closes on April 8, 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.

Maine 4-H Ag Ambassadors – Spring 2024: Maine 4-H is launching a new session cohort for interested eligible youth for the Maine 4-H Agricultural Ambassadors program!  The program is designed for youth ages 14-18 who are interested in any aspect of agriculture.  Youth spend time getting to know each other and learning both online and in person facilitated by UMaine 4-H Staff, and community partners. Sessions will focus on career exploration, exploring the Maine Food System with farm and production visits around the state, and building relationships with industry professionals.

This season, we will be visiting local Maine Ag businesses like Springworks Farm where youth will get to tour and explore the facilities and learn about their state-of-the-art organic aquaponics system. Check them out!

In addition to the multi-week session, youth will serve in their ambassador role for at least 1 year. Youth will pick an agricultural area to focus on (ex. livestock, ag literacy/food systems, environmental stewardship, Ag and health) during their term and explore opportunities for leadership locally, statewide, and even nationally. Visit our website to learn more or register today!

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,

Equine ESE Intent forms Due May 1, 2024: The 2024 Eastern States (ESE) Horse Intent Form is now live and online.  The form indicates your interest in participating in the Eastern States Team Tryout event this summer.  The event this year will offer a weekend opportunity for youth to qualify and to learn and grow while getting to know other youth who are also interested in trying out. Youth can try out to be a Teen Leader (4-H age 12 and up) or to be a Rider or Driver (4-H age 13 and up).

More details will go out to those who fill out the intent forms in the registration packets.  The intent form does not bind you to the tryout event. Applications will be used to determine the event roster.

The ESE intent form is to be filled out by May 1st. Animal approval forms must also be filled out and sent to your county office by May 1st as well. If you have any questions, please reach out to Tara Marble at, or 207.778.4650.

Start Your 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 March 19 & 26 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 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,, 207.255.3345.

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:
March 12 – Finding Space for Mental Wellness in Every Program
April 9 – Animal Science: Strong Relationships and Sportsmanship

Leaders Meeting Minutes

Hancock County 4-H Leaders Meeting of February 13th, 2024

Present- Lisa C, Lisa R, Terry, Lee, and Leah (Staff). 

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

Old Business:

  • Newsletter costs
    • ~$60 a month, it seemed to be well received, and members seemed to be in favor of continuing.
  • Following up on potluck rules
    • Leah will share policy via email with the group
  • Public speaking location/room rental 
    • See if Cave Hill or Mountain View is an option
    • Blue Hill or Trenton grange
    • Lamoine School
  • Revisiting OFD
    • Need to revisit when club leaders are present
  • June Jamboree update from Terry- still no response from the fair, she will call again. Perhaps reach out to Rebecca.

New Business:

  • Is the Senior Scholarship happening again?
    • Yes, see if the 4-H Foundation is matching

Office Business:

  • A plan for honoring Floyd
    • Voted to donate $50 to Shriners on behalf of the leaders in honor of Floyd
    • Ask the office if we want to pool funds
    • Share obituary with the leaders/county
  • State public speaking
    • Lee and Terry will be timer tabulators
  • Style Revue workshop sign-ups low
    • Still hosting!! Terry is willing to help even if we just have the one attendee. 
    • Leah/Andrea will advertise again this week 
  • Eclipse plans and glasses available for club leaders
    • Will hand out at public speaking
  • Office donation (Sue is wondering if you’re doing this again)
    • Yes, Leah will let Sue know

Adjourned 6:58 

Respectfully submitted by Lisa Carney, Secretary