Hancock County 4-H Youth Development
4-H is the positive youth development education program of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. 4-H is the largest youth organization in the world! Youth ages 5-18 can join, and you do not have to own an animal or raise livestock to be a member of 4-H. 4-H programming is diverse and offerings include activities in the areas of agriculture, science (STEM), healthy living, and civic engagement.
Hancock County 4-H is focused on educating and empowering youth through hands-on and community-based experiences, with self-directed learning and collaborations. 4-H youth acquire knowledge and skills that will contribute to leadership and the ability to succeed now and in the future.
The 4-H model for Positive Youth Development is successful because of its focus on positive and sustained relationships between youth and adults, activities that build important life skills, and opportunities for youth to use these skills as participants and leaders in valued community activities.
A 4-H club is comprised of youth members, led by an adult, with a planned program that is carried on throughout all or most of the year. 4-H Clubs may meet in any location and typically have elected youth officers and a set of rules approved by the membership to govern the club. 4-H Clubs can focus on any topic ranging from raising animals to building robots and everything in between. 4-H Clubs are eligible to participate in any county, state, and nationwide 4-H events throughout the year including but not limited to: Public Speaking, 4-H@UMaine, June Jamboree, Maine 4-H Days, Blue Hill Fair, and more! Find a 4-H Club for you.
Special Interest/Short-Term Programs
We regularly offer SPIN (SPecial INterest) clubs and projects. These short-term programs are led by staff and/or volunteers and are designed for youth to learn a selected topic or skill of interest. These groups meet for a specific amount of time (usually 4-6 times) and topics vary according to the volunteer’s expertise, and may include but are not limited to: the natural world, heritage arts, science and technology, photography, music, gardening, shooting sports, and more! These clubs are becoming increasingly popular as they tend to accommodate busy family schedules and target youth interests. You are not necessarily required to join 4-H as a full member to participate in these short-term programs, although full membership makes you eligible to participate in any county, state, and nationwide 4-H events throughout the year. These special interest programs can be held in locations such as but not limited to afterschool programs, community centers, area organizations, and the Extension Office. View the list of current 4-H Programs.
Independent 4-H members are typically working on a 4-H project at home, at school, or after school. They are mentored by parents and/or a 4-H Volunteer. This option offers flexibility and independence since youth are not required to meet in a club setting. Independents are eligible to participate in any county, state, and nationwide 4-H events throughout the year including but not limited to: Public Speaking, 4-H@UMaine, June Jamboree, Maine 4-H Days, Blue Hill Fair, and more!
Independent membership is a great choice for youth who do not have the option to join a club (due to distance, interest, etc) but who still want to participate in county and statewide 4-H events and programs.
Camp and Learning Centers
There are four 4-H Camp & Learning Centers in Maine: Bryant Pond, Tanglewood, Blueberry Cove, and Greenland Point. You do not need to be enrolled in Hancock County 4-H to attend camp, but Hancock County offers scholarships for enrolled 4-H youth to attend camp in the summer!
If you are an adult who is interested in sharing your passion for a topic or skill, consider volunteering with 4-H! Volunteer opportunities are designed to work with your schedule.
For more information about the Hancock County 4-H Program and clubs, please contact the Extension Office at 1.800.287.1479 (in Maine) or 207.667.8212 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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New youth members can enroll at any time throughout the year. Returning members must re-enroll before the November deadline each year (re-enrollment paperwork will be sent to you in October).
*Note: This process is for youth enrollment only. The process is different for Adult Volunteers.