February 2021 4-H Newsletter


4-H 4-U

February 2021


Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

Have you built a snowman this winter yet? If you have, take a picture of it and enter it in the snowman contest! The first-place winner in each category and age group will win a gift card to a local business. For more information, visit our website or see the attached flyer at the end of this newsletter! Don’t hesitate to enter, the last day we are accepting entries is February 28th!


Public Speaking!

Although there will not be county tournaments, there are still tons of ways to participate in public speaking! There are several workshops coming up and the state tournament will be the weekend of April 16-18. If you’re interested in participating in state, be sure to check on how to qualify. Not sure if you are interested in a state tournament, but still love public speaking? Check out the Open Public Speaking Opportunity in the State and National News below. 

For more information on public speaking, check out the Maine 4-H Public Speaking website.


Post-Secondary Scholarships

The Maine 4-H Foundation offers scholarships every year for graduating seniors. The scholarships are funded by amazing donors, businesses, and longtime supporters of Maine 4-H. Applications must be received in your county 4-H office by March 1, 2021. 

For consideration for County Leaders Association post-secondary scholarships, please submit the same application plus your County cover letter to your county office by March 1, 2021.

For more information, call or visit the office or visit our website!

PEN: extension.umaine.edu/penobscot/4h/scholarships/ 

PSQ:  https://extension.umaine.edu/piscataquis/4-h/


Piscataquis County Winter Fun SPIN Club

We are making progress with this exciting SPIN Club. We have a commitment from a leader and will be making plans for activities very soon. Watch for information in your email or on our website. Call the Piscataquis County Extension Office at 564-3301 for updated information if you have limited internet access.



New leader Isleen Halvorsen will be leading a fun new SPecial INterest (SPIN) club in Piscataquis County. This club will focus on winter activities for fun and exercise. Details will be coming soon!!



Penobscot County 4-H Leaders’ Association Meeting Minutes

January 21, 2021

Attendance: Jen Robertson, Corinna Caron (VP), Sue Moody (Treas.), Sharon Rowley, Brooke Williams, Donna Gangitano, Lucia Brown (Sec.), Sheila Norman (staff), Cindy Smith, Emily Mott (staff)

Call to order at 6:01 PM

Secretary’s Report – motion to accept by Jen, seconded by Sue – all in favor. 

Treasurer’s Report

Silent Auction made $1,148.50 plus $15 donation

Checking – $3,651.09

CDs and savings

Savings – $23,904.73

CD – $2,504.86

CD – $4,472.67

Staff Reports


She spoke to Mike Dyer and there is no news on the fair.  There is a fair meeting on Saturday and he may have more information after that. 

The in-person protocol remains outdoor, barn, or ventilated garage meetings only – to be revisited on Mar. 1.

Scholarship applications due Mar. 1. for both the Foundation and County. The Foundation application must be submitted virtually. The County application is the same with the addition of a cover letter.  The application link will be in the newsletter and is on the County webpage.  We are expecting three applications this year.  We may need more graduation cords.  Corinna moves, Cindy seconds that we should purchase graduation cords.  All in favor.  

The county webpage is updated – Check it out!

Public Speaking will be held April 16-18th.  There will not be County tournaments but there will be workshops.  Cloverbuds and non-competitive portions will be on the 16th.  The competitive portion will be on the 17th.  The event will be virtual again with zoom and breakout rooms. The awards ceremony will be on the 18th as there really wasn’t enough time last year. 

4-H Passport Around the World.  ME 4-H and Greenheart exchange are partnering for a brief presentation from a Greenheart exchange student, activity, and discussion.  There will be youth from Ukraine and other countries.  This sounds very interesting – watch for more information to come. 

Snowman contest – information can be accessed from the County webpage.  There will be a Cloverbud, Junior, Senior, and Adult class.  Cloverbuds will get a participation acknowledgment.  Adults – bragging rights.  Jr./Sr. $10 gift cards to local businesses.  Categories are classic snowman, animal snowman, all others.  There is a scoring rubric on the website. 

Lyme disease awareness month poster contest for kids in grades K-8 from Maine can participate (non-4-H).   For more information, please contact the office. 

Ag discovery – summer outreach program to help teenagers explore careers in plant and animal science – Applications due March 25th.  It’s a multi-week program for middle and High School students.  Contact Sheila for more info. 


We have two people enrolling as volunteers that are interested in doing an outdoor snowshoeing/hiking SPIN club.  If you have anyone that would be interested, please connect them to the opportunity.  More information to come. 


National Trips?

Very little information on those.  Healthy Living Summit – going to be virtual with a fee of $75.  The only one that may not be virtual would be 4-H Congress in November.  Talk to the office for any information they may have to date. 

Club Audits – They are in from two clubs.  Possibly three.  Sheila will double-check or will have Emily or someone else look.  Emily will take care of it. 

Re-enrollment – The Leader’s Association wondered what the status of re-enrollment was.  Sue said there was only $43 of insurance submitted so far.  Corinna said that PL4H owes money and she’s waiting on a final count from Wendy as some forms were sent directly to the office.  We would be interested in knowing what the numbers are and if there are any trends County and Statewide.  The office will also remind those who have not paid their insurance. 

Bangor State Fair – Scott had emailed about starting to update paperwork.  Lucia expressed that she thought we could hold off one more month until we knew more.  Corinna agreed.  Sheila hopes that if there is not a fair, that it may be possible to have smaller events.  There was some discussion about options and thoughts that everyone hopes the same.  Donna would like to have a sheep field day if there is no fair. 

Secretary’s Report

Treasurer’s Report

Staff Report

Public Speaking


Club Audits

Re-enrollment Data

Bangor State Fair Update

 Sue motions to adjourn Sue seconds, all in favor.  Adjourned at 6:35.



The next Piscataquis County Leaders Association meeting will be held on Monday, February 8, 2021, at 6:00 PM by ZOOM.  All enrolled Piscataquis County leaders are welcome! If you would like to attend but do not have internet connectivity, please call the Extension office at 564-3301. 



Maine 4-H Foundation Scholarships

Graduating seniors can apply for a 4-H scholarship from the Maine 4-H Foundation. Applications are due on March 1, 2021, to the local county office and on March 8, 2021, to the Maine 4-H Foundation. For more information please go to https://extension.umaine.edu/4hfoundation/funding/.

4-H Passport Around the World SPIN Club

Join Maine 4-H and Greenheart Exchange as we travel around the world virtually and meet other teens from across the globe! Meetings will include a brief presentation from a Greenheart Exchange Student, an activity, and Q & A. This SPIN Club is best for ages 12-18 and open to all youth. A minimal supply list will be provided for each activity. Dates are Tuesdays, January 19th, February 2nd & 16th, 4:00-5:00 PM, and Saturdays, January 30th, February, 13th & 27th, 9:30 – 10:30 AM. Register at: umaine.edu/4h/4-h-passport-around-the-world-spin-club/.


4-H For All Club

Join 4-Hers from across the state as we learn what 4-H is all about, connect with each other, create new goals, and discover new passions in the 4-H For All Club. This club is geared toward youth 5-13. Wednesdays February 20th, March 17th, and April 21st at 6:00 pm via Zoom.

Register at: extension.umaine.edu/4h/4-h-for-all-club 


4-H Open Public Speaking Opportunity

Would you like to practice 4-H public speaking skills but aren’t necessarily interested in competing at the state tournament? If so, we want to hear from youth and/or clubs! 4-H Staff is interested in hosting a virtual “Open Public Speaking” Event for youth who would typically practice public speaking at the club or county level but who do not have the opportunity this year due to COVID-19. This would be a low-pressure, non-competitive (no scoring) opportunity for youth to gain feedback on their presentations from their peers and adults. Fill out this form with your contact information, and we will be in touch!


UMaine Faculty Leading Online Forums During the 2021 Maine Science Festival

Habib Dagher, founding director of the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center, and Melissa Maginnis, an associate professor of microbiology, will lead two online forums during the 2021 Maine Science Festival.

The festival will offer six one-hour sessions via Zoom, one in January, one in February, and one in March. Each session will include an overview from the speaker, followed by a Q&A period.

Dagher, also a professor of civil engineering, will participate in a talk titled “Off-shore wind: from the UK to Maine” with Tony Appleton, director of offshore wind for Burns & McDonnell, and Ronit Prawer, director of the U.K. Government’s Science and Innovation Network (SIN) for the Eastern U.S. The festival will host the online forum at 1 p.m. on Feb. 16. Register on the event webpage.

Maginnis, leader of the University of Maine System Scientific Advisory Board, will speak in a forum titled “Overview of COVID-19” that explores what COVID-19 is, how it works and why it has been effective as a pandemic. The festival will host the session at 4 p.m. on March 2. Register on the event webpage

More information about the 2021 festival and its forums can be found online.


Northeast Special Interest Club Workshop for Volunteers

Wednesday, February 24, 7:00-8:00 PM – Calling all 4-H volunteers or potential volunteers! Join this virtual Northeast regional volunteer workshop to learn about the SPIN club model of short-term program delivery, and how you can create your own SPIN club in your state. Hosted by the Northeast Region Virtual Special Interest (SPIN) Club Committee. Register here: https://go.rutgers.edu/h9kcm9j9.  Please contact Sara Conant, sara.conant@maine.edu, 207-781-6099, for more information.


Northeast Teen 4-H Virtual Meet & Greet

Thursday, February 4th, 2021, 7:00-8:00 PM – Calling all 4-H teens ages 12+! Join the Northeast regional teen meet and greet for an evening of fun games and conversation with teens from across the Northeast. Hosted by the Northeast Region Virtual Special Interest (SPIN) Club Committee. Register here: https://reg.cce.cornell.edu/NE_Regl_4H_Teen_MeetGreet_21_237 

Please contact Sara Conant, sara.conant@maine.edu, 207-781-6099, for more information.


Virtual Astronomy Experiences offered by Versant Power Astronomy Center at the University of Maine!

Versant Power Astronomy Center has innovated new ways to help you and your class explore the universe via distance learning.  We are eager to work with you and your class, camp, family, or private group and bring astronomy to you in an interactive way.

Virtual Astronomy Experiences are presented live by Shawn Laatsch, Director of Versant Power Astronomy Center & Jordan Planetarium. All experiences include an interactive presentation followed by a question and answer period with a total duration of around 45-50 minutes.  Please contact us if you would like us to tailor something special for your group.

Presentations are $50.00 per class/group (maximum of 50 participants) and payment may be made by check or credit card. For more information visit:  https://astro.umaine.edu/virtual-astronomy-experiences/


Livestock GPS

Do you have an animal, an acre of pasture, and an interest in GPS? Learn real-world uses for GPS in modern livestock operations.

Youth 14 – 18 year will learn:

  •         How GPS works 
  •         History of GPS livestock tracking 
  •         Current GPS uses in livestock research
  •         Developing your own GPS Research Project with your livestock
  •         How to download and analyze data
  •         How to present your GPS research results—Best presentation receives a custom silver buckle

Want to know more? Contact either Debra Kantor – debra.kantor@maine.edu or 207.474.9622, or Colt Knight – colt.knight@maine.edu or 207.581.2593.


Maine 4-H Virtual Teen Science Cafes

Planning is currently taking place for Spring 2021 4-H Virtual Teen Science Cafes.  These weekly topical webinars are a great chance to learn something new!  Information about upcoming sessions will soon be available online.


2021 4-H Public Speaking Tournament

The 2021 4-H Public Speaking Tournament will take place virtually over the weekend of April 16 – 18, 2021. In the absence of local club and county tournaments this year, there is ample support for youth preceding the tournament in the form of workshops and focused practice opportunities. These workshops are open to all youth who wish to practice their public speaking skills and those who wish to qualify for the state tournament. If you are interested in participating in the Maine 4-H Public Speaking Program and need assistance in any way, please contact us to discuss your needs. We are committed to making 4-H programs accessible to all youth, regardless of internet or technology access. Details for the workshops and tournaments are still being organized – regularly updated information can be found on the Maine 4-H Public Speaking Website. Stay tuned for more announcements!


Save the dates for the 4-H Public Speaking Workshops:

– January 26, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Online Presentations

– February 9, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Career & College Readiness

– February 16, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m | Introduction to 4-H Public Speaking for Cloverbuds

– February 23, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | All About Judging & Scoring

– Practice Sessions in February and March

*There are two ways to qualify for the State Public Speaking Tournament:

  •         Attend two workshops and one practice session.
  •         Individualized qualifier; contact Emily Mott, emily.j.mott@maine.edu to make arrangements.


Save the date for the 2021 4-H Public Speaking Tournament:

– April 16-18, 2021


Questions about the Maine 4-H Public Speaking Program? Contact Sheila Norman, 207.942.7396 or sheila.norman@maine.edu.