4-H Happenings, March 2022

A monthly newsletter for Somerset County 4-H Members


Important Dates: 

County News

What Are Your Favorite STEM activities?

We have some program plans in the works and are looking for your input! Do you do STEM activities or programming for 4-H or at your school? If you have a fun or creative idea for a STEM activity for Somerset County youth, please email Karen Giles at karen.giles@maine.edu.

Don’t Forget to Submit Your Secretary’s Reports!

This is a friendly reminder that each club’s secretary should be submitting a report to this office after each meeting. Photos are encouraged too! These reports help us stay in the loop with what is happening within your clubs. Secretaries may email a digital copy to extension.somerset@maine.edu or mail a physical copy to Somerset County Cooperative Extension, 7 County Drive, Skowhegan, ME 04976.

Animal Approval Forms

Don’t forget to submit your animal approval forms (pdf) to your county office. These forms must be submitted by the deadline for your commodity to participate in 4-H shows or other events this summer. If you think you might be interested in going to the Big E this fall, put in your animal approval form by the deadline!

  • ESE Horse date: April 1
  • ESE Dairy date: May 1
  • Working Steer: May 1
  • Market Lambs: June 1
  • All other sheep classes: June 30
  • All other commodities: June 30

Club News

What Has Your Club Been Doing?

We would love to use this space to share stories directly from clubs. If your club leader or members would like to submit updates or an article for future issues of this newsletter, please email your ideas to emily.collins3@maine.edu. We would love to hear and share what your club has been learning and doing!

State News

Events and Opportunities

Photography Tips and Tricks Workshop

FREE 2-part virtual series March 22 and 29, 6:00 – 7:15 p.m. via zoom

Miss Luara Personette will share some fun tips and tricks she has learned in her photography experience. Participants will have the chance to practice new skills through specially designed “homework” projects. Photos will be shared in the group and feedback will be given. For more information and to register, visit the Photography Tips and Tricks registration form. Feel free to contact Miss Laura at laura.personette@maine.edu with any questions.

Computer Science with a STEM Ambassador

FREE 4-week virtual series March 23, March 30, April 6, and April 13, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. via Zoom

This set of activities is geared towards kids in grades 4-8 and is designed to get them excited about computer science (CS) through hands-on learning. Through puzzles, games, challenges, and creativity, youth will be introduced to the concept of CS, learn what computer scientists do, and even take on the role of a computer scientist. These activities are designed to make it easy to facilitate for those with no coding experience and advanced coders, alike. Each activity includes background and preparation details for the facilitator, discussion points, prompting questions, and reflection questions to relate the world of CS to the lives of youth. To register, please complete the Computer Science registration form by March 15.

Note: This set of activities requires all participants to have a laptop, tablet, or other device capable of running Scratch. Additionally, we recommend that all participants have a Scratch account created to save their work. An account can be created on the Scratch website. In addition to materials provided, youth participants should have access to drawing and coloring tools (pencils, colored pencils, markers, etc) and scissors.

4-H For All: Spring 2022

The purpose of this virtual club is to provide new and potential members and their families a place to learn about 4-H and to connect youth across the state. Youth will choose a project to complete and learn more about 4-H and how to become involved. We want you to join and engage in our 4-H program! There is no cost, and meetings will help challenge you to create new goals and discover new passions. Open to youth 5-13, dates will be March 24, April 28, May 26 at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Register on the 4-H For All Club page.

“Me and My Money” Financial Literacy Workshops

FREE 2-part virtual series April 11 and April 25, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. via zoom

April is National Credit Union month, Community Credit Union Youth Month, and Finacial Literacy Awareness Month. In collaboration with Community Credit Union’s VP of Marketing/Business Development Betsy Sibley (4-H parent), we have designed these workshops to help youth positively engage with money matters that matter to them. The topics we will present over this two-week series are:

  • April 11 – Money Beliefs – This is very interactive and fun! This one comes with a quiz and some great discussions about how you feel about money and your money persona and how it influences your life.
  • April 25 – All About Credit – This workshop will likely generate some good discussion. Feel free to come with questions!

This program is ideal for ages 12+. To register, please complete the Financial Literacy registration form by April 5.

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 31st, so supplies can be mailed to attendees’ homes.

  • Dates: Tuesdays, 4:00-5:00, April 12, 2022 through May 17th
  • In-person field day at SMCC, South Portland (optional) scheduled in South Portland on April 22nd (rain date April 21)
  • Ages 13-18
  • Most activities will be held via Zoom, materials will be provided and shipped directly to participants before the workshop
  • Facilitators: Emily P. and Sarah S.
  • Preregistration is required on the TIDE Workshop Series webpage by March 31, 2022

4-H Virtual Food Science ClubFood Science Club Logo

Are you excited to learn new information about food? This five-week virtual 4-H SPIN club has been developed to take complex topics and break them down to introduce students to the wonders of Food Science. We will be meeting each week to explain and experiment with five different food science topics that include; leavening agents, protein in eggs, fermentation in dairy, gluten matrices, and browning in fruits and vegetables. Join University of Maine graduate student, Ella Glatter, as she delivers online lessons on these food science topics and leads the club in hands-on activities that use techniques used by professional food scientists!

  • This is a five-week special interest SPIN club that will meet weekly over Zoom
  • Dates: Tuesdays, at 3:30 p.m. weekly over Zoom, begins March 22, 2022
  • Ages: 9-13, up to 10 participants 
  • Facilitators: Ella G. and Cindy R.
  • Pre-registration is required on the Food Science Club webpage by March 10, 2022

Agrotek Innovation Program at UVM College of Agriculture and Life Science

Start thinking about summer! This FREE program is designed to build AgriScience and Biotechnology skills for youth in middle and high school. This summer AgroTek Innovation will include two free, week-long, residential academies where participants will dive deep into one of two topics – Culturing Cells for Healthier Soils or Convertaing Waste into Value-Added Product. Both academies will allow participants to learn, make connections with University researchers, and build relationships with undergraduate student mentors. We especially encourage those under-represented in ag careers (female identifying, BIPOC) to participate. Learn more on the Agrotek Innovation Program website. Applications are due by April 1.

Maine 4-H Virtual Learning HubMaine 4-H Virtual Learning Hub Logo

Maine 4-H Virtual Learning is a hands-on, virtual learning program for youth ages 5-18. Workshops will be organized by age and topic. Topics include engineering, science, animals and agriculture, teen leadership, and more.

Workshops will range from single-time events to short-term programs (typically four to six sessions). Participants will engage in hands-on activities, interact with other 4-Hers, and meet positive adult role models.

No prior experience with 4-H is required to participate. This is a great way for those who are interested to learn more about 4-H.

Read what 4-H Parents, Youth, and Teachers have to say about these 4-H Virtual Learning offerings: Visit the 4-H Parents, Youth, Teachers: Stories and Testimonials page.

Expanded Food & Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)EFNEP (Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program) Logo

EFNEP offers FREE nutrition education classes to income-eligible adults with children, or young adults 19-25 years old, and if you are eligible for programs such as SNAP, WIC, or Head Start.

  • EFNEP offers the following class options for adults:
    • Eating Smart, Being Active
      • 9 lesson series with live virtual classes and short videos to watch anytime.
    • Create Better Health
      • 4-lesson series with live virtual classes, follow-up materials, and access to videos.
    • 10 Steps to a Healthier You
      • 10-lesson self-paced series with interactive videos and printable worksheets.

EFNEP also offers nutrition education in the classroom and with community groups to youth in eligible schools in grades K–12.

  • EFNEP offers the following class options for youth: 
    • Food, Fun and Reading (K-2nd grade)
      • 6-lesson series, each lesson includes a parent/caregiver letter, recipe and a tip sheet for the child to share at home.
    • Create MyPlate (3rd – 5th grade)
      • 8-lesson series, each lesson includes a recipe sheet for the students to take home. 
    • Science and Our Food Supply: Using the Nutrition Facts Label to Make Healthy Food Choices (6th – 8th grade)
      • 5-lesson series, each lesson includes hands-on activities that can be done in the classroom or at home.

Not sure what class to choose?  We can help. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, check out the EFNEP webpage or contact UMaine Extension EFNEP via email at extension.efnep@maine.edu or via phone at 207.581.3188 or 800.287.0274 (in Maine).

Or, you can check out some of these great resources:

Mainely Dish Recipe Video Series: Step-by-step videos for simple recipes that can be done right at home.

Recipes: These recipes were created to be easy to prepare and affordable.

Spoonful Blog: Enjoy a variety of blog posts including recipes, food preservation, grocery shopping on a budget, food safety, health tips, and more!

Social Media: You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok!

Scholarships and Grants

The Maine App Challenge

Love technology? Here is a chance to put your passion to a purpose and win a scholarship along the way! The Maine App Challenge is an incredible opportunity for Maine middle school and high school students who are 13 years of age and older to create a mobile application with a chance to win a scholarship and other valuable rewards. A series of innovation workshops from the University of Maine Foster Center for Innovation will help you get started! There are three scholarships available for the top mobile apps: $6,000 for first place, $3,000 for second place, and $1,000 for third place.

Other awards include $500 to the high school with the highest participation, tablets to the first 50 completed submissions, a guaranteed internship interview for the top 10 submissions following his/her college sophomore year. Visit the Tyler Technology Maine App Challenge website for more information.

Contests and Competitions

Public Speaking Workshops

Are you interested in learning more about giving a polished, interesting presentation? The Maine 4-H Communication Science Team members will be leading two workshops in February and March. Workshops are designed to help 4-H members learn new public speaking skills and to prepare for the upcoming state Public Speaking Tournament in April.

Workshops are open to 4-Hers age 9 and up, and will take place on February 16 and March 16 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., via Zoom. Contact cathy.gray@maine.edu if you would like to attend this free online workshop.

2022 4-H National Trip Interviews

As in the past, we will be holding interviews for National trips in the early spring. Websites are currently being updated to work towards that same schedule with a date to be announced very soon. At this time, we will be interviewing for National Congress in 2022 and National Conference in 2023. National Conference 2022 which will be held March 20-24, 2022 is currently still being reviewed within our state guidelines due to the Covid travel situation that seems to be strengthening daily. Information will be shared as it becomes available. If you have questions, please feel free to email Heidi Palmer, State Activities Coordinator at heidi.thuotte@maine.edu.

Fairs and Shows

Maine 4-H ESE Sheep Intent Forms are Now Available

The 2022 Maine 4-H Sheep Eastern States intent to participate form is available on the 4-H website. In order to be eligible for participation on the Maine 4-H Sheep Eastern States Team this fall, 4-H members must complete the fillable PDF form or mail a hard copy of the intent form to the Oxford County Cooperative Extension office before April 1, 2022. Please contact Sara King at sara.king@maine.edu or 207.342.5971 with any questions.

4-H Market Lamb Intent for Fryeburg Fair

Youth planning to participate in the Market Lamb program at Fryeburg Fair need to submit the online 2021 Fryeburg Fair Market Lamb Intent form by June 1st.  Alternatively, youth may print, complete, and mail a paper version of the Market Lamb Intent form (pdf).

Union Fair – New Dates in 2022

The Union Fair will be happening earlier in the summer, starting this year. The dates for Union Fair 2022 will be July 27-31, about a month earlier than in years past. Please plan accordingly, and check the Union Fair website for updates. Knox-Lincoln Extension staff produce a 4-H Union Fair Information Booklet each year. Once the 2022 pdf document is ready for distribution, it will be shared with all Maine county Extension offices. The booklet will also be available for download on the Knox-Lincoln 4-H website. Questions? Contact cynthia.rogers@maine.edu.

For Volunteers

4-H Volunteers Register Now!

February 16 * March 16 – 6:30 – 8:30 pm

This year’s Cabin Fever Series for 4-H Volunteers is combining efforts with other states in the Northeast region! The following three topics will be featured in virtual workshops this winter:

  • re-engaging and motivating youth
  • designing captivating and fun activities
  • expanding possibilities for youth to broaden their world 

These workshops will offer a great chance to learn something new, brush up on your skills and connect with 4-H volunteers from across the Northeast! Register now!

4-H Volunteer Conference in New Hampshire

April 9 – 10, in person

Lighting the Way for Our 4-H Youth: BE THE SPARK! The 4th Annual New Hampshire Volunteers Leaders Conference will be held in Waterville Valley, NH, and volunteers from Maine and Vermont are also invited to attend.

Saturday will be jam-packed with networking sessions, workshops, and the annual awards banquet, ending with an evening bonfire and activities. Sunday begins with an 8:30 a.m. welcome before moving into hands-on demonstrations and a resource fair. There will be demonstrations on 4-H activities and 4-H projects. There will also be a resource hall with all kinds of things to support you in helping to light the Spark in our youth.

The registration deadline is March 31. For more information and to

register, visit the NH Volunteer Leaders Conference webpage.

Leaders Meeting Minutes

February 16, 2022

Attendees: Eleanor Pooler, Hailey Dallarma, Sherry Grunder, Karen Giles, Lori Swenson 


Tractor Supply- Somerset county will receive at least $850. It needs to be used for scholarships or some kind of activities for the kids. We decided to do two STEAM day camps. One possibly about Forensic Science and the other an engineering-themed day. Planning is to continue. We are estimating that one would be in the late spring/early summer and the other in the fall.

4-H Pins- Karen put together an order for pins and lanyards (to hold pins and badges) on the site pending approval from us. The total is $238.71. Sherry moved that we approve the purchase. Lori seconded. Motion passed.

Scholarship Approval- Gretchen Gunder sent a copy of her transcripts. Lori motioned to approve the disbursement of the scholarship funds. Hailey seconded. Motion approved.

Upcoming Opportunities- The 4-H happenings newsletter is now online. There is an extensive list of county and state-wide opportunities so check it out! There are links for the different activities in the newsletter.

  • STEM summer learning- It is still in talks but a group of 4-H professionals are looking to offer STEM summer opportunities. They want to partner with JMG (Jobs for Maine Grads). More details to come.
  • Maine 4-H Foundation Scholarships- Applications are due March 1, 2022.
  • Intent to Show Forms- ESE sheep due May 1. If you intend to show any animal commodity, you need to pick up or download an Intent to Show form.
  • Visit the 4-H Happenings webpage for many more upcoming opportunities.

Fairground Improvements- Karen hasn’t talked to Becky yet so no new updates.

SC Public Speaking Day- There have been no responses from members to do the public speaking day. The deadline to let Karen know was 2/16/2022. There are other opportunities in Penobscot and Augusta but the deadline is 2/18. Members would have to do one of those two in order to go to states. We are canceling our county public speaking day.

Treasurer- At our last meeting, we decided to remove Karen Cornell as co-treasurer because she is no longer a leader and is very busy in her personal life. Sherry Grunder was voted in as our sole treasurer. Thank you to Karen for your dedication to 4-H in Maine.

Next Meeting: *March 23, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. at the extension office.

Sherry motioned to adjourn. Hailey seconded. Meeting adjourned.

*updated date.