4-H Happenings, October 2022


Important Dates: 

County News

Somerset 4-H Meet ‘N Greet to be Scheduled in Early November

There has been a lot of interest from potential new members and volunteers recently! To help them understand what 4-H is and get them involved, we would like to hold a gathering on a Saturday in early November with some fun activities, potentially at the extension office. Existing club members and volunteers are invited to attend as well. More details will be coming soon!

Robotics Programming

There has been interest expressed in robotics programming from several clubs. Are any other clubs interested in participating in some programming? It would start with the “Junk Drawer Robotics” curriculum and progress from there if members are interested. These could help qualify for a robotics project/pin. No coding or specialized knowledge required. It’s a great way to introduce some STEM programming. Please reach out to karen.giles@maine.edu if you are interested.

Afterschool Programs

Calling all schools, libraries, and clubs! If you are looking for afterschool programming, the STEM Ambassador program from UMaine can offer amazing opportunities. Each program will consist of four one-hour sessions, and materials will be provided. Sites can choose topics to be facilitated in person or virtually. If a site is virtual they will need to ensure that each youth joins from a separate device.

Target audience is grades 3-8, with a preferred group size of 4-10 youth.

We need your help recruiting sites! Because we have a virtual option, the opportunity for sites that are not adjacent to a campus is much more feasible. While the fall programs are full, it is time to start thinking about winter and spring opportunities.

For more information check out the STEM Ambassador program page or contact the 4-H professional karen.giles@maine.edu at the Somerset Extension office. Karen is currently receiving specialized training to be a supporting host for the Ambassadors, and will be offering other programs as well.

2022-2023 Re-Enrollment Process

4H Clover

There is a new option available for families for the new 4-H Year. Starting October 1, families will have the ability to log into their account on the ZSuite platform and complete their re-enrollment, as well as all required forms, online. If you were enrolled for the 2021-2022 year, you can simply visit the ZSuite Website, click “Forgot Password?” and complete the prompts using the email address to which you receive your 4-H communications. There is a help menu on the site as well.

Because this system is new, and we know that many of you have questions about what features the system offers, the ZSuite team is offering two Q&A sessions open to all volunteers and families. If you are not able to attend either meeting but have questions for that team, please email 4-H@maine.edu a list of all questions and their answers will be compiled and posted on the 4-H website.

ZSuite & Maine 4-H Q & A Sessions:

You are also welcome to reach out to your county staff or to the State Office at 4-H@maine.edu. If you would prefer to continue to complete paper forms, they can be found online on the 4-H Form web page, or by reaching out to your county office. The deadline to register is December 31.

Independent Member Clubs!

This fall county offices are piloting a new club specifically for independent 4-H members. This is a space for youth to come together and build relationships with their peers. We will share interests, projects, goals, and plans for the year and then reflect on our learning throughout and at the end of the year. This is also a great place to start if you are a new or recently enrolled independent member. We will meet 3 times throughout the year as a group with county staff. This will be a space for youth to foster friendships with peers and possibly come together to work on projects of similar interests. We are even hoping to get the group to brainstorm common interests and work together on a community service project!

Register here! Meetings can be attended either in person or virtually and will be open to all ages. Dates based on county/region.

4-H Tick Project

Blacklegged Tick or Deer Tick (adult female)
Griffin DillDeer tick.

A community science project opportunity 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 project. All K-12 educators and volunteers interested in teaching about ticks in Maine are encouraged to participate in the project at no cost to you. Specimens are submitted to the UMaine Diagnostic Research Laboratory Tick Lab for identification and disease testing and these data contribute to the lab’s Tick Surveillance program. Student data also contribute to a community science (aka “citizen science”) project called the Maine Forest Tick Survey, which is a multiyear, multidisciplinary research project established to determine how forest land management practices impact tick populations and disease risk across Maine. More information can be found here or reach out to the Extension office to coordinate possible groups and locations.

Club News

Congratulations to 4-H member Samantha B!

4-H Member with their horse and a blue ribbonSamantha B. and her horse This Iron Rox (Rox), of Somerset County, competed as a member of  the Maine 4-H Horse Team at Eastern States September 22- 25. Sam said of her experience: ”Rox and I did really well down at the Big E. We placed in every class we entered and even won a couple blues! I loved the experience and I am planning on going again next year. I was extremely proud to represent our state and to compete at such a high level with my horse Rox. I learned about how 4-H can bring people together and I’ve gained new friends that I would not have met otherwise. Some of these new friends are even from other states in New England.”

Club Updates

  • Solon Pine Tree held their October meeting on the first Saturday of the month. They discussed plans to set up club displays to celebrate National 4-H Week at Solon and Bingham Libraries. They welcomed some new members and their returning members. They plan to elect officers at next month’s meeting. As an activity they tie-dyed t-shirts and had refreshments.
  • Boots & Spurs is planning to have a trail ride for club members at Cedar Winds Stables in Charleston this fall.

State News

Events and Opportunities

Youth Council Seeking Nominations

The Youth Council is seeking nominations for the class of 2023. If you have a young person that demonstrates leadership potential and has an interest in creating opportunities for Maine Youth as well as feels comfortable guiding and strengthening the Maine 4-H program please reach out to your County 4-H Professional or Club Leader to nominate them for a youth council seat. Terms are three years in length.

The youth council is made up of 4-H members between the ages of 16-24.  There are currently five subcommittees: Youth Mentoring (Big Clover/Little Clover), Teen Conference, Youth Mental Health, Teen Dance, and Ag Science (biosecurity focus).

Highlights from 2022:

  • The Teen Conference was held in June at the Norlands Living History Museum. There were six different workshops over the course of the day-long event. This pilot year was a huge success and the committee is working on plans for the 2023 conference.
  • The Ag Science committee held a biosecurity event at the Litchfield Fair, there are plans to expand this program for 2023.
  • Youth Mental Health Subcommittee participated in professional development.
  • Big Clover/Little Clover youth mentoring program is working on a handbook for counties to replicate.

2022 4-H National Trip (Conference and Congress) for Senior 4-H Members ages 14-18

National 4-H Trip applications are due September 30, 2022 for National 4-H Conference and Congress. We recommend you look at the requirements ahead of preparing your materials, as most of the pieces required are something you are already doing for your yearly record sheets.

4-H trips are excellent opportunities to meet 4-H members from across the nation.  Participants learn about many career options, and learn through educational workshops at Congress or become part of a team, making recommendations to the National 4-H Council at Conference.

We will be holding interviews for National trips on the week of October 10-16, 2022. These will be via Zoom. We will be interviewing for the National 4-H Congress, which will be held in Atlanta, GA on November 25 – December 1, 2022, and the National 4-H Conference, which will be held on April 14 – 19, 2023 at a conference hotel in or around Washington, DC.  The Maine website pages for both conferences have been updated.  Once your application has been received we will contact you for a convenient time for all to do the Zoom interviews.

Hopefully, next year, we will be back to our normal “National Interview Schedule” that will be held in April/May 2023. Please feel free to email Heidi Palmer, State Activities Coordinator at heidi.thuotte@maine.edu with any questions.

Public Speaking Workshop

The Maine 4-H Communication Science Team invites all enrolled 4-H members to the October 19 meeting for an open workshop. The meeting will be held via zoom from 6 – 7 pm. Team members will teach tips and tricks to improve your presentation skills. Please contact cathy.gray@maine.edu for more information.

Register Now for the 4-H Unconference

UMaine 4-H Unconference will be an organized forum for 4-H volunteers, club leaders, afterschool providers, teachers, parents and teen leaders to gather. UMaine 4-H Unconference is intentionally designed to have YOU teach and learn from each other. There is no agenda; you come with 4-H ideas and topics you want to talk about or learn more about, and we’ll guide the process to get folks into groups where YOU are the experts.  Save the dates: Saturday, October 22 and Friday, November 11.  Come to one or both. Registration and more information is available on the 4-H Unconference web page.

Androscoggin/Sagadahoc 4-H Monthly Workshops – Open to All Maine 4-Hers!

Come join the Androscoggin and Sagadahoc counties 4-H program at their monthly workshops on the third Friday of every month (unless otherwise noted) from 6:00 – 7:30 pm at the Lisbon Extension Office at 24 Main Street. Anyone interested can contact Melissa Freeman or Cathy Gray to find out more information.

Currently Scheduled Topics:

  • October 21, 2022 – Apples!
  • November 18, 2022 – Card Making
  • December 16, 2022 – Game Night
  • January 20, 2023 – “Getting the Word Out” Digital Marketing
  • February 17, 2023 – Short Film Making
  • March 10, 2023 – Spa & Relaxation Science
  • April 21, 2023 – Movie Premier Night
  • May 19, 2023 – Wool Spinning Workshop

Contests and Competitions

Raffle Update for Maine 4-H Teen Leadership and Program Development Survey – Ages 11+

Hello 4-H Community! The Teen Leadership and Program Development Survey now includes a raffle for the following seven items:

  • Two 4-H T-shirts
  • Three Lunch Totes
  • Two 4-H Positive Vibes T-Shirts

The SHORT survey (about 30 questions/5 minutes) is for any 4-H participant age 11+ since 2017.  We want your voice included! The survey results will help us learn more about 4-H participant interests and improve statewide 4-H program planning.  If you are a parent of a 4-H child receiving this message, please have each child age 11+ who has participated in 4-H since 2017 complete a survey.  If you are a club leader, please pass along this information to your club members!

To enter the raffle, simply add your contact information (email, phone #, etc.) to any of your typed responses in the survey or send it to me in a separate email or phone message: andrew.hudacs@maine.edu, 207-581-8204.  The drawing for the raffle will happen in early October.

Lastly, please let me know if you have any questions or would like to see a summary of the survey results, please contact me at andrew.hudacs@maine.edu or (207) 581-8204.

For Volunteers

2022/2023 4-H Volunteer Training Opportunities

As we get ready for the new 4-H year, we are looking forward to offering a variety of learning experiences (both in person and virtual) for our 4-H volunteers. Sessions are free of charge, but require registration. Some sessions have limited space. Visit the 4-H Volunteer Calendar of Training Opportunities to learn more and register!

Leaders Meeting Minutes

September 21, 2022

Attendees: Karen Giles, Lori Swenson, Hailey Dellarma, Eleanor Pooler, Cheryl Perkins

Fair Review: We had about 5,600 people enter the 4-H building. We didn’t have as many judges as usual but we also didn’t have as many exhibits. We had to adjust a couple of judgings because a couple of cloverbuds were judged as older members. We only had two members work as hall monitors, so hopefully there will be more that sign up next year. There were a lot of compliments on the work presented. Changing the hall closure time to 8 P.M. every day was a good choice. In prep for next year- we need to check with Becki at the fair because there was only one ribbon for each place for the educational exhibits.

Upcoming Opportunities/deadlines:

See newsletter for more information on the Somerset County Extension website under 4-H Happenings. https://extension.umaine.edu/somerset/2022/09/14/4-h-happenings-september-2022/

New Project Records Review: Tabled until next meeting.

Enrollment forms: Zsuite is now being used for 4-H paperwork. It is an online, secure site. The idea is that the parents will be able to go into Zsuite to make changes to their enrollment paperwork. County staff will then be in charge of the approval process for enrollment. Those forms can then be printed off. Paper forms are still accepted for those who do not have internet access. They should return the paper forms to their leaders who will then send it to the county office.

Project Record Sheets: The record sheets for 2022 need to be in the extension office by October 14th (after Fryeburg Fair). Reviews will happen the week following.

4-H Engineering Day: We think it would be better to offer it in the spring. We will set a date to plan at a future date. Karen knows someone who comes to present engineering activities.

Next meeting: Tuesday, October 25 at 6:00 pm at the extension office. We will review project record sheets, elect officers and do the budget.