4-H Happenings, November 2022


Important Dates: 

County News

Somerset Virtual 4-H Meet ‘N Greet for Independent Members

This year, several counties are piloting an Independent Member Club in their own counties. This club is an option for independent members who wish to engage more fully in the experience of 4-H and participate in a non-topic specific club.

It will involve participation in 2-3 meetings per year (as decided by county), one at the beginning of the 4-H year for planning, one optional check-in midway through the year, and one at the end for reflection and sharing in conjunction with the below requirements.

The purpose of these meetings is to allow independent members to connect with each other, build relationships with each other and county staff, and share project goals and progress.

If you are new to 4-H or already an independent member, we encourage you to join us! Somerset County’s initial meeting will be a virtual event on Monday, December 5th at 6:30 pm. Sign up on the registration page or contact us at karen.giles@maine.edu or 207-474-9622 for more information.

Robotics Programming

There has been interest expressed in robotics programming from several clubs. Are any other clubs interested in participating in some programming as a group or on a club level? 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 or if you have interest in another area.

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 facilitation 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 has received specialized training to be a supporting host for the Ambassadors, and will be offering other programs as well.

Is Anyone Interested in Participating in a Pilot Maple Sugaring Program in 2023?

A group of 4-H staff are gauging interest in a new Youth Workforce Development program to connect maple sugar producers with youth interested in learning and participating in the process. We are looking for people interested in hosting, adult support, and also the numbers of youth who would like to participate. Let karen.giles@maine.edu know if you’re interested and look for more information coming soon.

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.

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.

New Project Records Available Now

The new project records are available now as paper forms for use, review, and feedback. They will be available as fillable forms soon. There is a flowchart that shows the bare minimum requirement for all projects. Each additional item is optional, but individual counties or Leaders Associations can determine requirements for scholarships, trips, or additional awards/recognition. These are very similar categories to the old records, just reformatted and simplified. There are options to write, draw, use photographs, make a video or otherwise be creative with how they are presented. 

Club News

Club Updates

  • Solon Pine Tree Club met on  November 12th, with 9 members, 2 leaders, and 3 visitors attending. They discussed doing a Christmas dinner for a family again this year. The club will be collecting items for the Somerset Animal Shelter for their next meeting. They crafted seater and bandana pumpkins for an educational program, and had refreshments.

State News

Events and Opportunities

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

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!

Online training is also still available in short modules. The new volunteer full enrollment process is listed here . Those who were enrolled volunteers last year can re-enroll on the online ZSuite site. Use the email you list for 4-H as your user name, and request a new password. You can also use the paper forms on the site listed for new volunteers.  Remember that you must complete a background check every three years. Reach out to karen.giles@maine.edu at the Somerset County Extension office if you need to complete one.

Leaders Meeting Minutes

October 25, 2022

Election of Officers: 

Co-treasurers: Hailey Dellarma, Cheryl Perkins

Sherry motioned for Hailey Dellarma and Cheryl Perkins to be co-treasurers. Wanda seconded. Motion passed. 

President: Eleanor Pooler

Lori Swenson motioned that Eleanor be president. Cheryl seconded. Motion passed. 

Secretary: Lori Swenson

Hailey motioned that Lori Swenson be secretary. Wanda seconded. Motion passed.

Vice-president: Wanda Kranz

Lori motioned for Wanda Kranz to be vice-president. Hailey seconded. Motion passed.

Budget:  We reviewed the budget. We didn’t have many expenses because many events still didn’t run due to restrictions that were still in place. “Forensics Day” was paid for by funds received from the winter’s Tractor Supply Paper Clover fundraiser. We need to reimburse the extension office for the insurance because they paid the $80 fee for this past year. We discussed keeping the 2021-22 budgeted expenses the same for 2022-23. Cheryl motioned that the new budget be accepted. Lori seconded. Motion passed. 

New Record Sheets:  We reviewed the new record sheets.  They seem to contain a lot of what was on previous record sheets, just more spread out. We made some recommendations that Karen will share with the committee.

Record Books:  We reviewed some records books but there are still more to be judged. Several leaders said they will come in the office later this week and the next to review more of them.

Next meeting:  Wednesday, November 30 at 6:00 at the extension office.