4-H Happenings, December 2022


Important Dates: 

County News

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! Reach out to karen.giles@maine.edu in Somerset County to get more information about this exciting opportunity.

After School Engineering Club, Winter 2023

A virtual after school engineering club will run for 6 weeks starting in late January. Co-facilitated by three 4-H professionals with STEM backgrounds, the goals of the club are to:

  • Have fun with others
  • Provide authentic science and engineering experiences for youth around the state of Maine
  • Provide opportunities for youth to try new things and take risks in engineering mindsets
  • Answer the question “What is an engineer?”

Each session will be 75 minutes long. Kits with materials will be mailed out to registered participants.  Ages 9+. Registration will be opening soon. Fore more information, contact karen.giles@maine.edu.

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.

Interest in Participating in a Pilot Maple Sugaring Program in 2023?

A group of 4-H staff are planning a 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 youth who would like to participate. Let karen.giles@maine.edu know if you’re interested and look for more information coming soon.

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.

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/recognitions. 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.

State News

Events and Opportunities

Public Speaking In-Person Workshop

The Maine 4-H Communication Science Team invites all enrolled 4-H members to an in-person workshop on January 21 from 2 – 4 pm. The meeting will be held at the Penobscot County Extension Office in Bangor. Participants will learn how to prepare for county/regional public speaking contests for both Demonstrations and Illustrated Talks. Please contact sheila.norman@maine.edu for more information or to register.

4-H Youth Summit Applications are Now Open!

Applications for the 4-H Youth Summit are now open.  The link is here! Applications are due by December 18.

This year there is ONLY ONE LARGE 4-H Summit.  It will combine tracks in Agri-science, Healthy living, and STEM.  The Maine 4-H Foundation has once again helped us to fund teams of youth for both Agri-Science and Healthy Living by providing scholarship funds for youth who are selected.

Ignite by 4-H – the 2023 National 4-H Youth Summit to be held in the Washington, DC area, March 9-12, 2023.

High school-aged youth are immersed in an agenda focused on agriscience, healthy living, or STEM. Sessions will be offered within these respective tracks to demonstrate why and how these topics are important and how young people can become changemakers. Find general conference information on the Summit Webpage.

If you have any questions please contact Tara Marble at tara.marble@maine.edu, 207.778.4650.

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:

  • 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!

Leaders Meeting Minutes

December 7, 2022

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

New Project Records:  We reviewed the new project records sheets. We suggested color coding what is just for general projects and which forms are just for animal forms. Otherwise, we are hopeful that these will work well.

Upcoming Opportunities:  Will be included in the next county newsletter which should be coming out within the next week. In the works is a slightly scaled down version of Maine 4-H Days at Windsor. The tentative date is July 21-22, 2023. 

Deadlines: Reenrollment forms MUST be in the office by December 31st. They can be filled out either online through Zsuite at  4h.zsuite.org , go online and and use doc or pdf version and email them to karen.giles@maine.edu , print a copy or get a copy at the extension office and mail or drop them off at 7 County Drive, Skowhegan, ME 04976. 

Scholarship applications are due March 1st. We will discuss amounts at the next meeting.

EIN Numbers:  Karen will be sending out new reminders for EIN numbers through the IRS.  You have to fill out the 990 N form. If you need help, contact Karen Giles karen.giles@maine.edu at the extension. Lori asked Karen to clarify if all clubs needed an EIN or only clubs that have a separate bank account. 

Per the UMaine webpage: 

https://extension.umaine.edu/plugged-in/program-volunteer-resources/4h/4-h-volunteer-handbook/table-of-contents/starting-a-new-4-h-club/ (a great resource!):  

“If a club plans on raising funds and/or having a club treasury account, club leaders will get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Complete details and instructions are in Section B.1.9 of our 4-H policy and procedures manual.”

Next Meeting:  Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 6:00pm at the extension office.

Lori motioned to adjourn the meeting. Cheryl seconded. Meeting adjourned.