4-H Happenings, January 2023


Important Dates: 

County News

Save the Date! We’re hosting an OPEN HOUSE!!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 6, 2023 (with a rain date of May 13). Our Somerset County Extension staff, board members, and volunteers will be hosting an Open House and we want 4-H to be represented there!

Please start discussing ideas for this event with your clubs. We would love to have as many 4-Hers as possible attend, and encourage clubs to bring displays, activities, animals, demonstrations, etc. to share with the community.

Please help us spread the word! More details to come in future issues of 4-H Happenings.

Scholarships Available for Graduating Seniors 

2023 4-H Scholarships are available for graduating seniors who are going on to higher education next year. Check with your guidance counselor for details or reach out to karen.giles@maine.edu for more information and guidelines. Applications are due March 1.

Registration Opening Soon For a Pilot Maple Sugaring Program in 2023

grading maple syrupA group of 4-H staff are planning a pilot of a short-term Youth Workforce Development SPIN club in Somerset, Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Waldo counties starting in mid-February to teach youth interested in learning and participating in the process of Maple Sugaring. The program will be a 6-week mix of virtual and on-site sessions. We are looking for producers interested in hosting site visits, adult volunteers, and also youth who would like to participate. Let karen.giles@maine.edu know if you’re interested, and look for registration information 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 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.

  • We will be looking for sites to host both in person and virtual programs. In person programs are most likely to happen for sites that are near a UMaine System campus, SMCC or CMCC. The sign up form will go out in early January, with a quick turn around deadline of January 31
  • We are focused on OUT of school time. Some during the school day may be considered as long as it’s opt-in/small groups (not full classrooms). 
  • Anticipated program delivery dates will be the weeks between March 13 – April 10. There will be 4 one-hour sessions. Generally these are once a week for 4 weeks. 
  • Visit the STEM Ambassador webpage for more information on being a host.
  • Grades 3 & 4 topic option is Sustainable Fisheries.
  • Grades 5 & 6 topic option will be an Engineering Sampler.

For more information check out the STEM Ambassador program page (to be updated soon) 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.

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.

Club News

Solon Pine Tree 

Solon Pine Tree Club met on December 10, 2022, with 10 members, 2 leaders, and 3 visitors in attendance. They elected officers: President is Evelyn F., Vice-President is Charlotte H., Secretary is Kaitlyn D., Treasurer is Audrey F., and Flag Bearers are Abigail T., Isabelle T., Landen J. and Addi C. Club members also began planning their educational exhibit for the 2023 Skowhegan Fair. They made Christmas ornaments, decorated Christmas cookies, and had refreshments. At their upcoming January meeting, they are planning to have a safety meeting with special guest, the Solon Fire Chief. 

Somerset Beef Club

Somerset Beef Club has been meeting monthly. They have been getting their Intent forms sent in for Market Beef Projects for the 2023 Fryeburg Fair. They have started using the new Project Records for their projects and have really liked the new format.

Boots and Spurs Club

In November Boots & Spurs had a bake/craft sale at the Federated Church. They plan to go to Skijour in February to catch the excitement. The club is already thinking ahead to their May fundraiser “The 10 mile yard sale.” And they have the dates for mini horse shows.  They will be meeting in mid-January to discuss new record books and demonstration ideas, and possibly to elect officers.

Independents Club

There are currently 15 Independent members in Somerset County. Some of them have elected to join the “Independent Club” Club. Some members and parents attended the online informational meeting held December 5 to discuss how the County can support Independent members in their 4-H journey with opportunities to gather with other 4-H’ers, guidance and review of projects, and access to information on upcoming events. The current members are planning projects in Horses, Sheep, Rabbits & Cavies, Dogs, Animal Sciences, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Arts & Crafts, Photography, ATV Safety, Adventure & Challenge, Gardening, and Science & Technology.

Please reach out to 4-H Professional Karen Giles karen.giles@maine.edu for more information on becoming a 4-H member or volunteer!

State News

Events and Opportunities

Maine 4-H Engineering Virtual Club

Registration is now open for the Maine 4-H Engineering Club, which will introduce basic engineering skills by exploring a different topic each week. Each week will have a new hands-on engineering challenge to work on while making connections with fellow 4-H engineers around the state! UMaine Extension 4-H staff will lead the challenges.

The club is free; limited to 20 participants. Register by January 17 on the event webpage to receive the link and at-home materials. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact 207.581.8206 or sarah.sparks@maine.edu. Additional information also is available on the Extension 4-H Virtual Learning webpage.

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.

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:

  • 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

Maine 4-H Equity Challenge for all Maine Youth

Four teen 4-H membersAre you a photographer? A performer? A writer? Then consider the 4-H Equity ChallengeThe challenge is for youth ages 5-19 to create a digital photograph, a performance, a presentation, or a writing piece that tells why every Maine youth belongs in a welcoming and inclusive environment. There are prizes based on age. This challenge is open to any 4-H’er or partner organization in Maine.

There are helpful guides and a rubric to help you understand what judges will look for in an entry. To submit an entry or to find out more information go to the Maine 4-H Equity Challenge webpage.

To participate, submit your creation by February 24, 2023.

State Public Speaking Tournament – Save the Date!

Our state public speaking tournament will be held on April 8, 2023 at DP Corbett Hall on the University of Maine campus. Youth must qualify for this event by achieving a score of 78 or higher at their county or regional tournament. Check with your county 4-H staff to find out when your county tournament will be held.

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.