4-H Happenings, October 2023


Important Dates: 

County News

Environmental Education with Project Learning Tree at Extension Office

October 20, 2023 at the Somerset County Extension Office and Yankee Woodlot

Join University of Maine professor from the School of Forest Resources Jessica Leahy, PhD, and Sara King from Rural Aspirations for an experiential opportunity in soil and water environmental education. The program will be based on activities from Project Learning Tree and will take place from 1- 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 20. The students will work in small groups, and range from ages 8-18. Limited spaces available for this amazing opportunity. Contact Karen Giles karen.giles@maine.edu by Thursday, October 12 to sign up.

It’s Time to Enroll for the New 4-H Year!

If you manage your family’s account via ZSuite, re-enrollment is just a few clicks away:

Login at 4h.zsuite.org

  1. Click on the PRIMARY profile and enter your 4-character PIN. 
  2. Click on the name of the youth member you wish to enroll. 
  3. Click on ENROLL MEMBER NOW.
  4. Review/update the requested member information. When you are done with that, click NEXT
  5. Here you will read and electronically sign the 4-H participation waiver(s), click NEXT
  6. Here is where you will select your club or clubs and desired projects. There may be clubs and projects listed that carried over from your enrollment during the last program year.
  7. To add clubs, select your county. This defaults to the county submitted when you created your account. You may need to select another county to find your desired club.
  8. Select your Club from the drop-down menu. Select ADD CLUB.
  9. To add projects for any of the clubs, select ADD PROJECT for the desired clubs. Select the desired project from the drop-down menu. Select ADD PROJECT and selection will be added to the club. Feel free to add additional clubs or projects. Remember to only add projects youth will be significantly involved in for the year. If you make a mistake or wish to remove a project, select the X and confirm you wish to delete the project.
  10. When done making your selections, click Submit.

Enrollment records need to be active/green status before engaging in 4-H activities and to register for events.

Please remember: NEW volunteers must go through the onboarding process, accessible on the volunteer site or by reaching out to the County Extension Office at 207.474.9622 or karen.giles@maine.edu.

Club News

Congratulations to all the Maine teams who attended the Big E 2023!

4-H Youth, Samantha B. with her Horse and Ribbon

Samantha B. and her horse This Iron Rox in W. Springfield, MA at the Big E 2023.

Are You Interested in New Clubs?

We have some new clubs starting soon and will be looking for volunteers and members to join! Please reach out to Karen Giles karen.giles@maine.edu for more information.

  • Embden, Goat Club
  • Fairfield, Horse & Mixed Club
  • Anson, Cloverbud Afterschool SPIN club
  • Palmyra, Mixed

Please share your club news- we’d love to hear from you! Let us know what is happening with your club members. Reach out to karen.giles@maine.edu to share activities, highlights, awards, or events.

State News

Events and Opportunities

Fall 2023 Maine 4-H Agricultural Ambassadors Program

Who: This program is for all Maine youth ages 14 – 18.

What: This hybrid program will provide youth with an opportunity to connect to local agriculture, build relationships with industry professionals, develop professional and advocacy skills, and explore careers in agriculture. The 2023 fall cohort will explore careers and local agriculture through in-person field trips (limited transportation available), and by attending virtual meetings to grow their professional skill set (e.g. resume writing and interviewing skills). Additionally, youth will complete a personal reflective project exploring the role of agriculture and their future. This program includes mentoring in post-secondary opportunities as well as exploring current issues around food systems, livestock, crop sciences, aquaculture, climate issues impacting food systems, food equity, and more.

Why: The goal of the Maine 4-H Ag Ambassador Program is to provide experiences for youth to explore their interest in agriculture. The program focuses on:

  • connecting youth with their local food systems and industries
  • exploring the richness and diversity of the Maine food system
  • developing “ag-vocacy” skills
  • increasing access to career and post-secondary opportunities in agri-science and food systems.

Where: Virtually and in-person throughout Maine.

When: Virtual Meeting Dates: October 18 & 25November 1 & 15
In-Person Meeting Dates: October 21November 10, and December 2.

How: Interested in Joining? Register Online by October 11.

4-H Weaving SPIN Club

Calling all creative youth ages 9 & up! You are likely familiar with crochet or knitting – but have you ever thought about weaving? In this SPIN club, we will cover the basics – from understanding the mechanics of simple knitting – to investigating different types of fiber to know why you might choose to use wool rather than cotton. This will be a VERY hands-on club – we will provide all the necessary tools and materials to everyone attending – and club members will have the opportunity to work on a traditional tapestry loom and experiment with circular weaving!  

Meetings will take place over Zoom October 24, and 26; November 2, 14 & 16; 4:00 – 5:00 pm. Find out more and register online. This club is open to the first 10 participants who register by October 16.

4-H Tick Project

The 4-H Tick Project is a community science project 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 partnership. The project provides youth an opportunity to explore ticks and tick-borne diseases, which is a connected story of climate, ecosystem change, and public health.

All educators interested in teaching about ticks in Maine are encouraged to participate in the project at no cost to you. This is a great project for 4-H clubs, SPIN clubs, homeschool groups, and more. For more information and to register, visit the 4-H Tick Project webpage.

For Volunteers

Thinking about becoming a 4-H volunteer?

4H CloverWe are looking for people to help youth find their spark and thrive! We offer lots of ways to be involved depending on your time and interests. Join us for two one-hour virtual sessions to help you with your decision. By the end of the two-part series, you will have completed four short e-Learning modules to introduce you to the 4-H program, participate in an experiential learning activity, learn about the key aspects of positive youth development, and be introduced to ages and stages of youth. This core training will wrap up with an outline of next steps and an introduction to your county staff contact so you can begin the application process if you choose. No pressure to commit, no cost, and no reason to not attend! Please note, these sessions are for individuals who are not currently enrolled 4-H volunteers.

Upcoming Sessions:

Wednesdays, October 18 and 25, 2023 – 6:00-7:00 pm


Contact Jen Lobley, jennifer.lobley@maine.edu; 207.255.3345.

Registration is required, but there is no cost. Visit the program page for more information and to register.

Leaders Meeting Minutes

September 27, 2023

Attendees: Eleanor Pooler, Hailey Dellarma, Karen Giles

  • Reminder that re-enrollment is now open until December 31, 2023- Sign up online at https://4h.zsuite.org, find downloadable copies at https://extension.umaine.edu/4h/start-your-4-h-volunteer-journey-training/   or contact the county office for paper copies.
  • Project records are due at the Extension office by October 14th (to allow time for those attending Fryeburg Fair to complete)
  • Ask all Leaders if they’d like to have an Achievement Night this year-Yes or no. How involved? Potluck supper or not?
    • Eleanor suggested Friday night, October 27th as a possible time to do it. Discussion ensued over whether that weekend would be good, as Halloween activities will be happening. Could we push it to the following Friday?
    • Possible locations suggested: Kennebec Valley Grange in Madison (contact Doris Dean)
    • Other options: Goodwill Hinkley? Athens School?
  • Discussion about changes to the exhibition hall: (It was decided that this discussion should have input from other leaders and volunteers- send a google form to them for input!)
    • Take out raised floors in middle booths, possibly put in tiered shelving at the back of each booth, extend lattice dividers to the floor. For the Fair, put a rope or chain across the front to prevent the public from walking into booths.
    • or Educational Displays, it has been suggested that we have “Club” and “Individual” categories and two sets of ribbons/premiums, as the process and effort involved are different for each type.
    • Somerset, Penobscot, and Piscataquis County 4-H Staff are going to meet and come to a consensus on categories for the 4-H exhibition hall club display items to make it easier for clubs to attend multiple fairs without having to change their label tags each time.
    • Discussion about the best way to collect information on youth fair and ESE participation and results to be able to share in the county newsletter.

Next Meeting: October 18 at 5 p.m.