4-H Happenings, November 2023


Important Dates: 

County News

4-H Achievement Night

Somerset County’s Achievement Night is back! Please mark your calendars and plan to attend November 17 at the Kennebec Valley Grange in Madison. Set up is at 5:30 p.m. and program activities start at 6 p.m. There will be potluck desserts served- please plan to bring something to share. Let’s get together and celebrate our amazing 4-H community! 

Do you have photos, posters, or a scrapbook that you’d like to share that shows some of your club activities or programs? We’d love to have a display station for them!

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.

Time to Submit Form 990-N to the IRS 

You may now file 990-N for 4-H clubs and groups for tax year July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023. This is a reminder to the 4-H clubs and groups who file the 990-Ns on their own. This is to be done by November 15. This is required by the IRS on an annual basis. An EIN will be revoked after three consecutive years of failure to file. If you need assistance please reach out to Karen Giles at karen.giles@maine.edu.

Submitting Form 990-N (e-Postcard)

To access the Form 990-N Electronic Filing system:

Sign in/create an account with Login.gov or ID.me: The IRS requires a Login.gov or an ID.me account to submit Form 900-N. Form 990-N filers should use the same email address associated with their IRS account.

Review the IRS Form 990-N Electronic Filing System (e-Postcard) User Guide (pdf) for step-by-step instructions on how to submit electronic Form 990-N (e-Postcard). Most common problems can be avoided by following the User Guide.

New RockHounding Club Opportunity Starting in 2024

We are looking for participants for a new Rockhounding SPIN club starting in 2024. This hands-on experiential club will feature in person and virtual learning modules, utilizing the Gem & Mineral 4-H STEM Toolkit as well as other resources to study, identify and record rocks, gems, and minerals found in Maine. Participants will learn about the history of and discuss contemporary concerns regarding mining in Maine. We are planning to incorporate field trips to gem and mineral destinations, i.e. the Gem & Mineral Museum in Bethel, Poland Mining Camp, and the Gem & Mineral Show in Augusta. We plan to introduce special guest speakers in careers such as Geology, Paleontology, Earth Sciences, Oceanography, GIS, as well as introductions to other resources and groups. Please reach out to Karen Giles karen.giles@maine.edu for more information.

 Environmental Education with Project Learning Tree at Extension Office 

The County Extension Office recently hosted University of Maine professor Jessica Leahy, PhD, her students from SFR 492 Senior Capstone in the School of Forest Resources, and Sara King from Rural Aspirations for two experiential opportunities from Project Learning Tree in soil and water environmental education. Students from Skowhegan Area High School attended the second session to participate in activities on the Yankee Woodlot behind the Extension office. We hope to do this again next year, so stay tuned!

Club News

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 Phenology Photo Contest! – Learning Ecosystems Northeast (LENE)

Learning Ecosystems Northeast is looking for original images that capture essential fall features in your environment. The main image must be a photo you have taken in panorama or 360 mode, that displays fall phenology: cyclic changes tied to a certain natural  phenomenon. There will be separate educator and youth submission divisions. Prizes range from $20 (3rd place) to $100 (1st place). Deadline for submission is November 28, 2023. Visit the program page for more details. Media must be submitted by November 28, 7pm ET.

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.

Tractor Safety Interest Form 

We have had some interest in the tractor safety course. Courses are offered in the spring, but to gauge interest and make preparations, planning begins as soon as the weather turns cold. 

Participants will learn how to handle tractors and equipment safely, how to identify hazards, and how to minimize the chances of accidents. The course is open to all adults and youth interested- not just 4-H participants. A Federal Certificate of Training will be issued at the end of the course after successful completion of the written test and driving course and with attendance requirements met. This certificate is required for 14- and 15-year-olds who plan to operate farm equipment for hire on farms other than their own.

If you or ANYONE age 14 or older is interested in learning more, or to complete the interest form, please visit the UMCE Farm Tractor Safety page.

For Volunteers

4H Clover4-H Volunteer Workshops for the 2023-2024 4-H Year
We invite you to participate in our 4-H Volunteer Connections virtual workshops! Join other 4-H volunteers from the North East region to learn, share and engage with one another on a variety of topics related to 4-H. All workshops are free and offered via Zoom in the evenings from 6:30 – 8:00 pm.

Topics include:
November 8 – Building Strong 4-H Clubs
January 10 – Creating LGBTQ+ Inclusive Programs
February 13 – Be a Positive Communicator
March 12 – Finding Space for Mental Wellness in Every Program
April 9 – Animal Science: Strong Relationships and Sportsmanship

Click here to register now! Come to one or come to all! We look forward to connecting with YOU! 

Leaders Meeting Minutes

October 18, 2023

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

Discussion of Achievement Night- to be held 5:30 PM on November 17th. Karen will reach out to the Madison Grange to see if it is available. Potluck desserts.

Short discussion about what changes could be made to the Exhibition Hall rules in Fair books in Somerset, Piscataquis and Penobscot Counties to make it equitable for clubs who regularly attend multiple fairs: be consistent in category descriptions, number of items per category. 4-H Staff will work on changes, then send out to leaders for approval.

Leaders went over the Member Record Books.

Next Meeting: Wednesday, November 15, 5 p.m.