4-H Happenings, December 2023


Important Dates: 

County News

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.

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.

Maple Sugaring 101

Maple Sugaring 101 is a SPIN club program open to Maine youth ages 9-15  February 7 – March 9 who are interested in learning about the entire maple sugaring process. Participants will learn about forest management, tapping trees, transporting sap, using an evaporator, grading and storing syrup, and operating a maple sugaring business.

Each week, participants will learn about the process and connect with other young maple sugar makers through online meetings and in-person workshops led by Extension and University of Maine experts. We are also looking for a local sugar house to host the in-person portion of the program for two Saturdays.

Please contact Karen Giles karen.giles@maine.edu for more information. Sign ups will open the first of January on a first come, first served basis.

Somerset County Achievement Night

On Friday, November 17, for the first time in several years, Somerset County held its 4-H Achievement Night at the Kennebec Valley Grange Hall in Madison. We presented awards to club members and volunteers to celebrate all the great projects and growth throughout the year. Many thanks to all the club leaders, volunteers and members who helped with set up and clean up, spoke about their activities, presented awards, and brought delicious desserts to share. Thank you also to Tim Curtis, our County Administrator, and family, and the members of the Somerset County Executive Board that attended. It was lovely to see all the 4-H support!

2023 County Awards for outstanding Project Records:

Boots & Spurs 4-H Club: Amiya T., Horses

Independent: Samantha B., Horses; Joseph D., Goats; Isabella Q., Horses

Somerset Beef 4-H Club: Emma H., Beef; Joey H., Beef; Henry L.,Beef; Hayley M., Beef     

Outstanding 4-H Club: Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club

Outstanding Club Secretary: Kaitlin D., Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club       


Club News

Solon Pine Tree Club

On November 11, Solon Pine Tree had their monthly meeting with seven members, two leaders and six visitors attending. They discussed buying a Christmas dinner for a local family, mentioned 4-H Achievement Night and invited all to attend, and started planning activities for the 2024 year. They elected officers for the new year: Evelyn F., President;  Ava W., Vice President; Kaitlyn D, Secretary; Audrey F., Treasurer; and Morgan and Mariah S., Flagbearers. For their educational program, they made Christmas gnomes. At the December meeting they will be collecting items for the local animal shelter.

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

Ignite by 4-H

Spark your imagination and passion!

Ignite by 4-H, an inclusive teen event, returns March 2024 to Washington, D.C. Join us for four days of inspiring speakers, workshop sessions, activities, and entertainment. The summit will provide high-school-aged youth from across the country the opportunity to explore the best 4-H has to offer in STEM, Agriscience, and Healthy Living. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover exciting career paths, make connections, and create an action plan to ignite change in your community!

Who is eligible: All youth of high school age (14-18) 

When is the event: March 13-17

Where: Washington DC metro area at the Westin Washington D.C. Downtown Hotel/Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.

Timeline: Applications need to be completed by Dec 23

Cost: The Maine 4-H Foundation has graciously funded the majority of the registration and travel costs for youth. Youth will be responsible for $300 towards the cost of the trip. We encourage youth to reach out to the County offices and programs to seek out additional funding support. If youth need help or assistance please have them contact tara.marble@maine.edu   

Other info can be seen on the official website.

Applying using this Google Form.

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.

Fairs and Shows

Fryeburg Market Animal Intents Now Available

Intent to sell forms for Fryeburg market projects are now available online. Steers must be owned and in the possession of the 4-H member by December 31 and intent forms, including RFID tags, bill of sale, and photos of the steer must be submitted by January 5. Lambs must be owned and in the possession of the 4-H member by June 1 and intent forms, including bill of sale, scrapie tag number, and photos of the animal, must be submitted by June 5. For more information on 4-H market animal projects please contact your county cooperative extension office or call 207.581.3877.

Maine 4-H ESE Beef Intent to Participate Forms are Now Available

The 2024 Maine 4-H Beef ESE Intent to Participate form is now available online and must be submitted by January 15, 2024. This is a requirement for all youth intending to participate as members of the Maine 4-H Beef Team at the Eastern States Exposition in September. Youth must be 12-18 years old as of December 31, 2023 and have completed one year in a beef project prior to this year. Please contact Kristen Grondin, kristen.grondin@maine.edu, 207.581.8193, with any questions.

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:
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

November 15, 2023

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

Background Checks Update: Karen is working her way through the list of the background checks, which must be completed every three years, for leaders in the county. A Maine Teacher background check certificate also works.

Achievement Night: Madison Grange at 5:30 for set-up. Program starts at 6:00. There will be potluck desserts. Eleanor will bring cider. 


2024 Officers for County Leaders Team: 

Eleanor Pooler, President

Lori Swenson, Secretary 

Hailey Dellarma and Cheryl Perkins, Co-Treasurers

We are in need of a vice-president. 

Budget: We didn’t spend a lot of money this year. UMaine changed over the copiers and we don’t have a bill from them for any copying yet. We are waiting to finish enrollment to know what our insurance bill will be. We will keep the budgeted amounts the same. There are also funds from Tractor Supply fundraising for county use. Cheryl motioned that we leave the budget the same for 2024. Hailey seconded. Motion passed.

Next Meeting:   January 17, 2023 at 5:00. No meeting in December. Happy Holidays!

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