4-H News in Washington County – April 2023

Table of Contents:


Dates to Remember

April 8: State 4-H Public Speaking Tournament, Orono
April 21 (approximate date): Big Night Monitoring-Amphibians on the Move!
April 19 & 26: Start Your 4-H Volunteer Journey Training
April 20-21: Maine 4-H Ag Symposium, Orono
April 24-May 22: 4-H Vernal Pools SPIN Club
April 26-May 7: Paper Clover Campaign at Tractor Supply Co.
May 13-14: Maine 4-H Youth Council Annual Conference, Windsor Fair Grounds
May 16-June 6: 4-H Shark SPIN Club (virtual)
May 20: Washington County Extension Association Annual Meeting & Open House
June 25 – 30: Citizenship Washington Focus
July 21-22:
Maine 4-H Days, Windsor Fairgrounds

Washington County 4-H Public Speaking Tournament

On Sunday, March 5th, 4-H’ers gathered at the University of Maine Machias to present at the Washington County 4-H Public Speaking Tournament.  All did a wonderful job!  Best wishes to Ira, Soren and Ruth who will be participating in the state tournament on Saturday, April 8th in Orono!


Samuel F.
Illustrated Talk
Facts about Birds
Cloverbud Participation

Ira D.
How to Make a Lego Stop Action Video
Blue Ribbon 

Soren D.
Illustrated Talk
Unveiling the Mysteries of Star Wars Special Effects
Blue Ribbon

Ruth B.
Illustrated Talk
Crate to Cooler: How to Process a Chicken
Blue Ribbon

Cobscook Currents Club

The Cobscook Currents 4-H Club has begun a unit on photography!  In a recent meeting, the club discussed guidelines for camera care and safe photography and then they explored the cameras. There were definitely some enthusiastic photographers!

4-H Vernal Pools SPIN Club

salamander in snow
Gabrielle Brodek Photo

University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H and Downeast Coastal Conservancy will offer a short-term, in-person 4-H club about vernal pools. Intended for youth in grades 4, 5 and 6, the special interest, or SPIN, club will meet from 2:30-4:00 p.m. on Mondays from April 24 – May 22. The club will meet at the Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, 2 Kilton Lane in Machias and Middle River Park.

This club will focus on exploring vernal pools ecosystems, making observations, and learning about how species rely on vernal pools.

The club is free; registration is required. There is a maximum of fifteen participants. Register and find more information on the program webpage, extension.umaine.edu/washington/washington-county-vernal-pools-4-h-spin-club.  For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact 207.255.3345; gabrielle.brodek@maine.edu.

Big Night Monitoring-Amphibians on the Move!

What is a Big Night? Every spring, when the ground has thawed, the rain has started, and nighttime temperatures maintain above freezing, frogs and salamanders begin their migration to their breeding grounds called vernal pools. In Maine, these migrations usually occur in April.

Join Downeast Coastal Conservancy and UMaine 4-H for an evening program to collect data for the Maine Amphibian Migration Monitoring (MBN) Program.  This program is very dependent on specific weather conditions. The date will be determined, but we estimate it may happen around April 21st. Interested participants can register by adding their email to the list and will notified when the conditions are right. Limited spots available. Please visit downeastcoastalconservancy.org.

Save the Date- WCEA Annual Meeting and Open House

Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 20th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Washington County Extension Association (WCEA) will be hosting an Annual Meeting and Open House at the office on the campus of UMaine Machias.  The day will feature the WCEA annual meeting, awarding the Norman W. Duzen Community Service Award winner, informational displays, 4-H science activity, goat petting zoo, and a cook out! Visit the website at extension.umaine.edu/washington/2023-wash-annual-meeting-and-open-house to find out more and to register for the cook out.  We hope to see you there!

Stop by and pet a goat at the WCEA Open House! Nicholas MacDonald Photo, used with permission.

4-H Camp and Learning Centers Scholarships Still Available

We are currently accepting requests for scholarships to attend camp at one of the 4-H Camp and Learning Centers in Maine. Youth must currently be enrolled in the Washington County 4-H Program and registered for camp. Please complete the request form at this website: extension.umaine.edu/washington/washington-county-4-h-camp-scholarship.  Request deadline is June 16, 2023.  A limited number of scholarships are available and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

UMaine 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Greenland Point

Spring Paper Clover Campaign

The spring paper clover campaign will be held April 26 – May 7 with the opportunity to donate to 4-H in-stores and online.

News from the State

New Project Records are HERE!
Co-designed with Maine 4-H volunteers, youth and staff; these project records have been designed to best serve the needs of Maine youth. Please visit our newly designed project record website extension.umaine.edu/4h/volunteers/project-records. Project records are required for all Maine 4-H Youth. Stay tuned for upcoming trainings. Please contact your county 4-H staff with questions.


Maine 4-H Youth Council Annual Conference – May 13 – 14, 2023
SAVE THE DATE! May 13-14, Maine 4-H Youth Council Annual Conference. An annual conference for youth ages 15-22. This year’s event will be held at the Windsor Fairgrounds. More information to come.


Workshops Needed!
The Maine 4-H Youth Council is holding a conference for youth ages 15-22. The conference will be an overnight event and held at the Windsor Fairgrounds May 13th and 14th. We would like to invite you to submit a proposal to present a workshop.

The Council is specifically looking for 45-minute-long workshops focused on mental health, stress management, communication, creativity, time management, leadership and conflict management. To submit a workshop please visit: https://forms.gle/3z2FN4F6roVeGLX69.


2023 ESE Horse Intent Form
The 2023 ESE Horse Intent form is now live. The form is due by May 1, 2023.

The form indicates your intent to participate in the 2023 4-H Eastern States Horse tryout process. By completing this form, you are verifying that you are currently enrolled in a Maine 4-H Horse project and are a 4-H member of good standing in your county. 4-H enrollment requirements will be verified by 4-H staff.

We hope to send out more information about the upcoming season and an updated packet as soon as possible. We will have a new layout this year with multiple opportunities for youth to participate and qualify.

This form is a requirement for trying out for the Maine 4-H ESE Equestrian Team. You will not be eligible to join the ESE Horse Team if this form is not completed by May 1, 2023.

If you have questions or need a hard copy of the form please email tara.marble@maine.edu.


Join us for the Maine 4-H Agriculture Symposium!
You are invited to the Maine 4-H Agriculture Symposium, an overnight event for youth ages 14-18. Participants will take part in hands-on learning opportunities, engage with industry professionals on the UMaine Orono campus, develop leadership skills, and make friendships with teens from around the state April 20 – 21, 2023.

Symposium attendees will test recipes at the state of the art Food Innovations Lab, participate in hands-on learning experiences at the UMaine Witter Farm, investigate permaculture methods at the Terrell House and more! 4-H membership is not required for participation in the symposium and there is no cost for the event. Transportation assistance is available upon request.

For more information visit umaine.edu/4h/youth/ag-leadership/4-h-agriculture-symposium or contact Alisha Targonski at 207.622.7546; extension.4hagleadership@maine.edu.


4-H Shark SPIN Club
One of the most requested topics of all times: SHARKS! Have you wondered how sharks find their food? How do they exist in the ocean with other creatures? Interested in learning about their patterns and habits as they swim along the Maine coast? Participants will explore shark behavior, food chains, types of sharks and more with shark scientist, Kyle Oliveira. Participants will receive a packet of materials to engage in hands-on activities that help us explore these questions, as we learn about the exciting water world of sharks.  This workshop is supported by Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine. Register by April 25th, so supplies can be mailed to attendees’ homes. Limited to 10 participants.

Who: Youth ages 9 – 18
When: Tuesdays, May 16 – June 6, 2023, 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Where: Join via zoom
How: Register by April 25, 2023 at extension.umaine.edu/4h/virtual-learning-hub/open-registrations


Help Project ITCH to Better Understand Tick Control
The New England Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases (NEWVEC) is seeking your help in better understanding residential tick control. NEWVEC began as a partnership of university research teams from each of the six New England states joining with state and local health departments and agricultural extension programs to discover, evaluate, and promote practices that reduce the burden of tick- and mosquito-borne disease.

NEWVEC’s inaugural undertaking is Project ITCH, our acronym for “Is Tick Control Helping.”  Project ITCH will be carried out in two phases starting Spring 2023. In Phase 1 – NEWVEC is asking for your participation to tell us about what you are doing at your home to reduce the incidence of ticks and tick bites. In Phase 2 – NEWVEC will gather the information you share and through a lottery process select residential properties to participate in a research study to test what’s working.

It all starts with you taking a few moments to answer a few survey questions.  To complete the survey, please visit the web page at NEWVEC.org/itch.  Participants in this survey will be eligible for consideration for Phase 2 enrollment in the future.  To learn more about NEWVEC and Project ITCH, bookmark the web page and/or sign-up to receive updates on NEWVEC projects.


Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF)

Start making plans now to visit our Nation’s Capitol during the week of June 25 – 30, 2023.

CWF is a leadership program conducted by the National 4-H Council for high school youth ages 14 to 18. Delegations of 4-Hers from across the country spend six days touring the city and attending leadership skill-building workshops.

This summer, the Maine delegation will fly down on June 25 and travel home June 30. Youth will be staying in a hotel just outside of the DC limits. Visiting the most popular sites in Washington, DC will be a part of the trip. There is a highly recommended orientation for Maine delegates on May 20, 2023. For more information visit the CWF page on our website at extension.umaine.edu/4h/annual-events/citizenship-washington-focus. Contact your county 4-H office for details about how to be a part of this. All county offices have different criteria/dates to apply.


Apply by April 25th for National 4-H Trips
National 4-H Trips are excellent opportunities to meet 4-H members from across the nation. Participants learn about many career options, and learn through educational workshops at Congress or become a part of a team making recommendations to National 4-H Council at Conference. To learn more about these trips, visit: extension.umaine.edu/4h/national-trips.

New for 2023: Complete and submit your application and supplemental materials online!

Any Maine 4-H Youth, ages 14 to 18, is eligible to apply. Applicants must be current Maine 4-H members both at the time of application and the time of the actual trip. Application packets must be submitted online, or sent to your county office and postmarked by April 25, 2023. Interview dates will be the second week of May, 2023. If you have any questions, please contact Heidi Palmer at 207.310.4235 or heidi.thuotte@maine.edu.

2023 National 4-H Congress is November 24 – 30, 2023 in Atlanta GA with an orientation for the trip on October 21, 2023.  2024  National 4-H Conference has not yet been announced, but will likely take place in April of 2024 in Washington, DC., orientation for that trip will be announced to those selected.  Leaders and office staff, if you have senior members in your clubs, please encourage them to participate.  They are amazing trips!

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 the website or with your county 4-H staff to find out when your county tournament will be held.


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!

Save the Date for 4-H Dairy Judging and State Show!
The Maine 4-H Dairy Judging Contest will take place on May 6th, 2023 at Hardy Farm in Farmington, ME and Silver Valley Farm in New Sharon, ME. The contest is open to all enrolled dairy members and will serve as the official tryouts for the Maine 4-H Dairy Judging Team.

The Maine State 4-H Dairy Show will take place on July 22nd and 23rd at the Windsor Fairgrounds in Windsor, ME in conjunction with Maine 4-H Days. The contest is open to all 4-H members who want to participate and will include educational workshops, a fitting contest, a grilled cheese contest, and more!

For more information on upcoming 4-H dairy events visit umaine.edu/4h/dairy or contact sadee.mehuren@maine.edu; 207.342.5971


Maine 4-H Days: Save the Date! July 21 – 22, 2023
We’re back for fun times, workshops, overnight camping and more at the Windsor Fairgrounds in Kennebec County! More information to come, so save the dates!


Cooking for Crowds – Food Safety Training for Volunteers
There’s a lot to learn about safe food preparation and handling.Unsafe food can “spoil” your group’s reputation — and its finances. Don’t take a chance. Sign up for the “Cooking for Crowds” workshop.

Learn up-to-date methods for safely preparing, handling, and serving food for large group functions such asa 4-H food booth, a club event or community fundraiser.

Participants receive Cooking for Crowds – a manual specifically designed for volunteer cooks, a certificate of attendance, and an instant read thermometer.

Sessions take place March 28-April 25.  Materials fee is $15 and registration is required.  Visit the Cooking for Crowds website to register for a session near you or a virtual workshop.