4-H News in Washington County- March 2024

Table of Contents

Dates to Remember
Help send Cobscook Currents 4-H Club to First Lego League Festival!
Cobscook Currents 4-H Club Updates
4-H Science Fridays
Oh Yea 4-H Grows True Leaders Updates
New Calais 4-H Cloverbud Club
Prepare for the Solar Eclipse with 4-H – free to-go eclipse activity bags! 
Washington County 4-H Public Speaking Tournament
News from the State

Dates to Remember

March 7: Total Eclipse Prep Party for 4-H Volunteers
March 9: Washington County 4-H Public Speaking Tournament, UMaine Machias
March 10: Snow Date: Washington County 4-H Public Speaking Tournament
March 11-April 5: Pick up Solar Eclipse Activity Bags at office while supplies last
March 12: 4-H Volunteer Connections – Finding Space for Mental Wellness in Every Program
March 13-17: Ignite by 4-H Conference, Washington D.C.
March 16: 4-H Cloverbud Club in Calais
March 19&26: Start Your 4-H Volunteer Journey Training
March 19-April 9: Maine 4-H Ag Ambassadors
March 22:
4-H Science Friday- Eclipse Investigations
March 27: Registration Deadline for Tidepool Immersion Discovery + Ecology Workshop Series
April 6: State 4-H Public Speaking Tournament, Orono
April 8: Solar Eclipse
April 9: 4-H Volunteer Connections – Animal Science: Strong Relationships and Sportsmanship
April 9-May 11: Tidepool Immersion Discovery + Ecology Workshop Series
April 18-19: Maine Agriculture Symposium at the University of Maine
April 22:
4-H Solar Eclipse Wrap-Up Extravaganza
April 24-May 5: Farm Animal Care SPIN Club – FUNdamentals
April 26: 4-H Science Friday
May 1: Equine ESE Intent forms Due
May 24: 4-H Science Friday-Vernal Pools
June 5:
Fryeburg Market Lamb Intent to Participate Deadline
June 20-27: Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF), Washington D.C.


Help send Cobscook Currents 4-H Club to FIRST LEGO League World Festival!
The Cobscook Currents Lego robotics project group is excited to attend the FIRST LEGO League World Festival in Houston, TX in April. The team has been working since September 2023 on their robot, programming, and Innovation Project. The World Festival will feature teams from all 50 states and 66 other countries, as well as two different high school robotics league competitions. This will be a formative experience for these hard-working youth and they are fundraising to make the trip happen. Donations can be made through the Maine 4-H Foundation website as well as by checks sent to the Washington County Cooperative Extension office, 116 O’Brien Avenue, Machias ME 04654; donations should specify “Cobscook Currents 4-H Club Lego robotics”.
Congrats to the participants and coaches for qualifying for the festival in Houston! Well done!
team holding up a trophy
Members and coaches of the Cobscook Currents 4-H Club at the FIRST Lego League Challenge competition in Brewer on February 3.

Cobscook Currents 4-H Club Updates

Several members of the Cobscook Currents 4-H club visited Josh Pond creamery and cheese cave in Whiting. 

Sean, the tour guide, enlightened the club about the cheesemaking process. Part of the year of they use milk from Tide Mill Organic Farm cows and part of the year they milk their own dairy goats. The underground cheese cave remains 50 to 55° year-round with about 90% humidity.

The group hand an amazing time and enjoyed the samples!

4-H Science Fridays

February kicked off our 4-H Science Friday program series for the year! With a focus on ice cores, youth learned about the fascinating discoveries UMaine is involved in regarding ice core research, helped drill an ice core in a model glacier and explored their own model ice cores.


Oh Yea 4-H Grows True Leaders Updates

In the month of March, Oh Yea! 4-H Grows True Leaders will finally arrive at the much anticipated 4-H Ignite Teen Summit in Washington, D.C. from the 13th – 17th. Nine teenagers from Washington County will meet other Oh Yea! 4-H teens from various counties around Maine as well as national members from all over the United States. Only four states will not have any teen representatives at the Ignite conference.
The high-schoolers will choose between three themes to guide their enrollment in innovative workshops – Agricultural-Science, Healthy Living, and S.T.E.M. Furthermore, the 1,200 attendees will split up to visit off-site locations involved in Food Systems. The Washington County teens will be visiting the Institute of Agricultural Science at the University of Maryland for their off-site excursion. They will close the conference with a big dance and have the opportunity to engage in the tradition of sharing lapel pins from their various state with the other teens.
In preparation, Oh Yea! 4-H will have one last meeting on March 2nd at the UMaine Machias campus to iron out any last minute concerns and to brief the students on what to pack for their trip. As every teen will appreciate, the Youth Development meeting will close the day will a competitive (yet playful) game of dodgeball at the Reynolds Center gym on campus and pizza at Pat’s Pizza Machias.


 New Calais 4-H Cloverbud Club

Youth ages 5-8 are invited to participate in a new 4-H club in Calais! This club will be led by a 4-H volunteer and Gabby Brodek, 4-H Professional. 
The club plans to meet at the Calais Free Library on the 3rd Saturdays of the month from 10:30am-12:00pm. The first meeting date will be Saturday, March 16th. The second meeting would be on Sat. April 20th. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation contact Gabrielle Brodek at gabrielle.brodek@maine.edu or 207.255.3345 or 1.800.287.1542 (in Maine).
If you are interested in attending, you can enroll your youth in 4-H, if you have not done so already. You can enroll through our online program, ZSuite. This ensures club leaders have emergency contact, medical information, etc. if needed.


Prepare for the Maine Solar Eclipse with 4-H – free to-go eclipse activity bags!
On April 8th, 2024 Maine will experience a full solar eclipse. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Moon and Earth are in a direct line. It is visible from only certain locations on earth during a solar eclipse when the center of the Moon’s shadow hits the earth, the sky goes dark and we can experience changes in a short amount of time (temperature, sounds, etc.).

Join UMaine 4-H in experiencing this once in a lifetime opportunity. Washington County 4-H is offering free eclipse to-go bags for 4-H families in our county! The bags will include information about the eclipse, viewing glasses, hands-on activities and the materials needed to complete them. They will be available for pick up at the Washington County Cooperative Extension office starting Monday, March 11th during business hours. First come, first served as availability is limited.


Washington County 4-H Public Speaking Tournament 

Washington County 4-H is busy preparing for the Public Speaking Tournament, which will be held on Saturday, March 9th at 10 a.m. in Science 102 on the campus of the University of Maine at Machias. We are looking forward to listening to prepared talks by youth and celebrating their hard work!

The snow date for the county tournament is Sunday, March 10th at 10am. We will post on the Washington County 4-H Facebook page on Friday evening (March 8th) if we need to utilize the snow date.

Please invite your family and friends to attend. Best of luck to all our participants!


News from the State

How to Safely View the Maine Solar Eclipse
Can you believe the solar eclipse is just a month away?! It is necessary that you review how to properly view the eclipse before April 8th, the day this spectacular event will occur. When you are viewing the partial phases of the eclipse with your eyes, which are all times except for totality when the moon completely covers the Sun’s face, it is crucial that you are looking through viewing glasses (sometimes called “eclipse glasses”). Yes, this is true even if it’s cloudy or rainy!

  • The only safe way to view partial phases of the eclipse are with viewing (eclipse) glasses or through a handheld solar viewing (i.e. a pinhole camera)
  • Do not view partial eclipse phases with sunglasses, through a camera lens, binoculars or a telescope
  • If your viewing glasses are damaged in any way, discard them and do not use them
  • You can view the eclipse directly without eye protection only when the moon completely blocks the Sun’s face (totality) 
  • If you are outside for hours on April 8th make sure you drink water, wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen.

Happy safe viewing!


4-H Solar Eclipse Wrap-Up Extravaganza
Solar Eclipse Coming to Maine! On April 8th, 2024 Maine will experience a full solar eclipse. Although this is a once in a lifetime event for us folks in Maine, there is no way we all experienced the same thing. Join 4-Hers from all over the state to share stories, observations, and experiences from the 2024 eclipse. Let’s see what heliophysics enthusiasm can look like!

To join the conversation, register by March 28th.

If you need solar eclipse glasses, we can provide them for you, register by March 1, 2024.

We invite youth ages 5 – 18 to sign up, the eclipse will take place on April 8th around 3:00 pm, and this celebration will take place via Zoom on Thursday, April 22, 2024, 4:00 – 5:00 pm.


Tidepool Immersion Discovery + Ecology Workshop Series
The 4-H Tidepool Immersion Discovery + Ecology Workshop Series will explore the intertidal zone and help with marine science research! In this workshop, we will learn about animals you might find during low tide and use some amazing equipment to take awesome pictures on your phone to identify them. Along the way, we’ll learn about invasive species, climate change, species identification, and how you can participate in research.University of New England graduate students Emily and Sam will lead the workshop. An optional in person field day exploring tide pools is scheduled for Saturday, April 13th.The workshop is free; participation is limited to 15. Required registration closes on March 27.  Register on the event webpage to receive the link and at-home materials.


4-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:
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!  


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 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.


Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF)
CWF will be held on June 20-27, 2024 in Washington DC.  We have reserved space for 15 Maine delegates. The cost will be in the area of $1200 + or -.  We will most likely fly and will be staying at a different hotel than in the last couple of years.  Be sure to connect with your county office and let them know your interest.  They in turn will correspond, on behalf of their entire county to me.   **They also will know if there is additional help in funding the trip through your county. A big “Thank You” to The Maine 4-H Foundation for significantly funding this incredible trip.  (County Offices, Heidi Palmer will need your delegate names by March 20, 2024). This trip is amazing and very well known and liked.  This trip will be on a first come basis.  There are limited spaces as the program is only being run for 1 additional week from our spoken week. So only two weeks total.  An orientation will be planned as we get closer and will be on the website and communicated to candidates directly.  If you need more information, you can check the CWF UMaine website in early January, or email, Heidi Palmer:   heidi.thuotte@umaine.edu.


Equine ESE Intent forms Due May 1, 2024
The 2024 Eastern States (ESE) Horse Intent Form is now live and online.  The form indicates your interest in participating in the Eastern States Team Tryout event this summer.  The event this year will offer a weekend opportunity for youth to qualify and to learn and grow while getting to know other youth who are also interested in trying out. Youth can try out to be a Teen Leader (4-H age 12 and up) or to be a Rider or Driver (4-H age 13 and up).More details will go out to those who fill out the intent forms in the registration packets.  The intent form does not bind you to the tryout event. Applications will be used to determine the event roster.

Here is the ESE intent form to be filled out by May 1st. Approval forms must also be filled out and sent to your county office by May 1st as well.

If you have any questions, please reach out to: Tara Marble, tara.marble@maine.edu, or 207.778.4650.


Know someone who is interested in becoming a 4-H volunteer? Tell them about Start Your 4-H Volunteer Journey!
University of Maine Cooperative Extension will offer a two-part online informational session for adults interested in becoming Maine 4-H volunteers on March 19 & 26 from 6 – 7 p.m. “Start Your 4-H Volunteer Journey” will provide participants with information about the UMaine Extension 4-H youth development program through four short e-Learning modules. Attendees will also participate in an experimental learning activity, learn about the key aspects of positive youth development, and be introduced to ages and stages of youth. The two one-hour virtual sessions will wrap up with an outline of next steps and an introduction to a county staff contact to help with the application process if desired.

Registration is required. The sessions are free. To register, visit our website.

For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Jennifer Lobley, jennifer.lobley@maine.edu, 207.255.3345.


New SPIN Club: Farm Animal Care – FUNdamentals
Are you interested in learning about livestock animals (such as cows, goats or sheep)? How to care for them? How do you know what to feed them, how do you actually do regular health checks and have proper housing? Join the 4-H Animal Science SPIN club. We will have 3 virtual sessions focused on what livestock need to live a healthy life and one field day that provides hands-on experience. Set yourself up for success in your 4-H project by learning the basics of animal care. Participants do not need to have any prior animal experience or currently own livestock to participate. This is a beginner/introductory level program.Virtual sessions will be on Wednesdays, April 24, May 1, and May 8, 2024. An Optional in-person field day will take place Saturday, May 4.

This club is open to youth ages 9 – 18, space is limited to 15 participants.

More information and registration are available online.  Registration closes April 8, 2024.


Maine 4-H Ag Ambassadors – Spring 2024
Maine 4-H is launching a new session cohort for interested eligible youth for the Maine 4-H Agricultural Ambassadors program!  The program is designed for youth ages 14-18 who are interested in any aspect of agriculture.  Youth spend time getting to know each other and learning both online and in person facilitated by UMaine 4-H Staff, and community partners. Sessions will focus on career exploration, exploring the Maine Food System with farm and production visits around the state, and building relationships with industry professionals.This season we will be visiting local Maine Ag business like Springworks Farm where youth will get to tour and explore the facilities and learn about their state-of-the-art organic aquaponics system. Check them out!

In addition to the multi-week session, youth will serve in their ambassador role for at least 1 year. Youth will pick an agricultural area to focus on (ex. livestock, ag literacy/food systems, environmental stewardship, Ag and health) during their term and explore opportunities for leadership locally, statewide and even nationally. Register today!

Spring 2024 Dates
Online: March 19 & March 26, April 2 & April 9
In-Person: March 23 & March 30
Maine Agriculture Symposium at the University of Maine: April 18-19 (optional overnight)

For more information and to register, click here. Or visit: https://extension.umaine.edu/4h/youth/ag-leadership/


Western/Central Regional Public Speaking Contest
Join other 4-H youth for a Regional Public Speaking contest at UMA in Augusta on March 9th (March 10th snow date) at Jewett Hall at 9:30. We welcome 4-Her’s of all ages, including Cloverbuds. Register online.Want to know more information about Public Speaking? Check out this link: https://extension.umaine.edu/4h/public-speaking/. Contact: Tara Marble (tara.marble@maine.edu) at the office if you have questions or need an accommodation.