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Educational Programs - 4-H MYCA (4-H Maine Youth Community Action)

Engaging Youth; Serving Community4-H Maine Youth Community Action is Maine’s program based on a grant program called Engaging Youth, Serving Community program of National 4-H Council.

A Youth and Adult Core Team of 4-6 members recruit an Intensive Team of 15 – 20 members, and hold a community forum to identify an issue so a Participant Team of 35-50 members implement an action take issues to action.

Over the course of 3-5 years these teams make a lasting change in rural communities. Young people gain skills immediately due to their own interest engaging them with community. Communities get energized and resolve long standing issues inclusive of a broad spectrum of members.

At the April 2013 4-H MYCA Leadership Weekend, the five sites taught each other: Newport led anti-bullying activities; Milo showcased their HAWT Spot afterschool program; Buckfield showed off their garden, outdoor classroom, bunnies, and campfire circle; Bethel GOT Farms showed their greenhouse, gourd house, and squash hill; and Bridgton showed their scuba diving skills with the underwater robot/camera system to ameliorate milfoil. Together they ushered in the new Youth Voice, Youth Choice grant sites pledging to work as mentors to the new groups for youth leadership and service learning.

At the April 2012 4-H MYCA Leadership Weekend, a Local Foods Forum was featured — led by GOT Farms with a BANC facilitator teaching selected youth how to lead an Open Space Forum. Saturday picking from the garden, cooking and learning to facilitate activities prepared the way for Sunday’s Local Foods Forum with the local community invited. Results of the Local Food Forum spawned new efforts including a collaboration grant benefiting GOT Farms with cooking lessons and an improved kitchen for the church across the street that they use (also housing the community dinners featuring their garden’s produce).

At the October 2011 4-H MYCA Leadership Weekend, youth learned mapping skills, interpersonal communication skills, and leadership skills.

At the October 2010 4-H MYCA Leadership Weekend, Katie, Dani, and Alex (the 4-H MYCA Core Team) are co-facilitators for workshops training the five 4-HMYCA sites. Please visit our five sites to see what each has been doing.


4-H Citizenship MYCA Toolkit (Word)

2010 Dani facilitates a group at 4-HMYCA Leadership Weekend to promote diversity and building teamworkA student speaks with 2 youth.
2011 University Core Team member, Dani, speaks with youth during 4-H @ UMaine weekend conference on campus about the 5 EYSC site program.
group of children posing for picture

2012 At 4-H@UMaine: Connecting Kids to Campus Weekend Conference, members of the Penobscot County group including the Newport EYSC 4-HMYCA group pose for a photo.

2010 Katie checks gear before racing from treetop to treetop on a zipline challenge course.

2010 Katie checks gear before racing from treetop to treetop on a zipline challenge course.

Group of youth seated in auditorium.

2011 4-H @ UMaine participants get a glimpse of what the 5 EYSC sites have accomplished and inspiration for doing it too.

Youth looking at computer

4-H @ UMaine statewide youth conference track for EYSC youth (open to others) to learn.

5 kids making faces

2011 Maine 4-H Days statewide youth and family conference – Cast and crew created a video depicting a whimsical trip through an OZ-like plot where the maine character was caught in the land of 4-H during day-long training on the EYSC model and video skill development extending the reach of EYSC, thanks to an Adobe Youth Voices Grant.

Group of youth

2010 Alex facilitates group action planning and the role personalities play in communication skills.

4-H MYCA Weekend April 2012 – Leadership and Local Foods Forum Training

Bunnies live at camp

2012 Nate holds a bunny that lives at camp

Nate feeds chicken living at camp

2012 Nate feeds chicken living at camp


Around Election 2012 Entire group learns about mapping in camp dining room


2012 Group ideas being discussed about mapping in camp’s museum room


2012 Smaller group discusses project planning in camp’s library


2012 Two people demonstrate chemical bonds with ropes and why it is easier to digest certain foods.

Boy swingin on a rope

2012 Young person climbs rope on Low Ropes Course to promote creative thinking and team building


2012 Four girls roast apples instead of “S’Mores” – Tasty and Healthy!


2012 Nate points out a good strategy in playing a game about food choices that a mythical town might make.


2012 The other “town” strategizes how it would spend its resources more wisely.

2012 At end of weekend, Sue and Nate are voted as Teen Members of the University Core Team by all who attended. Melissa Prescot, Telstar MS teacher and Barb Baker, Extension Educator (not shown) are the adult members.


2012 Three greeters sign in visitors at the door of the lodge at camp for the Local Foods Forum.


2012 Sign says, “Welcome to the Local Foods Forum” in bright colors.


2012 Before discussing topics at the Local Foods Forum Youth Facilitators lay out the purpose of the day and how it will work.


2012 Youth listen to each EYSC site talk about their Community Capitals Maps to explain what they have accomplished.


2012 After brainstorming ideas, forum members come up front to sign up for a discussion topic, then greet others interested in the same issue.


2012 Participants sign up for topics.


2012 Sometimes people change their minds and go into other groups. It is all very fluid and people vote with their feet (walk to where they want to be).


2012 Youth facilitate and record all the conversation. They are prepared for conflict management skills and have activities to do if a lull in the enthusiasm appears.


2012 To build excitement and stay on topic, the facilitators have the group members “sell” a pine cone. This gets their creativity flowing to get back on the task of recruitment (selling their idea to others).


2012 After a short break the Facilitators report back to the large group so everyone can learn from their ideas. This provides an opportunity for further discussion on that topic and potentially forming new groups to take the idea further when needed.


2012 Finally groups make a timeline for their project and show who is doing what by when – if the group gets that far. One group resulted in being awarded $8,000 to fulfill their idea. GOT Farms youth learned cooking skills and the kitchen they were using was updated in a win-win situation that shows how great ideas involving youth voice are put to work and produce actions that get results. Many hungry people in the community were fed over the months that followed.


2012 What would a Local Foods Forum be without great local food and a nice atmosphere of conversation among friends.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Agreement No. 2008-45201-04715, Amendment 2. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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