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4-H in Washington County ~ March 2014

Volume 9, Issue 3

Dates to Remember

March 8- Washington County Public Speaking Tournament

March 16- 4:30-6:30 p.m. – Handworks Night – Hancock Extension Office

March 29- Regional Public Speaking Tournament, University of Maine

March 29- 4-H Robotics Expo, University of Maine at Machias 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

April 12- 4-H Volunteer Training in Machias

April 23-May 4- Spring Paper Clovers at Tractor Supply Company

April 27- Handworks Night – Hancock Extension Office

May 10-Super Sitter Course, Machias

May 16 & 17- 4-H@UMaine-Orono

June 6, 7, 8- June Jamboree- Hancock County

June 20, 21 & 22- Maine 4-H Days


4-H Volunteer Training  (please share, open to the public)

Ever wanted to learn more about 4-H? 4-H is a positive youth development program for youth ages 5 to 18. Projects focus on developing citizenship, leadership and life skills through hands-on learning activities. Whether your passion is crocheting or bee-keeping, fishing or gardening, we are looking for adult volunteers to work with youth. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension will be offering a training for people who are interested in becoming 4-H volunteers. The training will take place on Saturday, April 12th, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Extension office in Machias. Preregistration is required by April 7th. Please call 207.255.3345 or email to register.


Come and check out our Facebook page: Washington County Maine 4-H

Please visit our Facebook page at the following link.


Invitation to “Handworks Night” in Hancock County

March 16 will be our next Handworks Night, from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., at the Hancock County Extension Office. This is your opportunity to get extra help with your project, i.e. sewing/knitting project or maybe someone could help you make another kind of craft. Maybe you just want to hang out and watch others do their handworks. There will be a project to join in on if you don’t have some- thing you are working on right now. Please bring a snack or beverage. Mark your calendar – Handworks Night will continue on the third Sunday of each month through May. Come join the fun!

Handworks Night at Hancock County


Lisa’s 4-H Activity Challenge of the Month

I know everything is still frozen outside, and spring seems far out of sight, so let’s take matters into our own hands and bring the most sure sign of spring indoors if we can’t find it outdoors – let’s make MUD!

Mysterious Mud

In this experiment, by mixing cornstarch and water together, we will get to explore the properties of solids and liquids, and the difference between a solution and a suspension, while having fun pretending it’s spring and we are outside playing in mud puddles instead of waiting and wishing for the snow and ice to disappear. If you have ever read Dr. Suess’ classic Bartholomew and the Oobleck, you have some idea of the fun we have in store with this activity. Be prepared to be laughing and messy by the end – just as you would expect when playing with mud!

Materials Needed (per group – 2 to 4 youth per group):

• Cornstarch

• Water

• Bowl or tin (glass loaf dishes and pie plates work well)

• Wooden Spoon

• 1 cup and 1⁄4 cup measuring cup

• Food Coloring


The Activity

Cornstarch is used to make foods thicker. When water and corn- starch are mixed together, they form a mixture that acts like both a liquid and a solid. This mixture is called a suspension.

Step 1: Put one cup of cornstarch into your bowl. Take some time to feel the cornstarch. Does it feel: Coarse? Smooth? Slippery? Gritty?

Step 2: Slowly add up to 1⁄2 cup of water to the cornstarch. Take your time. It will be hard to stir, but it will mix. Add enough water so that the mixture slowly flows on its own when mixed. The best test is to reach in and grab a handful of the mixture and see if you can roll it into a ball between your hands – if you stop rolling it and it “melts” between your fingers – success!

Step 3: Stir in a few drops of food coloring. See how long it takes to mix. What do you notice about how it mixes into your “mud”?

Step 4: PLAY! Have fun with your “mud”! Touch, squeeze, roll, drip – what can you do with what you have made? Squeeze it hard and see what happens. How long can you get the strands of goo to drip? What happens if you let the goo sit on the table for a minute and then try to pick it up? How does it feel? How does it move? Try bouncing a ball on the surface of the cornstarch. You get the idea – explore! 
IMPORTANT! Make sure you do not dump your “mud” down the drain when you clean up – it can get caught in the drain trap and make a whole new experiment, not so much fun as the first. Dump it in the trash or compost instead. 
Talk it Over the 4-H Way! 
Share… How does your mixture feel? What happens when you try to stir the mysterious mud mixture? What happens when you stop stirring or pressing the spoon against the mixture? What did you find happened when you tried to squeeze, roll, drip the mixture?

• Process… What happens when you squeeze the mixture in your hand? Why do you think that happens? What happens when you stop squeezing and just hold the mixture in your hands? Why do you think this happens?

• Generalize… What other things form a suspension when mixed together? What other things can cornstarch be used for?

• Apply… What can you do know or do you know now that you could not do or did not know be- fore?

More 4-H Challenges…

• Send us a picture and a quick note of how your own “Mysterious Mud” turned out and we will include it in our newsletter next time. It will be fun to see how many different ways this “mud” can be made to move!

• You can find this activity and more in the Exploring the Treasures of 4-H Helper’s Guide for Group Activities curriculum (Science and Technology, pages 102-103). It is available to borrow from our lending library.


 Who Took the Challenge written by Lisa Reilich

Have you taken any of the 4-H Activity Challenges on your own or with a group? Let us know about it! Send your “4-H Activity Challenge” pictures in to Joyce or Tara so we can share with the rest of our 4-H family!

Margaret Mae, of Free 2 Be 4-H Club & Ella Lewis School, took the “Finger Weaving” Challenge featured in our January newsletter. Her sister Ella is away at school until the summer, and she wanted to make Ella a present to keep her warm while she is away. What could be better than a scarf? With help from mom, she finger knit one whole ball of yarn using the technique in the challenge to create one very long thick chain. She then looped the chains and threaded the looped ends together to create a continuous wrap-around “infinity” scarf. When she loops the finished scarf times around her neck three times, it fits her great. Right after taking this picture, off it went in the mail to Ella who has received it and says, “It’s really great! Thank you, Margaret, for thinking of me!”

Who Took the Challenge

Want to make your own “Finger Weaving” Activity Challenge scarf? Come to Handworks night on Sunday, March 16th, from 4:30 to 6:30pm at the Hancock County Cooperative Extension Office. We will have supplies right at the Extension Office – all you need to bring are your hands! We will get you set up and show you how to do it and send you home with the supplies to finish it yourself.


School News

Ella Lewis Grammar School – Ella Lewis School 3rd & 4th grade students completed their 4-H public speaking tournaments right before February break, squeezing it in before the Valentine’s Day snowstorm! All did a fantastic job. The fourth graders, who have now been preparing their 4-H demonstrations for three years, were able to prepare their entire demonstration at home with only one in-school class period to work on visuals – way to go! Of the 25 students completing the class tournaments, five qualifying youth decided to go on to compete at the Hancock County 4-H Public Speaking Tournament. ELS Principal and 4-H Volunteer, Darlene Falabella, really believes in and supports 4-H… when she heard these students wanted to go to the County Tournament, she arranged after-school time for them to practice with buses to take them home after- school and also to take them to the Tournament. Thank you Ms. Falabella and Ella Lewis School for your support of your 4-H youth program!

School Photo 1 School Photo 2

Grassy Toes School Cooperative – I had the opportunity to visit Grassy Toes School Cooperative in Steuben and share one of my favorite programs from my W.E.T curriculum (Water Education for Teachers) – “The Incredible Journey!” program. This time I took the “Incredible Journey” of a droplet of water with nine wonderfully active and engaged youngsters and their parents, including one of our newest 4-Hers – Ruth Lassen of Cherryfield. By rolling big picture dice, we were able to travel to the clouds, the ocean, the glaciers, to lakes, rivers, plants, animals, down into the soil, the ground water, and many trips betwixt and
between, to discover how a tiny water droplet can
journey from one place to another and from one
physical state to another – from solid to liquid to
gas. The best part, even for me, is the great
bracelets we make while taking our journey to
document where we have been – one bead for
each place we travel to goes on our fuzzy stick for
a colorful bracelet to keep and remember where we
have been. Thank you to Grassy Toes for taking
this adventure. We hope to see more of you in and
 around our 4-H family! By Lisa Reilich

“The Incredible Journey!” project kit and the W.E.T. curriculum are available to borrow from the Hancock County Cooperative Extension Office.  If you would like to use this activity with your club or school, please contact Lisa at for more information.

School Photo 3

Lisa’s Corner

Did You Know 4-H Did That? – It is amazing to me all the different resources that are available to us in 4-H. Every time I think I’ve heard it all – one of our volunteers will ask me, “Do you have any resources to help us explore this interest?” … then off I go to find out the answer, not always sure where the journey will lead me. With our County Cooperative Extension Office connection to, not only all the other County Cooperative Extension offices in Maine and the whole University of Maine System, but also to all the other land-grant Universities in the country and their resources, I’m finding it hard to think of something that 4-H can’t do!

Here is an article by Pearl Barto, 4-H Volunteer and Ella Lewis School Special Education Teacher, about a project that the 6th through 8th graders recently took on as part of their civics class. Pearl came to me in the fall and asked if 4-H had any resources on teen leadership as she had this extra class in the afternoons and wanted to find resources to help organize the students into creating their own student council. I sent out the question to all our 4-H Cooperative Extension Staff and soon heard back that right in our Washington County Office we had a teen-leadership curriculum called Unlock Your Leadership Potential from the University of Florida Cooperative Extension. I brought this and a few other 4-H resources over to Pearl to review and see if they might suit what she was trying to do with the students. When I next checked back to see how she liked them, she told me that – not only did she like them – they were already using the resources and having great fun and success!

Where can you go with 4-H? Let us help you find out!

Below Article Submitted by Pearl Barto, 4-H Volunteer and Ella Lewis School Special Education Teacher

Ella Lewis School sixth, seventh and eighth graders have participated in a multi-grade class using the University of Florida 4-H leadership curriculum. The students used the activity-based model to compare leadership styles of well-known political figures from Governor LePage to Nelson Mandela. They completed a self-assessment of their own beliefs around leadership and found that most were orientated to the social aspects of groups.

The curriculum was valuable in clarifying the need for a goal focus for any work group and assisted these middle-level students in systematically surveying the classes to identify projects for the school. Students used the information they gained from the curriculum to nominate student council representatives for their classes, who could provide leadership for project completion and be inclusive of multiple ideas and perspectives.

The representatives of the classes wrote bylaws for a student council, honoring the authority of our principal and creating a format for committees to be assigned work projects and be accountable to the student council. The council representatives were thoughtful in their selection of officers, who demonstrate leadership skills. They have just completed a successful week of activities designed to have the whole school show support for our basketball team in their tournament.

For more information on the University of Florida Cooperative Extension “Unlock Your Leadership Potential” teen-leadership curriculum, contact me at, or visit this link  to view a sample of the materials. You may also order your own CD copy of this curriculum at:


 4-H News from the State

1. Maine 4-H Foundation Scholarships – Many scholarships are available to participants in the 4-H program pursuing higher education. High school seniors are encouraged to learn about and apply for scholarships.

Please review descriptions of the following funding opportunities provided by the Maine 4-H Foundation. Apply for the one(s) most relevant to your project / aspirations. If you have any questions, please contact us before applying. Application forms and more information on the various scholarships offered by the Maine 4-H Foundation are located at this link.

The following scholarships are available:

- Maine 4-H Foundation General Post Secondary Education Scholarships

- Wayne S. Rich Scholarship — Maine in odd numbered years

- Azure Dillon 4-H Memorial Scholarship — Maine 4-H’er

- Gladys E. Conant Memorial Farm Credit of Maine Scholarship ($1,000) — Students 
currently enrolled at University of Maine in the College of Natural Sciences Forestry and Agriculture (NSFA). Maine 4-H’er planning to continue their post-secondary education at a Maine institution whose objective is to major in a field related to commercial farming, fishing, or forest products or in another field with the intent to work in businesses related to these industries.

- Doris Roberts, H. Lawrence, and George Lawrence Humphrey 4-H Scholarship.


2. Save the Date for 2014 Maine 4-H Days – Maine 4-H Days will take place June 20 – 22, 2014 at the Windsor Fairgrounds. If you are interested in helping to plan next year’s event, please contact Jessy Brainerd at or 207.581.3877.


3. 4-H Dog Fun Day-Saturday, April 26, 12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. at Renaissance Dogs, 127 Main Street, Holden, Maine 04429. 
Come have a fun filled day learning about dogs! Learn agility with Rebecca Henderson from Renaissance Dogs. Meet licensed veterinarian technician and Purina Certified Weight Coach, Marisa Gleason, from Veazie Veterinary Clinic to discuss nutrition and your dog. Challenge your dog in Trivia! (Hint: know your working dogs, grooming tools, and basic first aid!) 
Call Lori Swenson at 207.654.2110 to pre-register, or email at 
Limited to 10 4-H members and their dogs. Members must be ages 9 – 18 to attend. Your dog should be up-to-date on its shots including distemper, parvo and rabies. Bordatella and lyme are optional. Please bring a copy or photocopy of your vaccination certificates. If your dog is crate trained, please bring it for the down times for the dogs.


4. 4-H Regional Public Speaking Tournament – For: Aroostook, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Somerset, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Waldo and Washington Counties The 4-H Regional Public Speaking Tournament will be held Saturday, March 29, 2014 at the University of Maine at Orono. 4-H Youth ages 9 to 18 who have participated in their county 4-H public speaking tournament and received the required score are invited to participate. For youth in counties which do not hold public speaking tournaments, arrangements may be made through their county’s Extension office to present their presentation to their county’s 4-H staff in order to be eligible. Registration for the regional tournament must be handled through the youth’s county Extension office. To register youth, county offices should contact Joyce in the Hancock County Extension Office no later than March 19th at 207.667.8212 or at For more information on 4-H public speaking, including guidelines and judging sheets, please visit the website or contact Lisa Reilich at 207.598.6621 or


5. Help Wanted! Regional Public Speaking Contest 3/29/14 – Help is needed from 4-H clubs or 4-H families to help with the Regional Public Speaking Contest on March 29, 2014 at the University of Maine, Orono, in Jenness Hall, (snow date April 5). Help with set up and serving snacks from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for serving snacks and clean up. Support members of your club who are presenting or learn about public speaking this year so you can try it next year. This is a great community service project for 4-H clubs, individuals, or families.

To sign up to help or for more information contact Sheila Norman at 207.564.3301 or email as soon as possible, no later than March 21.


6. National 4-H Trips Applications Due -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 the website.

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 sent to your county office and postmarked by March 14, 2014. If you have any questions, please contact Heidi Thuotte at 1.800.287.1535 or


7. Save the Date! Come join us for 4-H@UMaine! – Registration will be open on April 1 for the 4-H@UMaine: Connecting Kids with College which will be held on May 16 and 17, 2014 at University of Maine in Orono. “4-H is your first class at the University of Maine.” Youth ages 12-17 will stay in dorm rooms overnight, eat at the dining halls, and attend workshops presented by UMaine professors to get a real taste of the college experience.

For more information on the 4-H@UMaine: Connecting Kids with College, please go to the website, or contact Barb
Baker at or 207.942.7396 or Karen Hatch Gagne at or 207.622.7546.


8. 2014 Eastern States Horse Tryouts – Tryouts for the 2014 Maine State Horse team will be held July 11 – 13, 2014 at the Skowhegan Fairgrounds. Applications for tryouts will be available online starting February 1. Riders and Drivers must be 14 years of age (4-H age). Please contact Extension Educator, Kristy Ouellette if you have any questions.


9. 2014 Horse Judging Clinic- May 31, 2014, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at Hemphills, Inc, 577 Oak Grove Road, North Vassalboro, Maine 04989. Presented by the Kennebec County 4-H.

This clinic is open to all Maine 4-H members, leaders and volunteers looking to enhance horse judging skills needed to judge, purchase and determine horse’s ability. Whether participating in judging competitions, selecting a horse for your needs, learning more about conformation or interested in brushing up on your assessment skills, this clinic will fulfill your needs!

Topics covered include: conformation, movement, ideal breed characteristics, comparing and contrasting, developing oral reasons, as well as learning conformation for performance. For more information contact Sarah Chadbourne at or 207.408.1309.


10. Upcoming Dairy Events – Dairy Quiz Bowl Tryouts will be held Sunday, February 16, 2014 at the Maine Farm Bureau building in Augusta at 1:00 pm. Snow date will be Monday, February 17. Quiz Bowl Tryouts are open to all 4-H youth in the state. Attendance at QB Tryouts will fulfill one of the requirements to try out for the Eastern States Dairy Team.

For more information please contact coach Connie Wood at or call 207.625.4644.

4-H Dairy Judging – Tryouts for the Dairy Cattle Judging Team will be Saturday, April 12, 2014 and the snow date is Sunday, April 13. Dairy Cattle Judging Tryouts is open to all 4-H youth in the state. Attendance at Judging Tryouts will fulfill one of the requirements to try out for the Eastern States Dairy Team. Times and locations will be announced in early March.
For more information contact Dave Marcinkowski at or call at 207.581.2740.

State 4-H Dairy Show – The State 4-H Dairy Show will be held at the Windsor Fairgrounds July 19 and 20, 2014. The State Show is open to all 4-H youth enrolled in the dairy project and is also the try out event for the selection of the Dairy Team for Eastern States. A clipping contest will be held on Saturday evening before the show.

While the State Dairy Show is open to all 4-H youth in the dairy project, 4-H’ers who would also like to try out for the Eastern States Dairy Team also need to participate in one of these three events: Quiz Bowl Tryouts in February, Dairy Judging in April, Clipping Contest the day before the show. For more information contact Angela Hussey at or at 207-400-2588 or 207-347-7577.


11. Dairy Quiz Bowl Results- The Dairy Quiz Bowl Tryouts were held February 17, 2014 at the Maine Farm Bureau in Augusta. Fourteen 4-H’ers in the dairy program participated all together. The highest scoring youth who qualify for the Eastern States Quiz Bowl team are Alyvia Stanley, overall junior winner, Kelton Tanguay, and Megan Caruso of Cumberland County, Sadie Farrnad from Franklin County, overall senior winner, and Samantha Simpson of Penobscot County. Dairy Quiz Bowl members will practice throughout the year for a team competition at the Eastern States Exposition in Massachusetts in September.


 Cooking with the Kids

Go Green Smoothies


1 banana, cut into slices
1 cup green grapes
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
1 cup baby spinach (rinsed and patted dry)
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt (or key lime yogurt)
1⁄4 cup apple juice or lime juice
4-5 ice cubes


1. Place banana grapes, kiwi and spinach in the blender. Add yogurt, juice and ice.

2. Puree until smooth.

Makes 4 servings Serving size: 6 ounces

University of Maine Cooperative Extension Eat Well Program



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