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Volunteering with 4-H

Volunteers are the heart of 4-H

The 4-H program relies on its volunteers to make a difference in youth’s lives. We appreciate the commitment and efforts of those willing to accept this responsibility. In turn, we provide training and materials to assist you in this process.

There are many opportunities to volunteer with 4-H and help youth. Some require training to protect the safety of minors and include a criminal background check.

Roles for 4-H volunteers include:

  • Club Leader/Assistant Leader
  • Judge
  • Resource Person

How to Become a 4-H Volunteer

Getting started as 4-H a volunteer is easy–coordinating a 4-H club is a commitment. Be prepared to dedicate significant time to organizing and planning your club’s activities, communicating with parents and members, and getting hands-on to be successful!

The steps for becoming an appointed volunteer are outlined below:

  • Meet with 4-H staff to discuss your interests
  • Apply online (where you will provide three references)
  • Complete a criminal background check online
  • Complete a training in the protection of minors online
  • Attend a volunteer orientation session in-person
  • Sign a volunteer appointment agreement

For more detailed information on these steps, please download Becoming a 4-H Volunteer in Sussex County

How to Start a 4-H Club

4-H clubs can get started in several ways, though they all follow the same rules. There are guidance documents and support from the 4-H office and other 4-H leaders to help new leaders get their club started. Below are some basic questions that come up with organizing a 4-H club (links lead to downloads with more detailed information)

What’s needed to start a 4-H club?

  • At least two adult volunteers who have completed the 4-H appointment process (see Becoming a Volunteer)
  • Five children (or more) from at least three different families
  • There is no registration fee to join 4-H
  • There is no uniform required

What are the first steps for organizing a 4-H club?

  • Hold an introductory meeting with interested parents and members (4-H staff can attend the meeting to talk about 4-H)
  • Guide club members in selecting a club name
  • Provide parents with directions for enrolling their children through 4HOnline, our online enrollment system

These are just some introductory ideas, see How to Start a 4-H Club for more information.

How do you have a successful 4-H club?

  • Involve parents from the beginning. Let them know your expectations of what their role will be.
  • Activity fees can be determined by the club for club activities. Fundraisers need approval from the 4-H Office.
  • The club elects officers who, with your help, will run the club business meetings.
  • Club meetings should be held once a month. Consistency is important, so it’s good to agree on times and dates and provide members with a calendar.
  • Become active in countywide programs
  • Work with your club members and parents to plan a community service project, field trips, and guest speakers.

What does the 4-H Office provide for 4-H leaders and members?

  • Newsletter—provides information on local, state, regional and national programs along with links to registration materials and deadlines.
  • Project curriculum—the 4-H office has copies of the national curriculum for most 4-H projects (however, leaders are welcome to use other resources, as well).

Project completion certificates and achievement pins are provided when the club leader completes and submits the appropriate forms by the deadlines for these awards.