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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


Step One

Meet Your 4-H Representative

Step Two

Apply Online

Step Three

Youth Protection

Step Four


Meet with the staff/faculty in your county to learn about the programming offered. Tell them about your interests in becoming a 4-H volunteer. They’ll help you decide the best volunteer role for you.

New Jersey 4-H uses 4HOnline to manage enrollment. The system maintains information on youth members as well as adult volunteers. Contact our office for instructions to complete an online application to become a 4-H volunteer.


To ensure the safety and integrity of our program, we require volunteers working with youth to provide personal references and undergo a youth protection screening process. Volunteers complete an annual online training module on the protection of minors as well as undergo a criminal background check.

Learning everything about becoming a 4-H club leader doesn’t happen overnight. To get you started, we hold a two hour orientation class that covers the basics. Orientations are held on a regular basis at the 4-H Office, usually from 7-9 pm. (If you are unable to attend an evening session, we can make other arrangements.)

We will continue to provide support and information. Through 4-H you will be connected to volunteers and others to assist your growth working with youth.

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 NJ 4-H 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.