Becoming a Volunteer
Whether you want a short-term volunteer experience or a long-term role, 4-H has an opportunity for you! Because safety is our No. 1 priority, we are committed to a thorough Volunteer Selection Process that can include an application, national and state background checks, references, an interview and online training modules. There is no charge to you as a volunteer for these background checks or the selection process.
You can volunteer in a number of roles, but the common ones are....
4-H Club Leader (also called "traditional" leader, project leader): 4-H project leaders help guide the club's members in planning their annual club program, conducting club business, electing youth officers, and learning about/engaging with one or more 4-H projects. They often teach the educational component of the club program and engage with guest speakers. They help organize and facilitate a series of project lessons, usually 4 - 6 meetings or more. Project leaders help members complete project record books and prepare for events like achievement days or the county fair.
4-H Administrative Leader: 4-H administrative leaders help with club logistics and organization. They may manage the club inventory and financial records, enrollment, attendance, and coordinate guest speakers alongside the project leader(s). They may also take point on fundraisers, event planning, and assist with teaching club members about their projects alongside the project leader(s). This role is perfect for those that feel they have strong organizational and planning skills, and don't mind doing paperwork!
Short Term Volunteer (also called "resource volunteers"): Volunteers in this role lead an activity, assist with a program, or volunteer at any of our annual events. They may share a skill or interest they have with an existing club or after school program, or help out at an organized workshop. Or they may choose to be a chaperone or accompany a youth group to a special event or activity. Example: you want to volunteer to be a chaperone for 4-H Exploration Days
- SPIN club leader: SPIN clubs are SPecial INterest clubs and only meet for a short time- generally not more than 6 meetings per year (8-9 hours per year). These clubs typically take on a single project with a small group of kids (at least 5 youth). Not as intense as a traditional leader, but every bit as rewarding - similar to a resource leader, but this role takes on a club leadership in the short-term. Example: you want to lead a 6-week summer SPIN Club about ice cream
4-H Advisory Group Member: Individuals may participate as members of local 4-H advisory groups or special committees (i.e. the Livestock Committee). Committee members often have less direct involvement with youth and serve in more of an administrative role in the 4-H program. Example: you want to participate in the 4-H Council to help guide the growth of 4-H in the community
All of these volunteer models must go through our MSU Extension Volunteer Selection Process (VSP)
We take the protection of the youth and vulnerable adults in our program very seriously. MSU Extension utilizes a thorough screening process which combines collecting personal references with state and federal background checks. We also conduct a short interview that helps the local staff get to know you so we can make sure you are a good fit for the role you're applying for. This process is completely confidential and the data you enter is secure.
For more information, contact Ogemaw County 4-H, MSUE.Ogemaw@msu.edu, or reach out directly to Enya deFeijter, 4-H Program Coordinator > firstname.lastname@example.org | 989.345.0692
How much time does it take to be a 4-H volunteer?
You can dedicate as much or as little time as you’d like to volunteer with 4-H: an hour, a week, a month or a year! Because there are so many options for giving your time—chaperone a 4-H event, lead a club, offer a professional skills training, help at the fair, take kids to a 4-H workshop, become a mentor – there are many ways to volunteer. No matter your availability, there’s a 4-H volunteer opportunity waiting for you!
Can volunteers grow with 4-H too?
In addition to growing youth, 4-H volunteers benefit from their involvement too.
- New friendships
- A connection with youth
- Improved community
- A new passion
- Positive change
- Enhanced skills
- A lasting legacy
What if I don’t know all the answers? Are there resources to help?
4-H volunteers are trained and supported by knowledgeable MSU Extension professionals who are there to help them every step of the way. Volunteers also have access to a variety of MSU Extension resources, including instructive workshops, educational curricula, ready-to-use activities and content experts, all of which enable and prepare volunteers to make an impact on youth across the state. No matter the topic, you’ll get the help you need to answer whatever question is thrown your way.
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