4-H Volunteer Leaders
Our volunteers are a key part of the 4-H Youth Development Program.
By volunteering you are helping to grow the skills of 4-H youth to be our future leaders.
Ways you can volunteer
Volunteering in 4-H is flexible and rewarding. Share your expertise and experience with the youth and other volunteers to make things happen!
All 4-H adult volunteers must apply and be appointed annually.
Process to become a new 4-H Adult Volunteer
1. Find a club
See our list of clubs to find one near you. You can also contact Laurie Fringer, firstname.lastname@example.org, (559) 675-7879, Ext. 7202 in the Madera County Extension office for help in finding clubs near you to start you on the process of becoming a volunteer. Contact the club leader to learn more about the volunteer opportunities available in the club.
2. Screening Process
All new 4-H volunteers must go through a screening process. Our #1 priority in 4-H is the safety of young people. We do all we can to protect young people and keep them safe while they are in our care. When you become a 4-H volunteer, you are part of the plan to keep our young people safe.
1. Complete the online 4-H Volunteer Interest Survey in English or Spanish
2. Create an adult volunteer profile on 4hOnine
Please make sure the Family email address in the system is correct and one you check regularly. This email will be used for most communications and to confirm your volunteer application. Please do not create a new family record if someone in your family is already a 4-H member.
*For Spanish: The 4hOnline system is only in English. You can fill in the paper enrollment packet in Spanish and turn it in to your club leader or county staff for them to enter it into 4hOnline for you. Please keep a copy of the paper forms for your records.
3. Complete a California Department of Justice Live Scan background check.
An important part of providing a safe environment is to conduct background checks on our volunteers and staff. Everyone that will be spending an extended time with our 4-H youth is screened. The form to take with you is available from the 4-H office.
3. New Volunteer Training
All new 4-H volunteers are required to take the New Volunteer Training online courses in the eXtension system before they become approved as volunteers. This interactive training series introduces you to the best practices in positive youth development that are used in 4- H. The trainings are available in English. Spanish training is coming soon!
After you complete and submit your 4hOnline profile you will receive an automated message with the eXtension login instructions. The email will go to the Family email account you entered in 4hOnline.
If you used a paper enrollment form, you will have to check with your county 4-H Representative for the login instructions.
- The County Director reviews and approves 4-H volunteer appointments after
- You are signed up in 4hOnline.
- You have passed the screening process.
- You complete all of the New Volunteer Training required in your county.
Once you are approved, the fun begins! Thank you for joining our family!
Volunteers are essential in carrying out 4-H Youth Development Programs and Activities. The roles of volunteers include teaching, mentoring youth, and coordinating activities. Volunteers are also needed to help in developing curriculum, fundraising, serving on advisory boards and serving in groups that strengthen the overall 4-H program. The specific roles of a volunteer will vary depending on the particular need of the program at that time or with the particular community 4-H Club with which the volunteer is involved.
- Age requirement for 4-H Club Volunteers is 18 years old. Depending upon the roles and responsibilities of a volunteer position, additional age restrictions may apply.
- All prospective volunteers must complete and sign a 4-H Adult Enrollment Form at the time of enrollment. The form includes, in addition to personal and project information, a confidential application, an adult code of conduct, and a waiver of liability, assumption of risk, and indemnity agreement.
- All prospective 4-H volunteers must submit to and receive criminal record clearance from the California Department of Justice. This can be done through live scan located throughout the county. Contact the 4-H office for locations and an application for live scan (559) 675-7879 Ext. 7202.
- All prospective 4-H Club Volunteers must complete an orientation training to ensure that they understand their rights and responsibilities as volunteers in a University of California Youth Program.
- Following completion of the criminal record clearance and orientation, volunteers are appointed for a term of one year. This appointment may be renewed each year upon approval from University of California 4-H staff.
Volunteers work with a small group of youth in experiential learning activities that enable youth to develop life skills, build competencies, explore career options, contribute to their communities and prepare them for a positive and successful place in society. Adult volunteers are also referred to as 4-H Leaders.
Job descriptions of some of the more common volunteer positions are listed below:
Volunteer Job Descriptions
4-H has grown in California because of the dedication of our volunteers. Some of our volunteers have supported 4-H for 10, 20 and 30 years or more!
Re-apply annually by December 31
All 4-H volunteers must be appointed annually. If you are a current 4-H Adult Volunteer, to continue in the next year you need to re-apply and be re-appointed by December 31st to continue with no break in service.
1. Update your 4HOnline profile
Log in to 4hOnline to update your profile to enroll for the new year. Please make sure the email address in the system is correct and one you check regularly.
2. Take the Returning Volunteers Training in the online eXtension system.
You will receive the login information sent to your Family email after you update and submit your 4hOnline profile application for the new year. If you used a paper enrollment form, you will have to check with your county 4-H Representative for the instructions.
3. Get approved as a 4-H Volunteer.
After all the application requirements and mandatory trainings are completed, the County Director reviews and approves the volunteer appointments.
NOTE: If you have a break in service
You have a break in service if you are not currently enrolled as a 4-H volunteer when you apply for the new year. Please follow the process for New Volunteers when applying.