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How to Become a Volunteer

The current procedure on how to become a screened 4-H Volunteer.

Steps to Becoming a 4-H Leader

Thank you for considering one of the most rewarding volunteer experiences in your life- making a difference in the lives of youth. There is the saying that "In this world you may be one person, but you may be the world to one person." That could be the case with you. If you enjoy children, doing hands on projects and being around other people and learning new things, the 4-H program is looking for you.

In order to become a 4-H volunteer leader each adult must complete the volunteer screening process.

  • Step 1 - In the process is to complete the volunteer screening application form. Download the screening form.
  • Step 2 - Once completed and returned to the Extension Office, reference questionnaires are sent to those that you have listed on your form. Please make sure that you have complete current addresses on the form so there is no delay in processing these forms.
  • Step 3 - After your reference questionnaires have been returned you will be called to schedule an interview.
  • Step 4 - The interview - Don't be scared off by this. This is a face-to-face meeting with the Extension Educator; we meet and get to know you to see how you fit with our program. This is an opportunity to go over what is expected of a leader, what you can expect from the 4-H office and a time to ask questions, clear up any information and get acquainted with the policies and procedures of McKean County 4-H.
  • Step 5 - The paperwork. Prior to becoming officially approved as a 4-H Volunteer, you must complete three background checks (Child Abuse Clearance, PA State Police Arrest Record, and the FBI Fingerprinting/Disclosure) and an annual Mandated Reporter Training.
  • Step 6 -  Submitting your profile. PA 4-H has transitioned to the 4HOnline System, and after you have completed all of the above steps, you simply login to 4HOnline and submit your profile to be approved.

Once approved you are free to join an existing club as a leader or to organize a club of your own. If you are organizing your own club and see that you will need assistance from other adults, they too must complete the screening process.

Variations from the Above Procedures

Not all adults that apply are accepted as leaders. There are individual circumstances that may prohibit someone from working with youth, and our first concern is for the safety and security of youth in our program.

Existing clubs may have all of the adult help that is needed. If you are applying to help out in an existing 4-H club, we check with the current leaders to see if additional help is needed and if so what areas the help is needed. We strive for a balance of youth and adults so the club can operate to its fullest potential. Sometimes a leader is not needed, but a parent who can attend meetings and be a helper during meeting times is needed.