Make a Difference and Volunteer with 4-H

There are many opportunities for adults to help the 4-H program and there could be a role for you!

Volunteers are a major part of the 4-H program structure.  They serve a variety of roles ranging from organizing a 4-H club, leading a project or activity to teaching an after school program, chaperone or serving as a resource for a project.  They can also serve on committees or as mentors and assist with community service programs.  

4-H is the nation’s largest positive youth development and youth mentoring organization, empowering six million young people in the U.S.  In partnership with 110 universities, 4-H life changing programs are research-backed & available through 4-H clubs, camps, afterschool & school enrichment programs in every county & parish in the U.S. 

Why volunteer?  It can be time well spent.  Depending upon your schedule you can be asset to the program. A volunteer can share their knowledge and skills and learn more as part of the experience.  It’s an opportunity to be part of the community and by sharing your time and knowledge you can make your community a better place.  

If you have an interest there are 4-H leader trainings to help your grown your skills to learn what you need to know to teach others.  Your willingness to help learn and then teach youth what you have learned either through hobbies, education, or trainings and workshops is valuable.  This can be a vehicle for youth to see the importance of being lifelong learners.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to minorities, women, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and other protected groups.  

Volunteers involved with 4-H wear many hats.  They teach young people life skills. Assist in planning and conducting programs.  Adult volunteers work with members and parents to lead club, events, and activities. Create or support service learning and community service programs in their community. Share their knowledge and skills with young people.  Assist in developing and evaluating programs.  Recruit members and volunteers.  They are a critical part of each and every 4-H member’s success in the program. Mentor other volunteers.

The Volunteer’s 4-H Pledge shows the impact volunteers have with the 4-H program.

  •  I pledge my Head to give youth the information I can, to help them see things clearly and to make wise decisions.
  • I pledge my Heart to encourage and support youth no matter whether they have successes or disappointments.
  • I pledge my Hands to help youth groups; if I cannot be a leader, I can help in many equally important ways.
  • I pledge my Health to keep youth strong and well for a better world through     4-H, for youth groups, our community, our country and our world.

The volunteer pledge includes the head, heart, hands, and health from the 4-H Pledge but focuses the meaning towards the 4-H volunteer role and its significance.

One reason a 4-H volunteer and 4-H alumni works with 4-H is “I get to see the growth of the kids.”  4-H members may join at age 8 and conclude their career at 18.  Cloverbuds clubs are volunteer options for those who want to work with 5-7 year olds.  This wide age range allows volunteers to see youth grow for a young child into a young adult.  During these years youth grow socially and physically.  Their thirst for knowledge and groups to be part of grows, too!  4-H opens the doors for volunteers and youth to work together at the club level with the possible expansion into other levels.  

There are a many opportunities for 4-H adult volunteers to serve the 4-H programs. You can be part of the nation’s largest youth organization as an adult volunteer.  To learn more about becoming a 4-H volunteer contact Penn State Extension in Beaver County at 724/774-3003, email or contact your county extension office.