Steps To Becoming a 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 - Request and complete the Volunteer Application and Screening Form and background check information from the Extension Office.

Step 2 - Once completed and returned to the Extension Office, reference questionnaires are sent to those people 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- Complete the 4 modules of the 4-H eLearning training and the online Building a Safer Penn State: Reporting Child Abuse Training.

Step 4 - After completing the two online trainings, return of the reference questionnaires and a favorable background check, you will be notified to schedule an interview.

Step 5 - The interview- Don't be scared off by this. This is a face-to-face meeting so we can meet you and get to know you and you can meet the 4-H Educator and office staff. 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 Potter County 4-H.

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 you will need a second screened leader to assist.

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, I check with the current leaders to see if additional help is needed and if so what areas is the help needed. There can actually be too many leaders and that is not helpful to the 4-H members. 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.