Frequently Asked Questions
Who can be a 4-H volunteer?
Any adult with an interest in young people is welcome to volunteer. You do not need to be an "expert." Parents, professionals, homemakers, teachers, youth leaders, and other caring adults serve as 4-H volunteers. Adult volunteers “Learn by Doing” along with the 4-H members they work with. The only requirements to volunteer for 4-H are enthusiasm and a desire to work with young people.
What does a 4-H Club Leader do?
He or she:
- Works with the members to plan club activities and events.
- Chaperones youth activities and field trips.
- Facilitates education through “hands-on” learning experiences.
- Supports and creates local community service opportunities.
- Serves as a role model and mentor for youth.
- Teaches youth important life and work skills.
- Shares his or her special knowledge and interests with young people.
Are there other 4-H volunteer opportunities?
Yes! 4-H volunteers also serve on Advisory and Program Councils, teach workshops, raise funds, recruit new members or volunteers, judge at fairs and contests, or work with an Educator as a middle manager organizing and implementing events. Volunteers also serve on camp and fair boards. 4-H is flexible and volunteer work can be suited to a variety of lifestyles!
How is 4-H unique?
4-H is unique because:
- You work with young people in a home- or community-based setting.
- You select the focus of your club’s activities and determine the size of your group.
- You decide on your level of involvement, based on your skills and time available.
- Programs involve connecting family and youth in their local community setting.
- All programs are co-educational.
- Your child can find his or her special talents, gain confidence and practical life skills for the future.
What support is available to 4-H leaders?
Youth development and project literature is provided to 4-H volunteers at little or no cost. You may view the list of curricula available in your local office on this site. Volunteer workshops take place at the regional and state level on a regular basis. 4-H volunteers receive on-going support from University of Massachusetts Extension 4-H Educators, special volunteer mentors and other 4-H volunteers.
What are the benefits of volunteering for 4-H?
- Guiding young people in hands-on learning experiences that help increase confidence and self-esteem.
- Accomplishing more within the tried-and-true 4-H organization than you might be able to do on your own.
- Building new organizational and personal alliances.
- Working together with young people on issues both you and they care about.
- Being part of building strong, vital communities and families in your local area.
- Experiencing good times, learning from youth and discovering something new about yourself and others.
- Increasing your interpersonal and professional skills with non-profits and volunteer organizations.
- Knowing you are part of a successful one-hundred-year-old organization which conveys youth development skills and knowledge through a world-wide volunteer network.
- Having access to the extensive library of National 4-H curriculum.
- Being a local representative for high-quality 4-H programs based on UMass Amherst and Cooperative Extension teaching and research.
- Knowing that your volunteer work helps the University reach into many local communities to increase practical skills and knowledge and improve support for youth families, and communities in Massachusetts.
- Becoming part of USDA’s premier youth development program.
- Receiving stipends, matching grants and other support for your group through the Massachusetts 4-H Foundation, the Massachusetts 4-H program’s private partner.
And most of all, you’ll gain the satisfaction of knowing that you
have worked to make a positive difference in a young person’s life.