The 4-H program provides youth with opportunities to develop and practice critical leadership skills. At the local level, members have the opportunity to work as club officers and 4-H Junior Leaders. 4-H offers teen members additional leadership development opportunities through conferences and events at the state and national levels.
Leadership Development in 4-H Clubs
Members of 4-H clubs may be elected or appointed to a position as an officer or committee chairman within their 4-H club. These leadership roles allow youth to begin learning responsibility and accountability as they take on peer leadership roles. Through training and mentoring, 4-H officers and chairmen are taught the fundamentals of planning and conducting a business meeting, facilitating group discussion and the basics of Roberts Rules of Order.
The purpose of junior leadership is to teach youth the importance of understanding themselves as leaders and how to apply leadership skills in a team setting, and then assist them in identifying opportunities to practice their leadership skills. Junior leaders learn the value of teamwork, goal setting, and decision making. These skills are put into action as 4-H Junior Leaders assist club leaders in club management and outreach activities.
A 4-H junior leader serves in the role of assisting the adult club leader. In this way, the adult leader serves as a mentor to the teen. The club leader and junior leader work out an agreement about what the role of the junior leader will be. Responsibilities of the junior leader could include: club record keeping, researching local community service opportunities, planning for a club activity such as a recognition banquet or field trip, and teaching younger members. The junior leader documents his/her goals for the year and the knowledge and skills he/she gained in the 4-H leadership project record.
Opportunities at 4-H Camps to be Counselors-in-Training (CITs)
4-H members may apply to be a CIT at any of the 4-H camps. Counselors-in-Training have the opportunity to learn about youth development and develop leadership skills as they work alongside camp counselors to assist youth in having a positive camping experience.
Apply to be a Youth Leader for Summer of Science "Explore UMass"
SOS Youth Leaders are a group of selected young people, between the ages of 15 and 18 who serve as members on the Explore UMass Committee. Youth Leaders assist in planning, implementing, and overseeing the Explore Umass program. sos_youth_leaders.pdf
4-H members who have excelled in the program are encouraged to check out the scholarship opportunities offered by 4-H.
Massachusetts 4-H Ambassadors Program
Are you a 4-H member who thinks 4-H has a positive influence on your life? Helps you develop great friendships? Assists you in learning about yourself and others? Enables you to develop life skills such as communicating, and decision making skills you will use for the rest of your life? Introduces you to areas that you might pursue as a future career? Then we need your help! 4-H is looking for teens (ages 13 and older) and adults willing to help us tell the 4-H story in Massachusetts.
4-H Ambassador sessions are offered throughout the state to help participants develop and improve their communication skills, including writing speeches, brochures, flyers, and public service announcements, putting together exciting exhibits and delivering persuasive speeches.
We suggest that leaders, parents and Educators nominate 4-H members to be 4-H Ambassadors. To nominate a 4-H member, you must provide information about the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses in the areas of speaking, writing, teaching, organizing, leadership and ability to work alone and as a team member. You must also explain why you feel the member would make a good Ambassador. The nominations go to your local 4-H Educator.
4-H Ambassador sessions are scheduled within each region every few years or may be included as part of a statewide teen program. For information about upcoming Ambassador training sessions, contact your local Educator.