Get involved through volunteering

4-H grows true leaders. Our youth pursue their passions, solve problems and tackle everyday challenges. And YOU are the key to their success! Being a 4-H volunteer is satisfying and can positively influence youth ages 5-18. We need adult volunteers to mentor 4-H youth, lead local clubs, and become project leaders. You must be at least 18 years old – or 21 years old to chaperone overnight trips – and pass a criminal background check.

Why volunteer for Missouri 4-H?

Missouri 4-H volunteers make a difference in the lives of young people. Plus, you benefit from being a 4-H volunteer. Missouri 4-H volunteers gain leadership skills and make new community connections while helping youth gain confidence as future leaders. Find out more in the Missouri 4-H Volunteer Impact Study (PDF).

You decide the level of involvement that fits your skills and schedule, such as:

  • Lead a community club, school enrichment, or afterschool program
  • Be a mentor, lead a project, or be a social media assistant
  • Serve as chaperone, board member, or event judge
  • Assist with community service projects, teach a skill, or be a guest speaker

Steps in becoming a volunteer

Becoming a 4-H volunteer is not hard; however, it is important to start and complete the steps in a timely manner so that youth are engaged in the 4-H activities they signed up for as soon as possible. Applicants should strive to complete all volunteer application steps by December 1.

Applicants (new and returning) need to ask local 4-H staff or middle management volunteer such as a club leader about current volunteer needs (e.g., co-leader for a 4-H club). Ask to see volunteer role descriptions to identify a role that might be a good fit.

    • Build a new or, if returning, annually update your volunteer profile at
    • As you complete your profile, the final screen you will see is shown below
      screenshot of the final signup screen
    • Those wishing to volunteer with Missouri 4-H will select the “I want to join as a New or Returning 4-H volunteer” option. Then click finish.


Complete the 4-H volunteer orientation, if you are a brand new 4-H volunteer applicant. The orientation helps new applicants learn basic terms, organizational structure and safety practices.

  • When enrolling in 4-H Online, you will complete the background check consent form online.

Background checks ARE required for all volunteers:

Background checks are completed annually on all active volunteers. This includes any adult, age 18 or older, serving as an overnight chaperone who might be alone with 4-H youth.

Episodic volunteers do not need to be screened.

An episodic 4-H volunteer who volunteers for single day or limited 4-H activities or events. Examples: fair judges, committee members and one-day event helpers. Episodic volunteers do not enroll in 4-H Online; however, staff must give episodic volunteers a letter or email message that details the episodic volunteer’s role: date, timeframe, supervisor’s name and a statement on the limitation of not working alone with children.

Final Approval

Local 4-H staff review applicant data and make the best match between volunteer applicants and current volunteer roles. If you are approved for a volunteer role for the current program year (i.e., Oct. 1st thru September 30th), the staff approves your 4-H Online profile. In that case, a message is sent to the email address as listed in your 4-H Online volunteer profile. If you are not selected as a volunteer for the current program year, the staff will send a letter or email to you regarding your status.


Contact your county Extension office and ask for your local 4-H staff.


  • Quality Matters in 4-H Toolkits - Research-based booklets to help youth and adult leaders improve the quality of their 4-H program. Each booklet includes fun, practical learning activities designed to promote an understanding of strategies that help kids feel safe, supported and engaged in leadership roles.