4-H Volunteer Application Process
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 outlined in the Volunteer Screening Manual.
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.
1. Identify a role
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.
2. Build or update your profile
- Build a new or, if returning, annually update your volunteer profile at http://mo.4honline.com --- You must answer YES to the volunteer question!!
3. Complete the 4-H volunteer orientation
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.
4. Complete the Background Check Consent Form
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 4HOnline; 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. Staff should use the Episodic Volunteer letter template located in the Staff Volunteer Management Manual Appendix.
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 4HOnline profile. In that case, a message is sent to the email address as listed in your 4HOnline 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.