How to volunteer with 4-H outside of being a club leader

4-H provides volunteers a variety of ways they can get involved and share their interests. Here is an overview of the different types of volunteer roles in 4-H.

Michigan 4-H has variety of different approaches in how people can volunteer with 4-H. No matter what your passion area is and how much time you would like to volunteer, there is an opportunity in 4-H for you. The first step is contact your local Michigan State University Extension county office and talk to the 4-H program coordinator. They can walk you through all the steps in the Volunteer Selection Process and the specific volunteer needs of the county. However, having some knowledge about the types of volunteer opportunities will help you know what will fit your passion and your time commitment best.

  1. Project leaders provide on-going leadership for a specific project from Cloverbuds, food and nutrition, crafts, livestock, etc. This is a leader who is willing to work with the specific project for the entire 4-H year. They plan project meetings for youth who are interested in the particular project to learn and work on their 4-H projects.
  2. 4-H mentors are formally matched with one to four mentees in one of the Michigan 4-H Youth Mentoring programs. This includes one-on-one, peer and small-group mentoring models which includes 4-H Tech Wizards. Mentors are expected to meet with their mentee for a minimum of one hour a week for an entire year.
  3. 4-H SPIN club leaders lead a small group of youth six to eight times through a very specific project. It could be someone that wants to teach a group about photography. This experience provides a volunteer leader with a set timeframe they will volunteer for and will focus on one topic.
  4. Activity leaders provide leadership or assist on a specific activity. It could be 4-H camp, craft workshops, volunteer banquet, livestock workshops, etc. The timeframe varies with each activity as some could be six months of preparation and planning for a week-long camp and other activities may only have little preparation for a one-day or couple-hour event.
  5. Resource leaders provide leadership for a single learning experience, short-term program or are utilized as needed for their expertise. The time commitment may also vary.

Don’t hesitate and contact your local MSU Extension office to see how you can volunteer with 4-H. For specifics on how to start a 4-H club, check out this article, “So you want to start a 4-H club?

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