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We Love 4-H Volunteers!

Program Contact: Amy Alder, 4-H Program Manager
(509) 962-7565 •
Raised hands with different skin colors in the background of text in next paragraph.

4-H Volunteers:

  • Share a skill or passion!
  • Volunteer just a few hours or make a monthly commitment to help local youth.
  • Support youth in learning new skills, practicing leadership and building community.
  • Develop community and meet other volunteers!

Current Volunteers

If you are a current 4-H volunteer, you may be wondering what resources are available to help make your 4-H year a rousing success.  Our Volunteer Resources page contains reference material, activities, and guides to help your club thrive.  From a guide to getting started to an overview of Positive Youth Development, current volunteers will find useful tools to a great year.

Volunteer Resources

New Volunteers

How Do I Apply to Volunteer?

  1. Complete a Volunteer Application online and meet with local staff to share ideas and volunteer goals. (Paper applications can be requested by contacting our office)
  2. After references and a background check, enroll in 4HOnline.
  3. Complete the online Volunteer Education modules.
  4. Attend new volunteer orientation with local WSU 4-H staff (in-person or via Zoom)
  5. Log your volunteer hours on the Volunteer Hours Reporting page!

Frequently Asked Questions

What can 4-H volunteers do?

Did you know there are over 100 different 4-H projects within STEM+Agriculture, Healthy Living, and Civic Engagement, including Livestock – Horse – Robotics – Art – Leadership – Small Animal – Outdoor Education – Food & Nutrition – Science – Community Service – and so much more!

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities

Help youth lead a club
  • Help youth club officers with organizing meetings, activities, speakers, and other logistics; level of support needed depends on the age and experience of youth officers and club schedule and goals.
  • 4-H Staff are available to support clubs throughout this process. We can help prioritize program options, recruit members, locate meeting spaces, share program information with members, support enrollment, help run initial meeting activities, and more!
Help with a specific 4-H project
  • Advise a 4-H member in their project work: help youth identify and set goals, create and implement a plan, and reflect on what they learned and would do differently next time.
  • Assist a 4-H volunteer who is serving as a project leader within a subject matter you have expertise in.
Serve on a council or committee
  • Participate on a 4-H council or project-based committee to help guide practices and policies for positive youth development (e.g., 4-H Council, Livestock Committee, Small Animal Committee, Horse Panel, and more).
Short-Term or Seasonal Volunteer Opportunities
Teach a skill
  • Share your skills by teaching a one-time or series of workshops devoted to your specialty, whether that’s fly fishing, bread baking, veterinary science, coding, or more!
Chaperone a trip or camp
  • Serve as a trusted adult during a day or overnight trip, to transport and care for youth on regional, state, or national events or camps.
Judge projects
  • Serve as a judge for 4-H exhibits, competitions or performances, providing encouragement and suggestions for improvement.
Share your hobby, passion or career path as a guest speaker or short-term mentor
  • As a guest speaker at a club meeting or special event you can share your hobby, passion, or career path to inspire youth.
  • As a short-term mentor, you can work with the 4-H office to establish an opportunity for a 4-H member to shadow you at work or college.
Plan or help at a one-day event, community service project, school program, camp, or other short-term program
  • From creative planning, establishing partnerships, running activities, teaching youth, set-up or clean-up, there are a lot of ways to get involved depending on your interest, skills, and time.
Help 4-H at Fair
  • A fair is made great by the help of many; help set up or take down exhibits, organize fun 4-H activities (like project showcases), label still life exhibits for state fair entry, work in the concessions trailer or show ring, or volunteer to promote 4-H at an outreach booth.
Share your professional skills or create a partnership between 4-H and your workplace
  • Share your knowledge to assist with developing subject matter for youth activities and curriculum.
  • Utilize your professional skills to assist with creating marketing tools, graphic art, webpages, videos, online training modules, etc.
    c. Intern with the local 4-H program, a great resume builder; school credit or stipends may be available.
    d. Help create a partnership between 4-H and your workplace to leverage resources or discover other create ways to support local youth.

How often will I volunteer?

Volunteer just a few hours or make a monthly commitment!

4-H volunteers, whether they’re adult helpers or club leaders, can provide support for one event, one project, multiple projects, for general club organization, or a county/state-wide initiative. It all depends on what you’re interested in and what time you’d like to share with us!  There’s a lot of flexibility in how long you volunteer and how often.  Your volunteer service could look like:

2 hours/year

Jose is a vet technician who volunteers a few hours a year to teach small animal handling techniques to 4-H members at a club meeting and answer kids’ questions about animals, veterinary science, and animal care careers.

5+ hours/month for 3 months

Emma is a CWU college student who volunteers to plan, prep, and lead 4-H science+art activities, with the help of 4-H staff, one afternoon a month for a spring quarter internship.

6-8 hours/month

Shawna has a 9-year-old who is excited to learn sewing.  So she worked with the local 4-H office to start a small 4-H club for her kid and a few new and old friends.  Shawna is using 4-H sewing project guidebooks to learn sewing alongside the kids — Learning By Doing!  Shawna’s club meets every other week to practice sewing skills and have fun.  Club members also sew blankets for a community service project and run a “learn to sew” activity at the county fair.

15+ hours/month

Kevin is a local sheep producer, 4-H alumni, and has been a 4-H Leader for 15 years. His kids have already graduated out of 4-H, but he enjoys leading activities for local youth.  As a General Club Leader, he organizes the club schedule, makes sure information gets to all the club’s families and volunteers, and mentors the sheep members in his club. He also attends monthly council and committee meetings to stay up-to-date and helps teach workshops at the local 4-H sheep clinic each year. His club meets once a month, the sheep members meet an additional time each month.

How do I start a 4-H Club?

The project is the spark! Positive youth development is the purpose. So whatever your group of young people and volunteers would like to do we can make it happen in 4-H!

4-H Staff are available to support new clubs throughout this process. We can help prioritize program options, recruit members, locate meeting spaces, share program information with members, support enrollment, help run initial meeting activities, and more!

Getting Started

  • Meet with local 4-H staff to share ideas and explore options.
  • Apply to become a Certified 4-H Volunteer.
  • Begin recruiting youth members (at least five members from three different families) and at least one more volunteer.
  • Some clubs start already knowing what project/s the youth want to explore or what project/s the volunteers can support. Other clubs start with a blank slate and discover what they’d like to do together as the begin meeting. Either way is fine!
Initial Club Meetings
  • Welcome all members and families with ice breakers and time to get to know everyone–ice cream social, anyone?
  • If you didn’t start with a project in mind, share available 4-H projects (those projects you and other volunteers are willing to lead). Ask members to select or begin to think about what project/s they are most interested in.
  • If you haven’t yet, decide on a regular club meeting schedule, which includes the date, time, and place.
  • Remind all members and volunteers to enroll in 4HOnline.
  • Support youth in selecting a name for the club–this may take multiple meetings to gather ideas and vote! Share suggestions with the local 4-H office to avoid conflicts with nearby clubs or policies.
  • Share tasks, ask for nominations, and elect officers for the club. Depending on the size and type of club, typical officers might include a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and reporter.
  • Complete the Annual Club Plan (club goals, projects, community service ideas) and also the 4-H Club By-laws template provided by your 4-H staff. It’s okay if things change, but planning with youth is a great way to support youth leadership and uplift their ideas!
  • Include activity time in every meeting to explore projects, learn from experienced 4-H youth, have fun with hands-on learning. Connect with 4-H staff or veteran volunteers for ideas!