volunteer with 4h

Volunteer with 4-H!

Volunteer with 4-H

Volunteering is fun and rewarding, and enables you to share your experiences with others. Do you like bird-watching, cooking, gardening or working with animals? There are many interesting projects and fun things to do in 4-H. 

Are you a caring adult? When you volunteer, you are a catalyst for positive change! Join the revolution of responsibility!  Here is our volunteer enrollment process:

New Volunteers

1. Find a club or event

See our list of clubs to find one near you. You can also contact the Onondaga County Extension Office for help in finding clubs near you to start you on the process of becoming a volunteer. Contact the club leader to learn more about the volunteer opportunities available in the club.

2. Fill out an application

Print and fill out 4-H Onondaga county volunteer application form. You also need to attach a copy of your driver's license for background screening. Please note that we need your signatures hand-written. Once you have these two items, submit them either by mail, fax, or in person. The application contains important personal information for you and we do not accept submission by email to keep your information safe. 

Volunteer Application Form

3. Screening Process

All new 4-H volunteers must go through a screening process. Our #1 priority is the safety of young people. We do all we can to protect young people and keep them safe while they are in our care. When you become a 4-H volunteer, you are part of the plan to keep our young people safe. 

4. New Volunteer Training

We provide training for new volunteer at least once a year, where we talk about the scope of 4-H program and what we expect from you as caring adult volunteers. Please contact our office for upcoming training date


The County Director reviews and approves 4-H volunteer appointments after

  • You are signed up in 4hOnline
  • You have passed the screening process
  • You complete all of the New Volunteer Training required by your county

Once you are approved, the fun begins! Thank you for joining our 4-H family!

Returning Volunteers

1. Fill out an application

If you are returning volunteer who have completed background check within three years, you need to fill out a re-enrollment application. This form can be submitted electronically by email   (cla76@cornell.edu | Subject: 4-H Volunteer Enrollment - "name of your club") or by mail, fax, or in person.

2. Screening Process

If you have been a volunteer for more than three years since, please check with us if your background screening is up to date. We are required to run the screening every three years. When you find out you need to go over the screening process, please fill out our Background Check form, attach a copy of your driver's license, and submit them only by mail, fax, or in person. 

Background Check form

Volunteer Opportunities

Organizational Leader – The organizational leader establishes and maintains a club structure that supports 4-H Youth Development activities for school age youth within a defined area. He/she works with the project leader, activity leader and youth in planning the club program; arranges for meeting facilities; complies with Cornell Cooperative Extension procedures; ensures that all enrollments, program registrations and reports are filled out and turned in to the county 4-H office; keeps the 4-H Educator staff informed about activities, accomplishments and problems. An organizational leader may also act as a project leader.

Project Leader – The project leader provides instruction and guidance to 4-H members when doing a project. The key component of the project leader’s role is teaching; the “classroom” is wherever the members meet in order to work on their project(s). Project leaders may also assist with project-related activities on the county level and guide members in the selection of projects and the completion of project reports.

Activity Leader – The activity leader is responsible to help members plan for and participate in one or more specific activities the club has included in its yearly plan. These include such things as community service, public presentation, special celebrations, trips, etc.

Resource Leader – Resource leaders are volunteers who are selected by Cooperative Extension staff to aid, train and work with 4-H club leaders or members on a short-term basis. They have a specialization in a certain program area. Resource leaders often teach workshops or serve as evaluators at fairs and contests.

Fundraising Volunteer - You can have this opportunity to enrich your experience, promote your career, and network. You can work with event planning, donors stewardship, and other creative ideas for fundraising with our team!

Different 4-H programs can utilize volunteers in opportunities that are a one-day commitment:

Public Presentations – needs volunteers for evaluators, room assistants, and sign-in. 

Horse Bowl/Hippology/Horse Judging; DairyBowl/Dairy Challenge/Dairy Judging – needs volunteers to ask questions, assist in rooms, and assist at stations. 

Horse Clinic – need volunteers to help organize, facilitate event. Usually held in June.

Youth Fair – Need volunteers to help with many different jobs. Ex. Announcer, gate handlers, etc. Usually held end of July.


Last updated January 7, 2020