Did you know that more than 400 adults volunteer with Tompkins County 4-H programs each year? Volunteering is fun and rewarding, and enables you to share your experiences with others. Do you like birdwatching, cooking, gardening or working with animals? There are many interesting projects and fun things to do in 4-H.
Prospective volunteers complete an application form. In addition, those who volunteer to work directly with youth will be asked to consent to a criminal background screening at Cooperative Extension's expense, as a means of ensuring the safety and security both of our volunteers and of the people we serve through our programs.
Are you a caring adult? When you volunteer, you are a catalyst for positive change! Join the revolution of responsibility!
1. Find a club
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. 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.
1. Complete the online 4-H Volunteer Interest Survey in English or Spanish
2. Create an adult volunteer profile on 4hOnline Please make sure the Family email address in the system is correct and one you check regularly. This email will be used for most communications and to confirm your volunteer application. *For Spanish: The 4hOnline system is only in English. You can fill in the paper enrollment packet in Spanish and turn it into your club leader or county staff for them to enter it into 4hOnline for you. Please keep a copy of the paper forms for your records.
3. Complete a Department of Justice Live Scan background check. An important part of providing a safe environment is to conduct background checks on our volunteers and staff. Everyone that will be spending an extended time with our 4-H youth is screened.
3. New Volunteer Training
1. New Volunteer Online Training
All new 4-H volunteers are required to take the New Volunteer Training online courses in the extension system before they become approved as volunteers. This interactive training series introduces you to the best practices in positive youth development that are used in 4-H.
After you complete and submit your 4hOnline profile you will receive an automated message with the eXtension login instructions. The email will go to the Family email account you entered in 4hOnline.
2. Beginning 4-H for Volunteers
In addition to the online courses, all new 4-H volunteers are required to take the Beginning 4-H for Volunteers Orientation before they become approved as volunteers. Register for a Beginning 4-H for Volunteers orientation.
Live Scan services will b provided at orientations.
The County Director reviews and approves 4-H volunteer appointments after
Once you are approved, the fun begins! Thank you for joining our 4-H family!
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.
OTHER VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Different 4-H programs can utilize volunteers who can’t make a long time commitment (like a club leader). Most of the following opportunities are a one-day commitment.
Public Presentations – needs volunteers for evaluators, room assistants, and sign-in. Usually held on the first Saturday of February.
Horse Bowl/Hippology/Horse Judging; DairyBowl/Dairy Challenge/Dairy Judging – needs volunteers to ask questions, assist in rooms, and assist at stations. Regional competition usually held mid-March.
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 November 3, 2017