Volunteer with 4-H!

4-H Volunteer (Stock photo from NYS 4-H)

Volunteers Inspire kids to do great things!


Volunteer today!

Volunteer with 4-H

Whether you want to be a club leader or work with kids on a short-term project, there's a role for you in 4-H.  While many volunteer roles involve directly with youth-others, do not.  Some volunteers are engaged with the program for a long period of time, such as leading a 4-H Club.  Other volunteers on a one-time, short-term or even an annual basis. Opportunities could include serving as a judge for public speaking, leading a workshop on your favorite topic, organizing a community service project, serving on an Advisory Committee, or judging  an event at the Youth Fair.  

Prospective volunteers should contact the Onondaga CCE 4-H program staff to discuss the goals of volunteering  A  volunteers will need to complete an application form, consent form to a criminal screening, CCE COVID-19 Acknowledgement of Risk Form, and complete the Sexual Harassment Training (short video course) which is mandatory. 

  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 Enrollment Packet


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. Training

There will be ongoing training throughout the year.


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. Renew Membership

Each year volunteers will need to update and make any changes to information on enrollment form which was given to the organizational leader for distribution.  Volunteers also need to sign and return declarations each year.

Volunteer Application

COVID Form Volunteer_Agreement-2021.docx

Returning Volunteers Declarations-2021-22

Volunteer Agreement-2021-22

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. 

Department of Motor Vehicle Background Check Authorization

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 February 7, 2024