NEWS & EVENTS
Volunteers offer the nurturing, vision, commitment, skills, creativity, dedication and wisdom that can significantly impact the development of young people..
A 4-H volunteer is many things - mentor, advisor, friend, teacher, referee, role model, pacesetter and much more. Most importantly, a 4-H leader genuinely cares about young people and wants to help them learn and grow.
Leadership in 4-H doesn't depend on the amount of knowledge you have about a project. It relies on your willingness to help youth learn. While a young member's project might be photography, horses or sewing, the leader's project is always the YOUTH. Leadership is the ability to get along with people; to tackle a job and see it through. 4-H volunteers are valued partners and the key to the success of a member's learning, experience and continuing interest in 4-H.
4-H volunteer leaders are both youth and adults. Whether working year-round or for a short period of time, there are many ways to get involved with a group of youth.
4-H volunteers can serve on camp planning committees and leaders' councils, teach workshops, raise funds, recruit new members or volunteers, judge at fairs and contests or organize events. 4-H is flexible and can be suited to a variety of lifestyles.
Find out more about becoming a volunteer by contacting your county Extension 4-H offices.
Volunteering is a privilege. All you need is the time and interest to help kids explore and chart positive futures. No previous experience in 4-H is necessary to be a volunteer. Kids need positive, committed adult role models in their lives. Share your skills, knowledge, and talents while having fun with kids and make a difference in their lives. For more information, contact the 4-H Youth Development staff member at your county Extension office.
All 4-H Youth Development Volunteers who work with youth are required to complete the Nevada 4-H Youth Development Screening and Orientation requirements before participating as a sanctioned 4-H volunteer. These include:
The National 4-H Hall of Fame honors 4-H volunteers, supporters, staff and pioneers who made major contributions to 4-H at local, state and national levels. People who have been previously nominated but not selected must be resubmitted. People currently employed by 4-H or Extension, or who have administrative responsibility over 4-H or Extension within the land-grant university or federal extension system will not be considered until retired or deceased for a minimum of three years prior to the date of nomination.
The 4-H Volunteer Leader of the Year Award is sponsored by the Nevada Agriculture Foundation. The purpose of this award is to find an outstanding leader who has taken on the role of improving an agriculture related program within 4-H. The Nevada Agriculture Foundation awards $1000 to a leader who will use the money to strengthen their agriculture-based program.
Volunteers are, undeniably, the "heart and soul" of 4-H, and in an age when time is at a premium, Salute to Excellence serves as an opportunity to acknowledge our volunteers' unwavering dedication to the 4-H Youth Development movement.
Each year, state 4-H programs are invited to nominate two outstanding individual volunteers, one in each of two categories. The Lifetime Volunteer Award is given to an individual who has spent 10 or more years volunteering for 4-H. The Volunteer of the Year Award is given to an individual who has volunteered for 4-H less than 10 years. Recipients of the 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer Recognition Awards are chosen from nominees submitted by state 4-H offices.
Each region will have its own Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer and Volunteer of the Year. The eight regional winners become nominees for the national award, and one volunteer from each category will be named the national winner.
Recipients will be presented with a monetary award (to be donated to a local 4-H program of the recipient's choosing). National awardees will also have their name engraved on the Salute to Excellence Perpetual Plaque located at the National 4-H Conference Center.
For more information regarding the 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer Recognition Award or nomination forms, please visit 4-H Council online.
4-H Chaperones are responsible for the health and safety of 4-H youth development participants at overnight events, activities, trips and camps. Adults selected as chaperones should enjoy young people, exhibit mature judgment and action, and enhance the educational value of the activities. Chaperones must meet the same screening, fingerprinting and training requirements as 4-H volunteers. Some chaperone positions require additional training. Chaperones must follow Extension's code of conduct while traveling to and from the event and throughout the event.
Adult chaperones should exhibit the following skills or characteristics:
Chaperones are delegated full responsibility for making decisions to ensure the health, safety and well-being of all participants. Chaperones:
Western Regional Leaders' Forum (WRLF) is an annual event hosted by one of the 13 Western states. Adult and youth 4-H leaders from the Western states gather to:
To find out more about the next Western Regional Leaders' Forum, visit University of Idaho 4-H.
Encourage your congressional representatives to participate in the 4-H Congressional Caucus. U.S. Congress representatives can learn more about what states are doing for our nation's young people through 4-H youth development. If your club or older members are looking for a citizenship project, encourage them to send letters or emails to their congressional representatives asking them to join the 4-H Congressional Caucus. Find sample letters and other information at: http://www.4hstateleaders.org/4HCaucus.aspx (link to Resources page, Volunteers section, Opportunities and Events sub-section)
4-H Expansion and Review Committees expand opportunities to all youth to participate in 4-H youth development programs. This committee can assist the county and/or area in setting priorities to meet the needs and issues of youth and families in communities throughout Nevada. One-third of the committee should be youth, and the committee should be representative of the county population.
Responsibilities of the 4-H Expansion and Review Committee include:
Any adult with an interest in working with youth is welcome to volunteer. You don't need to be an "expert." You simply need enthusiasm and a desire to work with young people.
The amount of time you spend will depend upon the projects and/or club you are leading. You can expect to spend 1-2 hours of preparation time for every 1 hour of club or project activity. Leaders' meetings or other training may be held for 1-2 hours each month.
Volunteers receive support from Extension 4-H staff. Training and literature is provided to help volunteers work with young people and lead project activities. Your county may have a leaders' council, a group of youth and adult leaders that meet regularly. Experienced leaders often attend these meetings and are willing to support you.
In addition to completing the application, forms, screening and orientation process, the Code of Conduct and the volunteer job description must be signed. You are expected to provide a safe learning environment, meet regularly as a club or project group to help youth develop skills and be a positive, committed adult role model.
You should attend all of the club meetings and project meetings (if you are the project leader). Some clubs hold monthly business meetings with additional service projects or other activities and project meetings during the month. Any time a group of youth meets for a 4-H activity, a trained, certified leader must attend to provide support and supervision. Leaders also attend leaders' council meetings. Some counties hold council meetings each month, every other month or quarterly. You will also be expected to participate in additional training. You will receive a newsletter or flier about additional training opportunities. Ask your county 4-H staff person for specific details on meetings and trainings in your county.
Your county 4-H staff person will be able to tell you which 4-H events you will need to attend. Of course, you are invited to attend any county event. The events you attend will depend on whether you have club members participating or if you have agreed to provide leadership.
4-H is open to all youth and strives to recruit young people from all backgrounds. The 4-H staff member in your county can help you create fliers to reach young people. Don't just rely on running an article in the newspaper; not everyone buys or reads the paper. Contact neighborhood businesses that cater to specific audiences (such as a Latino market or video rental store) and ask if they know of parents and youth you can talk to about joining your club. Write an article to put in a newsletter for parents of special needs children or foster parents. The key to recruiting youth and other potential adult leaders is to build relationships. It takes time!
No. Your county 4-H staff person will help you find resources to lead a project or organize a club. Other volunteer leaders will mentor and share information with you. Also, you can attend training to become more comfortable and knowledgeable in specific areas.
Contact your 4-H staff person and browse through national 4-H curriculum on-line.
You will probably have out-of-pocket expenses. Leaders are encouraged to work in partnership with club members to determine activities and their related costs. The actual dollar amount will vary depending upon the projects you are leading. Many of the expenses may be deductible on your income taxes.
There are a couple of ways to handle expenses. One way is to ask each 4-H member to provide funds to offset costs. (Care should be taken to make sure all youth can participate regardless of their financial situation.) Another way is to have the club or group conduct a fundraiser to earn money for activities. Involve the youth in making this decision by voting on what they want to do and how they will pay for it. A 4-H member should be elected as treasurer to work in partnership with you or another 4-H leader to create a budget and manage club funds. Make sure that you and the club are following Extension 4-H financial guidelines by contacting your 4-H staff person.
All authorized volunteers are covered by Extension liability and workers' compensation insurance when conducting their duties as a sanctioned 4-H volunteer. University counsel will represent a 4-H volunteer as long as the volunteer acted in good faith and did not purposefully create a risky situation. Accident insurance is available at a minimal cost and is recommended for all 4-H clubs. Contact your Extension 4-H staff person for insurance and risk management details.
It only takes a few minutes to have your fingerprints taken, but it can take up to six months for the results to be sent back to the Extension office. Sometimes the process is faster and only takes 1-2 months. In the meantime, you can shadow another club leader to learn as much as you can about 4-H.
The fingerprint background check screens for all arrests and convictions. Extension wants to do all it can to ensure that youth who participate in the 4-H program are treated with respect and dignity and provided with a safe and caring learning environment by positive adult role models.
Being a parent is not a requirement to 4-H leadership. 4-H leaders need to enjoy spending time with youth and be willing to help them learn and develop.
All activities come with some risk. Being aware of potential risks and minimizing the risks by planning for the expected and the unexpected is risk management. 4-H leaders and staff focus on strategies to ensure a safe, healthy and fun experience for all members and leaders.
The safety of all 4-H youth and adults can be at stake during various activities. When risks are managed, the likelihood of injuries or mishaps is reduced. Focusing on safety and prevention is a key educational component of 4-H.
Each event requires the Assumption of Risk form to be filled out by everybody attending/participating in the event.