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4-H Youth Development

Volunteer Roles in 4-H

Volunteers are essential to the continued growth and development of a successful 4-H program. A volunteer may be a 4-H parent, relative or friend or a supporter of 4-H. Volunteers may serve as judges, club or project leaders, chaperons, resource persons or promoters. These unique individuals give not only their time, approximately 220 hours per year, but also their resources, donating over $1.9 billion.

Oklahoma's cadre of more than 4,000 certified volunteers have found that as they help young people develop skills, they cultivate a few of their own. Adult volunteers develop self confidence and other leadership skills effective communication, planning and goal-setting, management and group dynamics. They develop skills they can use in other leadership roles in their churches, civic organizations and communities. Many volunteers use the skills they develop as 4-H leaders to launch themselves into new jobs.

As volunteers develop new skills and interests, new opportunities open for them at the county, district, or state levels. The following are some of the leadership roles open to adults in the 4-H program.

  • Organization Leader

    The organization leader coordinates the overall club program and the activities of members and other leaders. He or she serves as the club's communication link with the County Extension staff and the 4-H and Youth Council.

  • Project Leader

    Project leaders work with groups of members who are all enrolled in the same project. They help members set their individual project goals, teach new skills in project meetings, prepare for related activities such as demonstrations or judging, complete project records and prepare projects for exhibit.

  • Activity Leader

    Activity leaders work with groups of members participating in 4-H activities. Health, safety, conservation, recreation, community involvement and other activities can involve groups of members or the entire club membership.

  • Volunteer Continuing Education

    The Oklahoma 4-H Program offers continuing education opportunities for volunteers and parents at the local, district, state and national levels. Late in June, Oklahoma 4-H volunteers gather for the State Parent-Volunteer Conference. Volunteers, parents and educators attend workshops where they share ideas. Outstanding county 4-H volunteers are recognized at the conference.

To learn more about becoming a 4-H volunteer, contact any Cooperative Extension Service county office in Oklahoma, or call Karla Knoepfli, Volunteer Leadership Coordinator, 405-744-5390.