Types of Volunteers
There are many different types of volunteer leaders in 4-H. Each level of leadership is essential in reaching the goals of the 4-H Youth Development Program. Volunteer leaders, regardless of age or responsibilities, are individuals who help identify, create, and complete the goals of a club or an individual club member. They assist 4-H members in learning specific project skills. They teach 4-H members how to think, rather than what to think. As 4-H volunteers lead, they recognize and encourage each 4-H member to feel noticed and important.
General / Organizational Leaders . . .
General leaders serve as a club leader by organizing, enrolling and leading youth involved in the 4-H program. Volunteers may choose to lead a Community Club, which is larger, offers a variety of projects, and tends to have members of various ages and can have more than one leader. Community club members come together for activities, service projects and leadership training, but they may also meet separately in different project clubs or complete individual projects. These clubs also offer opportunities for older 4-H members to mentor and/or teach the younger members!
Project Leaders . . .
Volunteers may choose to lead a club that focuses on one specific project, or is organized around a specific activity or need. Your County Extension Office has a large list of projects and available materials. Project leaders provide leadership for a specific project area. Project leaders utilize their expertise, whether it is woodworking, computers, cooking, sewing, service or the environment, to teach young people. If they work with a General/Organizational leader, a project leader does not have to make a large time commitment other than preparation and time spent teaching their project.
Activity Leaders . . .
Activity leaders volunteer to organize a 4-H activity or event for young people. Activities and events may include camp, a fashion revue, a community service project, a hiking trip, a showmanship clinic, or a talent show, a shooting sports shoot or even a fund-raising activity!
Activity Leaders serve a short-term role for a specific activity. Here are some examples
Resource Leaders . . .
Resource Leaders provide resources for the 4-H Program, such as:
- Judges- Serve as an evaluator of 4-H members' accomplishments at contests and county fairs.
- Chaperones/Drivers - Take groups of 4-H members to county and/or state events and participate with them.
- Business Owners - Open their business to 4-H members to explore and learn about a business or industry. For example, veterinarians, restaurants, factories and all serve as valuable learning environments.
- Board Members - Serve to oversee certain aspects of the 4-H programs, i.e., fair boards, advisory boards, fund-raising boards, scholarship boards, etc.
Junior Leaders . . .
Youth who are in grades 7-8 have the opportunity to become Junior Leaders. They volunteer to assist adult leaders in leading club, activities, or special projects.
Teen Leaders . . .
Teen members in the grades 9-12 may serve as a leader of their own club! To become a teen leader, a youth member finds an adult who will agree to assist them in enrolling and leading the club. Teens have successfully led 4-H clubs in many different topics, including fishing, weight lifting, drama, foods, computers, hiking, etc.
Collegiate Leaders . . .
Students from Utah State University can join the Collegiate 4-H Club. The members of this organization serve in a variety of roles: lead clubs, mentor, become activity and resource leaders, etc. The USU Collegiate 4-H organization also provides workshops for county programs and runs an afterschool 4-H program at the married student housing complex.
Special Leaders . . .
These individuals offer 4-H programs as part of school enrichment programs.