4-H Volunteers Make the Best Better
Article by: Nickie Harding, 4-H Youth Development Program Assistant
Each year 4-H adult and youth volunteers give hundreds of thousands of hours helping youth be the best they can be. Volunteers guide 4-H members in becoming productive citizens, outstanding communicators, effective leaders, and successful learners. This is achieved through a volunteer’s passions, skills, and talents. To help accomplish our goal of positive youth development, Kansas 4-H screens volunteers who work directly with youth so we can assure a safe learning environment.
There are a variety of 4-H volunteer roles. These include community club leaders, project/activity leaders, teen leaders, and those that serve behind the scenes. Each role plays an important part of a 4-H member’s experience.
Community clubs include youth who enroll in a variety of projects. The clubs have structured business meetings, and emphasize community service, recreational activities, and communication skills. The community club leader’s main responsibility is to coordinate the club and provide meaningful educational learning experiences. To be successful, they work with youth and adult volunteers within their club to organize monthly meetings and activities, along with communicating important information from the county and state 4-H programs and professionals.
Project clubs include youth who enroll in a specific project area. Project/activity leaders plan and prepare for project meetings, which utilize experiential learning through workshops, field trips, audio/video resources, guest speakers, teaching kits, computers, or other learning tools. They coordinate these activities with the club leader at the club level or Extension staff at the county level.
Teens lead by sharing their experiences with younger members or serving in a leadership capacity. Teen leaders work with community/project club leaders, Extension staff, county 4-H councils, committees, and 4-H ambassador programs to expand their leadership skills and help other 4-H'ers.
Members of local 4-H foundations, fair boards, county Extension councils, and program development committees all work behind the scenes to make sure 4-H programs are successful. From business leaders in our communities to local government, 4-H supporters and alumni, they all devote time, resources and opportunities to make the best better!
The Douglas County 4-H program would not be a success without the leadership of all these people who enhance and enrich the lives of our 4-H’ers. Whether it’s sending emails, making phone calls, or organizing a meeting or activity, these volunteers go above and beyond. We thank all our 4-H families, volunteers and supporters! Each of you are investing in our community’s future leaders. On behalf of the Douglas County 4-H program, THANK YOU!