The LSU AgCenter values the contribution volunteers make and recognizes the impact they have on 4-H members and other service recipients. The Louisiana 4-H Youth Development program provides adults and youth alike with a multitude of ways to volunteer and become active with young people in their local community.
A volunteer is defined as an individual who contributes time of their own free will. All 4-H volunteers need to be officially enrolled by their local Extension office through their 4-H Youth Development professional. We need caring volunteers to show leadership by becoming involved with youth at the local level. Therefore, please consider visiting with your local 4-H Youth Development professional to find out how to get involved. Below are different volunteer roles in which you can participate.
Long-term Volunteer – any person engaged in specific volunteer activities on a continuing or ongoing basis.
Episodic Volunteer – any person who provides one-time or infrequent assistance.
Collaborator – any person, who as part of their normal compensated employment by a third party, assists the LSU AgCenter in the accomplishment of a shared goal.
Master Volunteer - any person who has completed advanced training according to criteria determined by a specific educational program area and has demonstrated expertise and agreed to a voluntary, long-term commitment to LSU AgCenter.
Overnight Chaperone – any person who provides guidance and support to youth in an overnight situation and has received training and passed a screening process.
Middle Management Volunteer – a person who works with and through others in coordinating or otherwise providing leadership for programming, events or activities in which volunteers participate.
More Defined Volunteer Roles:
Project Leader – Coordinates and teaches members within a specific project area, such as photography, foods or robotics. 4-H volunteer project leaders are the "backbone" of 4-H. Project clubs should have a minimum of 5 youth.
4-H Club Leader – Provides overall 4-H club leadership. Also coordinates members, parents and the involvement of other leaders. 4-H Club Leaders can be an individual, a team or a group of people who have specific roles that fulfill the 4-H Club Leader responsibilities. Team members can be a youth-adult partnership.
Directs activities, such as drama, fundraising, recreation, community service and promotion. Members learn through involvement in the activity.
- Key or Resource Leader – Serves as a resource to leaders or members in a specific project or activity area.
- Teen Volunteer – Older 4-H member who develops leadership skills and teaches other 4-H members. The 4-H Youth Leadership project is designed to give youth the experience they need under the guidance of an adult volunteer.4-H members learn leadership skills by teaching, working with others and taking on responsibilities.
- Parish 4-H Organizational Leader – The Parish 4-H Organizational Leader supports their parish 4-H program through one or more of the following roles:
- Conduct supplemental parish level programs for youth.
- Support volunteer education.
- Raise funds and manage a budget to support 4-H Youth Development work.
- Coordinate parish-level recognition.
- Represent 4-H Youth Development to the community.
- Advocate for 4-H Youth Development..
- Provide input on new 4-H Youth Development opportunities and youth and volunteer needs.
- 4-H Advisory Committee Member
- Represent and identify the needs and issues of clientele you represent.
- Advise LSU AgCenter faculty on program direction for a more effective and efficient delivery of services to clientele in the area.
- Assist in the implementation and evaluation of educational programs.
- Assist in identifying opportunities for collaboration to enhance or expand the 4-H program.
- Attend ALC meetings as scheduled.
- Understand and support the mission of 4-H and the LSU AgCenter and market its programs as opportunities arise.
- Learn about all facets of the 4-H.
- Contribute personal expertise, information and time as available to support educational efforts.
A person who works with a 4-H community club’s function is to assist the club’s members in planning the annual club program, conducting club business and enrolling individually or as a group in one or more 4-H projects. Clubs must have a minimum of five members, at least three officers and a volunteer leader.
- Regional/State 4-H Volunteer – The purpose of volunteering on the regional/state level is to provide a statewide medium for 4-H Youth Development volunteers to:
- Discuss issues and create awareness of programs.
- To receive education on new opportunities.
- To share topics and interests between parishes.
- To learn about opportunities for volunteers to be involved in planning and evaluating specific statewide programs, serve on state committees and serve as chaperones for state and national programs.
- Special Emphasis Volunteer – This is an individual who works with a 4-H group and offers a series of activities designed to meet the needs and interests of youth within a community or parish. This is different that a Project Club Leader in that the youth do not belong to an official club. Officers do not have to be elected, and the activities are shorter term. An example could be an ATV Safety volunteer, who organizes the local ATV Safety program but doesn’t engage the members in club meetings.
- School Enrichment Volunteer – Any individual, often a classroom teacher, who works with a 4-H program in a formal classroom setting. This program may be either short- or long-term (throughout the school year). School enrichment programs are offered during school hours to enrich the formal education experience. A school enrichment program focuses on hands-on experiences and provides real-life application of knowledge gained, increasing the understanding of difficult concepts, development of life skills and fosters the development of youth as young adults. Examples include Youth Wetlands Week, HEALTH ROCKS and Smart Bodies.