How Do I Become a Volunteer?
All adults working with youth as 4-H volunteers for more than 8 hours/year are required to be certified by the Extension office. Volunteers become certified through the following three-step process:
Three-step Volunteer Certification Process
1. Volunteer Application Process
- Submit a Volunteer Application: Word | PDF | Online to the appropriate UMaine Extension county office.
- Provide two references: 4-H Reference Check Form (PDF)
- Background Check: Please contact your local county Extension office to initiate the process. For prospective 4-H volunteers who work in Maine school systems, you are required by the Maine Department of Education to have a background check. In lieu of a background check through the University of Maine’s Office of Human Resources, potential volunteers can provide a copy of the certificate validating a background check has been performed in the last five years. Please provide this certificate to your local county extension office when you turn in your volunteer application.
- Interview with 4-H staff member.
2. Volunteer Training:
Initial online training: Maine 4-H wants to meet the needs of today’s volunteer. If your schedule is hectic, you can take advantage of our new online training. Work through four modules, lasting approximately 10 minutes each, at your own pace whenever it’s convenient for you. When you complete all four modules, be sure to register for the End of Course Completion. The modules will provide you with a good foundation for 4-H programming. After completing all four online modules and successfully completing your on-boarding process to become a certified 4-H volunteer, you will need to contact your local county Extension office to set up a time to meet with 4-H staff to learn more about the local county 4-H program, risk management and to determine a training plan based on your volunteer role.
In-person training: Join us for a volunteer training with hands-on activities and opportunities to network with other new volunteers. Contact your local Extension office to sign up for an in-person volunteer training.
3. Volunteer Enrollment Packet
Once you have completed the application and training process, you will be asked to submit the following forms:
- 4-H Volunteer Enrollment Form: Word | PDF
- Photo Release Form — 4-H Specific University of Maine Official Form: Word | PDF
- UMaine Extension Volunteer Standards of Behavior Form: Word | PDF
*Note: All forms are submitted to the UMaine Extension county office.
Upon successful completion of these three steps the volunteer is certified by the County Extension office. In subsequent years, the certified volunteer needs only submit a 4-H Volunteer Enrollment Packet (step #3 above) annually. Some periodic additional training may be required of all volunteers. Advisors to Independent 4-H members are also required to be certified as 4-H Leaders, unless they are the parent/guardian of the 4-H youth and then the 4-H volunteer certification is optional, but encouraged.