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Volunteers - How Do I Become a Volunteer?

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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 Form (PDF) or WORD to the appropriate county extension 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 (VOLT): We offer two training options for new 4-H Volunteers, online or in-person. You can choose the training method that suits you best.

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 30 minutes each, at your own pace whenever it’s convenient for you. As you finish each module, complete the quiz and print off your certificate, and hit submit. The modules will provide you with a good foundation for 4-H programming. After completing all four online modules, you will need to contact your local county Extension office to set up a time to meet with 4-H staff to learn about the local county 4-H program and risk management. Click on the link below to register and receive your password for the online 4-H Training.

TIP — When you get to the certificate page for each module you complete, remember to hit the SUBMIT button. If you do not hit SUBMIT, the Extension office will not have a record that you completed the module(s). Then decide if you want to “print” or skip printing the certificate. (HINT: You can press “print” and save as a .pdf to your computer instead of actually printing it to have a record of completion.)

New! Register Here for E-Learning. Already registered? Go directly to the course.


Initial In-person training: Join us for a six hour 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 County Extension 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.

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