4-H Volunteer Opportunities

sheep and 4-H youth exhibiting at a fairAdult volunteers play an important role in the 4-H program. They mentor 4-H youth, coordinate local community clubs, teach in 4-H school groups, and help to plan and run events. Contact the Cumberland County 4-H office to learn about how to apply and receive training to be a 4-H volunteer or check out this How Do I Become a Volunteer page.

Types of Volunteers:  

4-H Club Leader: Work in partnership with youth ages 9-18 to develop citizenship, leadership, and life skills. Whether you want to oversee a general club or a focus on a specific topic, you’ll help young people learn the importance of record keeping, public speaking, and service learning, while learning new skills and having fun.

4-H Cloverbud Leader: Work with young children ages 5-8 to introduce them to a wide variety of hands-on activities that will help them develop social skills, begin to learn about the world of 4-H, and have fun.

4-H Project Leader: Share your skills, talents or special interests such as photography, horses, dogs, rabbits, sewing, computers or woodworking. In this role, you may be called upon to offer a number of sessions at an afterschool program, or assist a club leader by sharing your expertise and working with their club members.

4-H Special Interest Club Leader: 4-H Special Interest (SPIN) Clubs are generally six sessions held on a topic of the volunteer’s choosing. Some SPIN clubs we have offered in the past include Introduction to Horses, Cake Decorating, Bees and Beyond, and more.

4-H Chaperone: Provide transportation or simply go with a youth group to a special event or activity. This could be for local, state or even national 4-H events.

Episodic 4-H Volunteer: We have a variety of volunteer opportunities that don’t require a long-term commitment. Judging at the fair, organizing the 4-H Exhibit Hall (visit the Cumberland Fair 4-H Exhibit Hall Coordinator & Committee Job Description page for more information) helping with a specific fundraiser, assisting with a garden project, scoring 4-H project records, or organizing an annual county event to name a few.

4-H Afterschool Volunteer: Teach a special interest program in a local afterschool program.

4-H Classroom-based Volunteer:  From 4-H Science to Public Speaking, teachers can work with their whole class and participate in 4-H projects as well as county 4-H events.

4-H School Staff Volunteer:  Bring the 4-H positive youth development approach and experiential learning techniques to all your work with your students.  By becoming a certified 4-H volunteer, you can strengthen your connection to the UMaine resources and receive training to enhance your teaching.

4-H Animal Science Committee: Work with a committed group of adult and youth volunteers to focus your energy and expertise to help provide educational opportunities for youth in a variety of livestock projects.

Starting a 4-H Club:  

Traditional 4-H programs are delivered through community clubs led by volunteers. Clubs may focus on animal projects, community service, science, healthy lifestyles, or more. All clubs provide opportunities to engage positively in the community using leadership and citizenship skills gained through 4-H. Because 4-H clubs are led by volunteers each club is different. If you have looked through the list of 15+ clubs on the 4-H Clubs in Cumberland County page and cannot find a club that fits you or your child’s needs consider starting your own.

To start a club you will need to:

  • Know an adult (18+) willing to go through the 4-H Volunteer Certification process, which is explained on the How Do I Become a Volunteer? page.
  • Contact the Cumberland County 4-H Office at 207.781.6099 or email allison.pollock@maine.edu to discuss starting a club (location, club focus, age range, etc.) and to begin the volunteer certification process
  • Know or have a plan to find at least four youth from three different families interested in joining the club
  • Obtain an annual 4-H Start-Up Packet from the 4-H Office
  • A sample of how the first few meetings of a new club may be run can be found on the Table of Contents – Starting a New 4-H Club page.