4-H Volunteer Handbook
Welcome and Introduction
For more than 100 years, UMaine Extension 4-H volunteers have been making a difference in their communities by contributing their life experiences, love of learning, and energy in support of Maine’s most precious resource – our children. As the largest youth development program in the country, 4-H continues to depend on its dedicated volunteers as a true partner in that success.
This handbook is designed to provide practical information about Extension and the 4-H program, the many roles volunteers can choose from, and ways to make your experience with 4-H as meaningful as possible.
We are excited to have you join us as we work together in empowering young people to reach their full potential.
Lisa Phelps, 4-H Program Administrator
Hannah Carter, Dean of Cooperative Extension
Format and Use
The Maine 4-H Volunteer Handbook is meant as a user-friendly guide for 4-H staff and volunteers as a stand-alone resource tool, and as a companion to the Maine 4-H Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines manual. The online handbook can be accessed section-by-section using the Table of Contents, or downloaded and printed by section or in its entirety.
Handbook content will be updated online as internal and external links change and policies and resources evolve. If using a printed version, please check back frequently to confirm the information in hand is the most current.
There is a section in the handbook for county-specific information. Please contact your local Extension office for resources relevant to your county.
Handbook Table of Contents
- Welcome and Introduction
- Understanding University of Maine Cooperative Extension and 4-H
- 4-H Emblem, Motto, Slogan, and Pledge
- Becoming a Certified 4-H Volunteer
- Roles of the 4-H Volunteer
- Eight Essential Elements of 4-H
- Using the Experiential Learning Model
- Parent Involvement in 4-H
- 4-H Youth Development – The Club System
- What Is a 4-H Club?
- Planning a 4-H Club Meeting
- Recordkeeping in 4-H
- Starting a New 4-H Club
- Risk Management
- The Positive Development of Youth
- Successful 4-H Experiences
- 4-H Skillathons: Showing What You Know
- Skillathons: Experiential Learning in Action
- Building on Experience – Handling Group Problems
- Appendix A: Additional Resources
- Appendix B: Forms and Handouts
- Home: 4-H Volunteer Handbook
Content from each page of the 4-H Staff Toolkit is available as a downloadable Word document by clicking the button at the bottom of each page.