The 4-H program was created in the late 1890s and early 1900s in response to the need for better agriculture and safer canning education. The 4-H program has grown from a simple idea to the nation‘s largest youth organization, reaching more than seven million youth. Programs today have changed to fit the ever-changing needs of youth and families living in the 21st century.
The 4-H motto, To Make the Best Better,” is the focus of the 4-H program, to empower youth with the tools and knowledge needed to reach their full potential, while working and learning in partnership with caring adults. 4-H emphasizes the practical application of “learn by doing” to develop skills and acquire a sense of responsibility, and self-worth. 4-H can only do this through amazing people who are willing to share their talents and skills.
You don’t need to be a parent or an expert to volunteer, just someone who cares about young people. Ways to volunteer are:
• One-time volunteering, such as helping plan or helping at a 4-H event
• Chaperoning a trip
• Teach a skill: All of us have something we enjoy and do well. Maybe it’s crafting, biking, robotics, photography, debate, archery, fishing, coding, horses, dog training, shooting sports, 3-D printing or sewing. You name it; we can make it happen. You can teach a one-time workshop or regular workshops. You decide on the class size, when it’s held.
• Judge projects: 4-H allows youth to demonstrate their project learning in different ways. Youth art exhibits, fashion revue, speech, or performances. Judges provide valuable critique and offer encouragement and concrete suggestions for improvement.
• Leading a club: Some clubs have members who explore several different interests. Other clubs focus on shared interest. As a leader of either club your role is to encourage and guide youth in their explorations.
• There are many ways to make a difference in the lives of young people through 4-H. We can help you find a role that matches your unique interest, availability.
In addition to growing youth, 4-H volunteers benefit from their involvement through:
• New friendships
• A connection with youth
• Improved community
• A new passion
• Positive change
• Enhanced skills
• A lasting legacy
Another thing to consider is that by volunteering with 4-H you will have the opportunity to make positive difference in the lives of young people.
We are so lucky to have one of the state’s most valuable 4-H volunteers here in Tooele County. Patsy Holden from Vernon has been a 4-H volunteer for 40 years. She has recently received her 40-year volunteer pin. Patsy is a legend at the 4-H office. I have heard countless stories of service and experiences she has created for the youth in Vernon. I cannot imagine how many lives she has touched through her service as a leader, encourager, teacher and friend.
There are right around 125 4-H volunteers in Tooele County, some who volunteer once a year, others occasionally and some are regular volunteers. 4-H would not be possible without the help of volunteers!
We would love to have you join us as we encourage and guide youth in their explorations, as we use our skills to help them explore and discover what matters to them so they can make an impact today and the future.
Whether you want a short-term volunteer experience or a long-term role, 4-H has an opportunity for you. You can sign up to be a volunteer at 4-Honline.org or stop by the USU Extension office. After a background check, a 4-H program coordinator will follow up with you to watch a few training videos and answer any questions you may have. There is no charge to you as a volunteer for the background check.
Volunteer with Tooele 4-H and help grow true leaders in your community by empowering young people with skills to lead a lifetime.
Robyn Handley is the 4-H Youth Development Coordinator at the USU Extension – Tooele County office, which is located inside the Tooele County Health Department Building, 151 N. Main, Tooele. For more information about the Tooele County 4-H Program, contact Handley at 435-225-1014 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.