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Click for printable PDF directions on the volunteer process.
Becoming a 4-H Volunteer
Without dedicated 4-H volunteers, we would not have a successful 4-H program! El Paso County 4-H is always in need of volunteers.
Here are a few examples of volunteer opportunities:
- Club Leaders – Club leaders help the 4-H members run their club. They relay information, collect paperwork, and inspire and motivate our members and other leaders to do great things!
- Project Leaders – Project leaders teach our members about their projects. For example, they provide instruction in things like shooting sports, robotics, dogs, leatherwork, cooking and so much more. If you have an interest and skill in a particular educational area, we likely have a need for you!
- Advisory Committee Volunteers – We have six advisory committees that help to plan and manage all of the big 4-H events every year. For example, the Dog Advisory Committee helps to plan our 4-H dog training classes, dog shows and the county fair competition. Our other advisory committees include: Horse, Livestock, Small Animal, Shooting Sports and Tabletop.
- Club, Activity and Event Helpers – Sometimes we need volunteers to help us out with a club or county event. This can include everything from bringing snacks to a 4-H meeting to working at a concession stand during a livestock show. We are always in need of an extra set of hands!
- Chaperones – Our chaperones supervise 4-H members on trips to make sure that they have a fun, safe learning experience.
- County Council Leaders – The County Youth Council is made of up youth from across the county looking to make a big impact on 4-H. The volunteers help guide these young leaders in their work.
There are six required steps to becoming an El Paso County 4-H volunteer:
1. Contact your Colorado State University (CSU) Extension El Paso County Office
2. Complete the 4-Honline application
3. Receive two positive references
4. Complete a 4-H Orientation
5. Complete the background check with HireRight
6. Complete Volunteer Leader Training (VLT) Step 1: Call the Local Extension Office
Contact the CSU Extension El Paso County 4-H Youth Development Office. The Office will provide you with a Potential 4-H Volunteer Initial Interest Form and will collect the $5.00 4-H volunteer registration fee. Step 2: Application
The application will be completed through 4HOnline, our state 4-H database. El Paso County 4-H staff will assist you in getting started. CLICK HERE TO READ FULL DIRECTIONS
Step 3: References
List and provide contact information for at least three people to serve as references (this is done by entering reference contact information in 4HOnline). Please select references who are familiar with your recent experience working with youth and who are not related to you. References will be contacted by phone or email and asked to respond to a short questionnaire. All responses will be kept confidential. At least two positive references are required.
Step 4: Orientation
4-H Volunteer Orientation provides individuals with an overview of the 4-H Youth Development Program. All potential volunteers must complete either the Face-to-Face or Online Orientation. It is important to complete Orientation as soon as possible as to not delay the application and screening process.
Face-to-Face Orientation – All new main club volunteers starting 4-H Clubs and returning volunteers taking over leadership for an existing 4-H Club are required to attend New Club Leader Orientation. New Club Leader Orientation will cover the responsibilities of the Main Club Leader (Organizational Leader) and will include: 4-H overview, how to use 4HOnline, annual reporting requirements, and organizing a 4-H Club. There is no cost to attend the Face-to-Face Orientation but volunteers must pre-register to attend and training dates/times are subject to cancellation if too few pre-registrations are received (fewer than 3 pre-registrations).
Orientation dates will be scheduled as needed; dates and locations to be announced.
Online Orientation – All other volunteers (project leaders, resource volunteers, fair superintendents, etc.) are required to complete a four-part online module orientation. To access the Online Orientation please go to THIS LINK and and sign in using the password “volunteer.” At the completion of each module you must enter your name and county in order for the completion to be verified. Please Note: We recommend you keep a record of the modules completed by taking a screen shot or printing the “module completed” responses.
Step 5: Background Check
All volunteers are required to complete a background check as part of Colorado State University’s risk management strategy to prevent child abuse and ensure the safety of all 4-H youth. The process also protects the volunteers, Extension staff and Colorado State University. Colorado State University conducts the background checks with the screening company, HireRight. CSU’s Human Resources department has confidence in the security and confidentiality of the HireRight system. You will be notified via email when your name has been submitted for a background check. Within five days you will receive, and are required to respond to, an email from HireRight Customer Support. You will be directed to
click on the secure link and provide the information for your background check to be completed.
Please Note: If you do not receive the email within five days, contact the El Paso County Extension Office immediately. Failure to respond to the e-mail from HireRight Customer Support will result in re-screening fees being charged to the volunteer applicant. Be sure to check your junk mail for the HireRight e-mail if you are expecting the HireRight e-mail.
What’s next? After you have completed the screening process, you will be notified by the CSU Extension El Paso County Office that your screening is complete. Your name will be activated in 4HOnline, our state database. Upon being accepted as a 4-H volunteer, county 4-H staff will discuss volunteer opportunities with you. The last step is to complete Volunteer Leader Training (see step 6). Volunteers are the Heart of 4-H! Thank you for your interest in sharing your time and talent with Colorado youth!
IMPORTANT – You may not begin as a 4-H volunteer until you have received written approval from your county 4-H Agent.
Only authorized volunteers are protected from liability under the Government Immunity Act (24-10-101CRS et seq) and the Risk Management Act (24-30-1502CR et seq).
Please Note: Returning Volunteer with a Break in Service – Any individual with a break in service is required to complete the new volunteer screening process again. Depending on their volunteer responsibilities, they may be asked to re-train.
Step 6: Volunteer Leader Training (VLT)
In the 4-H Youth Development Program our most basic responsibility is to provide a healthy and wholesome atmosphere for young people and the adults who work with them. Our goal is to provide a safe environment that encourages positive youth development. To maintain the El Paso County 4-H Program’s record of safety and to ensure the 4-H mission is a program priority, all El Paso County 4-H Volunteers are required to complete a three part,
face-to-face Volunteer Leader Training (VLT). CLICK HERE TO SEE CURRENT VOLUNTEER LEADER OFFERINGS.
Volunteers new to 4-H, who are not working with an experienced 4-H volunteer mentor, are required to complete VLT before scheduling 4-H club meetings with youth members. All other Volunteers (in roles other than main club leader and working under the supervision of an experienced 4-H volunteer mentor) will have one year to complete the training. Volunteers will not be eligible for re-enrollment if they are unable to complete training within the
one year time frame. Volunteers will be notified when “refresher” re-training is required; typically every 5 years.
* * * * Because we care about the safety and well-being of our 4-H family, new volunteers MUST be registered, have their fees paid and have their training and background check completed and approved before they start working with youth. * * * *
If you are sure you want to become a 4-H volunteer, you can start a profile at 4-H Online to begin the screening process.
If you have further questions or need help deciding as to what role you could offer the most assistance, contact our 4-H Program Assistant, Dan Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-520-7698.