Volunteer Training

Competent, caring adult volunteers are an Essential Element of the Iowa 4-H program. Volunteers contribute their time and talents to 4-H and in return 4-H has the responsibility to provide them with the positive youth development knowledge and skills they need to effectively work with youth. Leaders who participated in the training told us:

Learned from presenters and also from experience of other members
Being able to connect with others
Became more aware of situations I hadn't though of before - gained a new perspective of things
Good interaction and wonderful ideas and suggestions from other leaders


Annual Statewide Training
2016-2017:  Youth Engagement Strengthens 4-H!

Volunteers who are club, project, or Clover Kid leaders, SESS leaders or assistant leaders attend an annual training that strengthens their positive youth development knowledge and skills. Training occurs in each county and is designated as the annual training module.
This year leaders will learn more about engaging youth in intentional, meaningful ways. By creating opportunities for youth to make decisions, take on responsibilities, and contribute to improving outcomes for themselves and others, 4-H volunteers are providing opportunities for youth to build mastery in decision making skills as well as reinforce their work towards independence.
Please read the first two articles and take the inventory before attending your county's training.
Youth as Partners
Building Vibrant Youth Groups
Please click the Inventory of Adult Attitudes and Behaviors below to access the online version of the inventory. Upon completion of the inventory, you will be provided three scores. Please bring your scores with you to the face-to-face training.
Inventory of Adult Attitudes and Behaviors
The online version of Youth Engagement Strengthens 4-H can be viewed via 4H Online. Contact your county youth coordinator if you need assistance accessing the online version of the annual leader training.

Online Training for Volunteers

Past trainings are available online for volunteers to easily access anytime and as often as they would like from home. These online training options help volunteers build their volunteer skills and knowledge when it is most convenient for them. To access online training courses, follow the information below.

  •  Iowa State University Extension Courses  will take you to the online training course page.
  • Under “Available Courses” (in the center column), click on the link for the course. 
  • After you click on the course, the login page appears where you will have two choices: login if you already have an account (If you participated in a 4-H Volunteer online training previously, you do.) or an opportunity to create an account.
  • View the online courses help sheet for help with account log-in, computer requirements, or if you need assistance.

Some current online training options include The Heart of Belonging, Club Vibrancy, Experiential Learning, Parnet Involvement and more.

Training for New Volunteers

County based volunteer orientation and training is crucial to volunteers being successful in their “home” counties. Each county has unique aspects of the 4-H program that volunteers need to learn. County Extension staff, Youth Committee members, experienced volunteers, and the regional youth program specialist form the county team who are the essential frontline trainers and mentors for new volunteers. This county based team builds the relationships and support systems which make volunteers successful.

Regional new volunteer training is designed for new 4-H volunteers committing to a long term experience working with 4-H youth as club, project, Clover Kid leaders and assistants. Volunteers committing to these roles are required to attend a regional new volunteer training within the first 12 months of being screened and approved as a 4-H volunteer.
The blended learning training is designed to give new volunteers a better working knowledge of positive youth development, the Iowa 4-H Equation, and tools that will help them be more confident and capable in their roles working with youth. The training will be delivered in two components. The first includes four online training modules that help create a baseline for 4-H volunteers. It is followed by a regional, three hour face-to-face training that will allow volunteers to apply some of their learning. AmeriCorps members are welcome to attend! Sign up for a training today via the new volunteer training registration page.
Training dates and locations for New Volunteer Training for the 2017-2018 will be posted later in the summer.

Risk Management Training for Volunteers

Helping maintain a safe environment for members, families, volunteers, and staff is a priority for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Volunteers are required to participate in Risk Management Training. All new volunteers will participate in an online Risk Management training module via 4-H Online. To access additional risk managment resources, visit the 4-H Risk Management webpage.

Online Resources for Volunteers

Volunteers can aquire support materials through their county extension office, on the 4-H website, or other online resources.
View a list of current online resources for Club/Project and Clover Kids volunteers.

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