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.
“My intimidation of working with youth was eliminated. I realized I had knowledge to give about things I never considered before.” ~ 4-H volunteer
Refer to the red Training box in the right column for up to date information about training opportunities.
Annual Training for Volunteers
Volunteers who are club, project, or Clover Kid lead or assistant lead volunteers are required to attend an annual training that strengthens their positive youth development knowledge and skills. This training occurs in each county and is designated as the annual training module. The training is offered in three different formats: face to face, online, and DVD are the formats offered.
Volunteers should watch their county website or county newsletter for information about upcoming trainings.
Training for New Volunteers
County based volunteer orientation and training is crucial to volunteers being successful in their “home” counties. Each county has some unique aspects of the 4-H program that volunteers need to learn about. 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 will make volunteers successful.
Multi region 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 Kids – both leaders and assistants. Volunteers committing to these roles are required to attend a multi-region new volunteer training within the first 12 months of being screened and approved as a 4-H volunteer.
The 6 hour 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 includes breakout sessions for Clover Kid volunteers and club volunteers. Volunteers who attend receive a notebook of positive youth development resources and information.
Training dates and locations for New Volunteer Training for 2012-2013 Club Year
Oct. 6 Knoxville Nov. 3 Sioux Center Nov. 17 Osceola
Oct. 6 Altoona Nov. 10 GarnerCANCELLED Jan. 19 Greenfield
Oct. 13 Mt. Pleasant Nov. 10 Rockwell City Feb. 9 Altoona LOCATION CHANGE
Oct. 13 Calmar Nov. 10 Carson Feb. 9 Spencer
Oct. 14 Clarence Sunday Nov. 10 Toledo March 23 Mediapolis
April 6 Garner
Risk Management Training
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. The training is offered either through a face to face training in each county or online. Go to Risk Management Training to access the training webpage for additional information.
Winter 2013 Experiential Learning: Do-Reflect-Apply!
“Learn By Doing” is an integral part of 4-H, but there is more to Experiential Learning than just “doing”. Supportive, caring volunteers help youth move beyond the “doing” to reflect on and apply the learning experience to similar or different situations. By practicing and utilizing the Experiential Learning model, volunteers are able to help youth look back at their experience critically, determine what was useful or important to remember, and apply the new information to real life situations.
Volunteers and staff work together to make sure Experiential Learning is included in 4-H programming – whether it is a club meeting, a camping trip, an afterschool program, a Clover Kids program, a project workshop, or any other fun, learning experience designed for and with 4-H youth.
At the Winter/Spring face to face 2013 training, volunteers will learn the basic principles of the Experiential Learning model, participate in a fun hands-on learning experience they can replicate in their clubs or groups, and practice the reflect and apply questions that help youth learn from their experiences. Volunteers will receive a set of colorful cards on a keychain that contain questions that can be used in the Experiential Learning model as well as Inquiry. Check with your county office for training dates!
Experiential Learning training handouts to use in your club
Alternative Online Training - Winter/Spring 2013
The face to face training for the Experiential Learning module is very hands on and involves water. Since water and computers don't generally mix - the online version of the Experiential Learning module is quite different from the face to face training. The interactive online learning modules provide the basics for volunteers and staff to increase their knowledge and skills to target learning outcomes, provide reflection on that learning and integrate the application of it into all activities.
Begin your training by printing out the Experiential Learning model, the Learning Guide and the Evaluation. Watch all three modules linked below and answer the questions in the Learning Guide handout. Complete the training by answering the questions in the evaluation. Return both the Learning Guide and the Evaluation form to your County Extension office to get credit for completing your training and to pick up your Experiential Learning model keyring!
Watch all three videos and answer the questions in the Learning Guide. Each video takes between 10 - 15 minutes. Note: when you get to the welcome page of each video and it says "Click on the option you prefer" please click on the box that says "No" and below says "No thanks! I just want to get started." You will be asked to type in your state and email.
Contact your local ISU Extension Office to learn more about county 4-H volunteer trainings.