Volunteer with 4-H
adults helping youth

As a 4-H volunteer, you can share your skills and experience to help make a difference in the lives of young people. Click the headers in the section below to explore information on volunteering locally.

Return to your county page: DUPAGE | KANE | KENDALL

We can help you find a volunteer role that matches your unique interests, availability and schedule.

  • Teach a skill: All of us have something we enjoy and do well, from gardening and programming robots to cooking and crafting. There are many ways for you to share that skill, from teaching one-time workshops to organizing a club devoted to your area of specialty. 
  • Lead a club: Some clubs have members who explore several different areas of interest – we call these projects. Other clubs focus on a shared interest or single project. As a leader of either kind of club, your role is to encourage and guide youth in their explorations and use your skills to help kids discover what matters to them. Help youth set goals, foster a sense of belonging and independence, inspire a generous spirit, and master skills that will prepare them for their future.
  • Judge projects: 4-H allows members to demonstrate their project learning in several different ways. Members present an exhibit, speech, or performance to show off their learning. Judges provide valuable critique and offer encouragement and concrete suggestions for improvement. Most judging takes place at the county fair each summer.
  • Plan or help at an event: Several activities are held to help members learn about topics of interest, serve their community, or promote the 4-H program. Volunteer support for the planning of these events ensures local needs are met and adequate supervision is provided. Events might include community service projects, International Night, 4-H yearly kick off events, Government Days and more.
  • Serve on an advisory board: Local advisory boards are responsible for determining program priorities, ensuring the needs of all youth in the community are met, and expanding the 4-H program to new audiences.

Contact your local office for more information on specific opportunities that might be a good fit for you.

  • DuPage: 630-955-1123
  • Kane: 630-584-6166
  • Kendall: 630-553-5823

Give us a call

Start with a phone call to your local University of Illinois Extension office. Schedule a time to chat with the 4-H Program Coordinator or the Youth Development Educator. Share your ideas and experience working with kids, why you want to be a 4-H volunteer, and what you are looking for in a volunteer experience. Staff will work with you to find a volunteer role that meets your needs.

  • DuPage: 630-955-1123
  • Kane: 630-584-6166
  • Kendall: 630-553-5823

Complete the screening process

All new 4-H volunteers must go through a screening process. Our #1 priority in 4-H is the safety of young people. An important part of providing a safe environment is to conduct background and reference checks on our volunteers and staff. Everyone is screened that will be spending an extended time with our 4-H youth.

After contacting your local office, the 4-H team will guide you through the following process:

  1. APPLICATION: Complete a 4-H Volunteer Application and return it to your local office (download application in English or Spanish).
  2. BACKGROUND CHECK: Complete the Child Abuse and Neglect Background Check form, giving permission to conduct a background check, and return the form to your county office (your local office will provide your county’s form).
  3. CRIMINAL CHECK: Complete the Conviction Information Name Check form, giving permission to conduct a conviction check, and return it to your county office (your local office will provide your county’s form).
  4. CHILD PROTECTION TRAINING: Complete the University of Illinois Child Protection Training (access training online).

Enroll, get trained and start serving!

After the screening process successfully completed and you are approved as a volunteer, you can go online and enroll as a 4-H volunteer leader using our 4-H Online system. Then the fun begins. Work through the relevant training videos and support material on the State 4-H website. Start talking to families about your new 4-H adventure and invite them along for the fun. Schedule a time to discuss your plans with the local 4-H staff in your county. Then start your adventure.