We Want You to Join 4-H!

University of Illinois Extension- Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall & Putnam Counties invites you to join 4-H. We are always recruiting new and interested youth and volunteers. We have a variety of opportunities that we hope will fit your interests and needs.

What is 4-H? Illinois 4-H is the flagship youth development program of University of Illinois Extension and administered through the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. 4-H grows true leaders, youth who are empowered for life today and prepared for a career tomorrow. The hands-on approach in 4-H gives young people guidance, tools, and encouragement, and then puts them in the driver’s seat to make great things happen. 4-H is a national youth development program that also operates globally in other countries. 4-H is fun and teaches youth skills for life.

Why should youth join 4-H? The Extension 4-H Youth Development Program offers a variety of opportunities in the areas of energy, natural resources, environmental relationships, foods, economics, college and career readiness, health, STEM, community involvement, and leadership for youth ages 5-18. Our programs provide hands-on, fun experiences where youth can imagine and build things, create art, do crafts, explore careers, make new friends, help others, and develop leadership skills. Independent research confirms the unparalleled impact of the 4-H experience, demonstrating that young people are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs.

Why should adults become 4-H volunteers? Adult volunteers teach and inspire kids in ways that last a lifetime. They share special skills, fun hobbies, and unique interests along with a desire to share their experiences with others.  We look forward to learning about your skills and interests so we can welcome you to join us as a screened volunteer leader and become an inspiration to youth!

Are there benefits to volunteering? In a survey conducted on 4-H volunteers, 80% said they felt more confident, 93% said that volunteering with 4-H helped them make their communities stronger, 84% said they made connections in the community on behalf of 4-H, and 74% said they helped recruit additional volunteers and youth. Volunteering with 4-H not only helps the individual, but also the community.

Is volunteering in 4-H flexible? Yes! You may commit to a one-day workshop or a multi-session Special Interest Club (SPIN Club). If you know five interested youth in your community, you can start a new community club. The 4-H fairs and shows always need knowledgeable volunteers to be judges and superintendents for a day. Our clubs enjoy taking their youth on field trips and having guest speakers. Volunteering for 4-H can accommodate all schedules and levels of commitment.

Current 4-H volunteer openings include: a community club leader in Ohio, Horsebowl & Hippology leader (in all counties), a Bass Fishing SPIN Club leader (in all counties), an eSports team leader (in all counties), a community club leader in DePue, certified dog trainers to conduct workshops (in Bureau, Marshall & Putnam counties), and a SPIN Club leader in Utica. If you, or someone you know, would like to fill one of these openings, or if you know of a need in your community and it is not listed, please contact us.

Is volunteering in 4-H simple? Yes! Once a volunteer completes the survey volunteer application and passes their background check, we offer training in a variety of topics to help you understand youth and our programs.  We assist you in planning and implementing all events. We provide necessary materials to conduct all programs. We strive to fully support you in your volunteer role.

Is 4-H fun? Yes, it is fun for both youth and adult volunteers; join us today to find out! For more information or questions, contact Beth Dellatori, Youth Development Educator with University of Illinois Extension, at 815-224-0889 or by email at beth5@illinois.edu

The Mission of University of Illinois Extension is to provide practical education you can trust to help people, businesses and communities solve problems, develop skills and build a better future. University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. 

If you have questions or need more information, please call University of Illinois Extension- Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam Unit Office at 815-224-0889. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please indicate when registering or contact the Extension office. Extension offices are located in Princeton, Ottawa, Henry and in Oglesby on the IVCC campus.