- Author: Curtis Ullerich
4-H is operated as a partnership of staff and volunteers (and many of those volunteers are youth members!). Volunteers are critical to the program and 4-H simply couldn't exist without them. The roles we take on as volunteers can vary widely in scope and in how concrete our objectives are.
Evaluating at a presentation day, for example, is a well-defined role: You know exactly how long you'll be volunteering and that you'll be completing a feedback rubric about presentations.
Being a County Ambassador Advisor is a less concrete role. In this position you know you'll be in a youth-adult partnership for the tenure of a youth team to make a plan of work and execute it. Even if it's hard to describe what exactly it will require, you have lots of past examples of what teams have done to follow or contrast.
Volunteers and Youth help build the 4-H program
One of the most open-ended and potentially very impactful roles available to 4-H volunteers is being a Director on the California 4-H Management Board. The Management Board exists as a way to let volunteers and youth build the 4-H program, with close relationships and support from state staff. The opportunity here is in the phrase "build the 4-H program." What exactly does that mean? That is up to the Directors, and right now it means:
- Running the California 4-H Youth Summits;
- Supporting area presentation days across the state;
- Providing excellent state-level leadership and youth-adult partnership opportunities in our teams and committees.
We are able to change or add projects over time, based on the maturity of those projects, number of people on our team, and the skills of those people.
We have committees in the form of Youth Summit planning teams, and an Area Presentation Days committee. Joining one of these committees is a great way to contribute at a level that requires less time.
The set of committees and Director positions on our team is flexible. We always have a three-person Executive Team and a Treasurer, and we currently have a Youth Summits Director, Area Presentation Days Director, and Marketing Director. If we find someone with the skills and enthusiasm for fundraising, for example, we could add a Fundraising Director who would work closely with the California 4-H Foundation.
Now, for the seven of us current Directors (and the many who came before us), why did we join the Management Board as Directors? We care about the 4-H program and we're overflowing with energy about making it awesome. Does that sound like you, too? If you'll be 16 or older next year (or an adult volunteer), apply to join us! Contact Curtis at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Apply to join us! Contact Curtis at email@example.com for details.
To read more about us, check out our Management Board webpage (our annual plan in particular), and read a summary of our last year of work. Want to meet us? All our business meetings are public. Join us in person or remotely using Zoom. Our webpage has details and agendas for all our meetings.