Tips for the Busy 4-H Volunteer
4-H Volunteers are busy people. Most volunteers volunteer for other organizations outside of 4-H and they are active in their communities. Many volunteers also have children or grandchildren that they care for. Leading a 4-H club should be a fun and rewarding experience. Earlier this month, during our Make a Difference Monday Volunteer Leader Series, Julie Dillard shared some great tips to help club leaders stay organized, and most importantly, save time and enjoy being a 4-H Volunteer!
Create a Sense of Belonging– one of the basic things that will help your club is to make sure everyone feels welcome and that they belong. This task is an easy one to delegate to a club parent or even your club officers.
- Names – know and use the names of your 4-H’ers. Use name tags if needed until you get to know all of their names
- Designate a member of parent each month to welcome 4-H’ers as they arrive
- Ask a 4-Her or officer to plan an icebreaker each month
- Create opportunities for 4-H’ers to work together on simple projects such as a team club demonstration or committee work
- Keep meetings fun! Look for some really creative ideas to make meetings fun (and less work for you) next week…
Utilize the Club Leader Notebook- Meet with your 4-H agent to pick up your club leader notebook. This notebook has been designed to make it easy for club leaders to keep track of meeting information, club dues, and other club and county events. In your notebook, you will find:
- Club summary worksheet– This basically answers who, when and what. The top box is a record of what kind of event or activity whether it’s a club meeting, an educational workshop or some other event like an end of the year party or a field trip. At every 4-H event, both youth and adults should sign in. The notes section is a handy way to jot down reminders.
- Monies Received Form– Using a monies received form allows you to see quickly who has given you money and what it is for and also allows it to be quickly entered in our accounting software. This creates a paper trail, which makes handling funds much easier and also protects the club and club leader.
- Check Request Form– This form is for purchases that are planned ahead of time to a specific place of business or a person. It’s also for those times when you didn’t have time to go to the 4-H Office to pick up a check, so you picked it up and paid for it yourself. Just use this form and attached a copy of your receipt.
- Fundraising Permission Form– This purpose of this form is not only to inform the club about a fundraiser, but also to identify the purpose of the funds. Funds should have a planned purpose to benefit the club members. Not only that, but your 4-H Agent should be kept in the loop on all fundraisers so he or she can approve it as well as be able to tell others what the funds are being used for. Most importantly, this helps youth learn about goal setting and planning to achieve those goals.
- Accident and Injury Form- No matter how long we have been a volunteer, or how organized we are, there is always a chance that the unexpected will happen. When it does, we need to document it. Any time there is an accident or injury that occurs to a youth or volunteer during a 4-H event, we need to complete this report as soon as possible (after the injured person is cared for).
How to reduce risk and what to do when an accident does happen is the topic for next month’s Make a Difference Monday. On October 20th, at 7/6 central, Dr. Dale Pracht will be sharing how to create safe environments in our 4-H clubs. If you cannot make our live presentation, it will be archived along with this month’s presentation at http://florida4h.org/madmondays.