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Cooperative Extension: 4-H

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Volunteers - How Do I Become a Volunteer?

All adults working with youth as 4-H volunteers for more than 8 hours/year are required to be certified by the Extension office. Volunteers become certified through the following three-step process:

Three-step Volunteer Certification Process
1. Volunteer Application Process

  • Submit a Volunteer Application Form (PDF) to the appropriate county extension office
  • Provide two references: 4-H Reference Check Form (PDF)
  • Supplemental Volunteer Application Form* (PDF) (Please use the following account number 5001736730 in the top right corner of the form where it asks for the “accounting ID,” and use 5400983-60100-x-12-x-5600700 as the “Chartfields.” If you need a printed copy of this form, please contact your local county office.) For prospective 4-H volunteers who work in Maine school systems, you are required by the Maine Department of Education to have a background check. In lieu of a background check through the University of Maine’s Office of Human Resources, potential volunteers can provide a copy of the certificate validating a background check has been performed in the last five years. Please provide this certificate to your local county extension office when you turn in your volunteer application.
  • Interview with 4-H staff member

2.  Volunteer Training (VOLT): We offer two training options for new 4-H Volunteers, online or in-person. You can choose the training method that suits you best.

Online training: Maine 4-H wants to meet the needs of today’s volunteer. If your schedule is hectic, you can take advantage of our new online training.  Work through four modules, lasting approximately 30 minutes each, at your own pace whenever it’s convenient for you. As you finish each module, complete the quiz and print off your certificate, and hit submit. After completing all four online modules, contact your local county Extension office to learn about additional training for your county 4-H program. Click on the link below to register and receive your password for the online 4-H Training.

TIP — When you get to the certificate page for each module you complete, remember to hit the SUBMIT button. If you do not hit SUBMIT, the Extension office will not have a record that you completed the module(s). Then decide if you want to “print” or skip printing the certificate. (HINT: You can press “print” and save as a .pdf to your computer instead of actually printing it to have a record of completion.)

New! Register Here for E-Learning


In-person training: Join us for an in-person volunteer training with hands-on activities and opportunities to network with other new volunteers. Contact your local Extension office to sign up for an in-person volunteer training.

3. Volunteer Enrollment Packet

Once you have completed the application and training process, you will be asked to submit the following forms:

  • 4-H Volunteer Enrollment Form: Word | PDF
  • Photo Release Form – 4-H Specific University of Maine Official Form: Word | PDF
  • Volunteer Standards of Behavior: PDF
  • Assurance of Non-Discrimination Statement Document: Word

*Note:  All forms are submitted to the County Extension office with the exception of the Supplemental Volunteer Application Form. Please send that form directly to Orono at the following address:

Background Checks
5717 Corbett Hall Rm 140
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5717

or fax to (207) 581-1615

Upon successful completion of these three steps the volunteer is certified by the County Extension office. In subsequent years, the certified volunteer needs only submit a 4-H Volunteer Enrollment Packet (step #3 above) annually. Some periodic additional training may be required of all volunteers. Advisors to Independent 4-H members are also required to be certified as 4-H Leaders, unless they are the parent/guardian of the 4-H youth and then the 4-H volunteer certification is optional, but encouraged.

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The University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H

University of Maine Cooperative Extension

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Contact Information

Cooperative Extension: 4-H
103 Libby Hall
Orono, Maine 04469
Phone: 1.800.287.0274
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System