4-H Canada Blog

Seven signs you’re a 4-H volunteer leader

This week we are celebrating all of our outstanding 4-H volunteer leaders across Canada as part of National Volunteer Week!

With over 7,400 volunteers across Canada, 4-H leaders are the heart of 4-H programming, supporting and guiding more than 24,500 4-H youth members nationwide. Everyday heroes like our volunteer leaders can and do change the world and with their help 4-H members are developing skills to become responsible, caring and contributing individuals, affecting positive change in the world around them.

Here are seven signs that you are one of our amazing 4-H volunteer leader affecting positive change in the community around you:

You love to connect with others
You are great at creating connections with youth, their families and community members, making everyone feel welcome! Being self-aware, listening and showing compassion for others are all traits of excellent 4-H volunteer leaders. You use this ability to create a safe, fun and inclusive environment for 4-H members, allowing youth to grow as responsible, caring and contribution leaders themselves.

You’re authentic
4-H is all about youth working in partnership with caring adults. You know that youth-adult partnerships are an opportunity for members and leaders to authentically collaborate, and that genuinely valuing their contributions builds trust and adds to their sense of accomplishment and confidence.                                      

You’re motivated by  passion
Sharing your knowledge and passion with youth is the best way to inspire and help them get excited about the projects they are completing, the skills they are learning and may even shape the path they choose for their future. 

You help youth grow by sharing your expertise and experiences though programming in sustainable agriculture, science and technology, community service, the environment and healthy living… or all the above!

You believe in building on strengths 
We all know that the key to positive youth development is about recognizing a person’s strengths, and helping them to grow these assets through hands-on learning opportunities.

You are great at helping youth identify their own strengths and at encouraging them to find opportunities to cultivate these skills and use them to benefit their clubs and communities. As a leader you focus on the positive and find meaningful roles for all 4-H club members to play, offering plenty of ways for youth to challenge themselves and feel a sense of accomplishment.

You demonstrate decision making skills
Decision making is an incredible skill that 4-H youth learn and it stays with them for life. By modelling this skill and working in partnership with club members you give them the opportunity to make important decisions about the running of your 4-H club. You lead your members in the weighing of different club needs or activities, consultations and collaborations, and in making decisions that they feel proud and certain of.

You rise to any occasion
Great 4-H leaders recognize that the best growth happens when youth take safe risks and challenge themselves to Learn To Do By Doing. Sometimes 4-H volunteer leaders are challenged to Learn To Do By Doing alongside members. You rise to the occasion, and show you members how to reflect on the challenges and celebrate the successes in equal measure.

You love to have fun!
Great volunteer leaders know that 4-H is about more than the mastery of skills and competition. It’s about making friends, having new experiences, and learning in a safe, fun and inclusive environment. If you’re a leader who is not afraid to try something new and who promotes project meetings filled with laughter, then you are most definitely a 4-H volunteer leader.

To all our 4-H volunteer leaders, we thank you for your enthusiasm and dedication to the 4-H movement in Canada. Together, we are encouraging youth to develop new skills and to make a positive change in the world around them.