''Supporting the thousands of Michigan 4-H youth across the state are more than 17,000 caring adult volunteers who give their time to the program annually. In fact, without volunteers, 4-H wouldn’t be possible!

All 4-H volunteers are screened to ensure the safety of the children and youth (adults, too!) who are involved in our programming. After they’re screened, these caring individuals are trained by knowledgeable MSU Extension professionals and supported through a variety of MSU Extension resources. These resources include workshops, curriculum, activities and more, all of which enable and prepare volunteers to make an impact on youth across the state.

A unique sector of Michigan 4-H’s dedicated volunteer pool are the caring adult mentors. Research shows that youth benefit from supportive and caring relationships with older individuals who serve as a guide and role model. While many youth find these relationships naturally through their involvement in school, family and the community, others do not. To fill this need, MSU Extension has been creating supportive, long-term mentoring relationships for more than 20 years. Mentoring programs available through Michigan 4-H including community-based, site-based, adult-youth, peer and small group mentoring, all of which adhere to youth mentoring quality program standards and best practices.

Whether you want to mentor, become a club leader, lead a workshop, chaperone an event or something else, invest in the future of Michigan as a 4-H volunteer. By giving your time to help young people in your community, you'll be growing true leaders and empowering young people with skills for a lifetime.

For more information about volunteering with the 4-H program, visit our volunteers or mentoring pages.


  • Directions matter: Tips for being clear

    December 12, 2017 | Jennifer Weichel | Things to consider when providing clear, concise directions.

  • January is National Mentoring Month

    December 6, 2017 | Lisa Bottomley | Use the month of January as a time to celebrate mentoring relationships and build awareness about the need for more volunteers to make a difference in the lives of youth.

  • Organizational term limits

    November 29, 2017 | Jackelyn Martin | Benefits and drawbacks to term limits for volunteer roles.

  • Keeping volunteers engaged over the holidays

    November 28, 2017 | Jodi Schulz | The holidays are a great time to stay connected with volunteers and the organization they serve using these suggestions.

  • The role of the like button

    November 27, 2017 | Christine Heverly | Help youth understand that the like, thumbs-up or heart icon on social media platforms cannot be the only tool to make decisions.

  • Recruiting youth for camp

    November 22, 2017 | Frank Cox | Basic reminders and concepts for youth recruitment for camp programs.

  • Tips for using music to engage volunteers

    November 22, 2017 | Jodi Schulz | Have you ever thought of using music to engage volunteers? Try these tips to get your meetings rocking and rolling.

  • Thank Your Mentor Day

    November 21, 2017 | Lisa Bottomley | Jan. 25, 2018, is National Thank Your Mentor Day. Have you thanked those who made a difference in your life?

  • New 4-H Pledge posters

    November 20, 2017 | Jodi Schulz | Available in various sizes and formats, the 4-H Pledge Posters are a useful tool for 4-H members, volunteers and clubs.

  • Who should get a mentor?

    November 16, 2017 | Lisa Bottomley | Mentoring programs are not the answer for every child. How do you know which children will benefit most?

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