Volunteer Learning Opportunities

Continued education is critical to providing meaningful and positive experiences for young people in 4-H. Through research-backed resources and new learning opportunities, Arkansas 4-H is dedicated to making sure each volunteer is informed and prepared to serve the incredible youth of Arkansas in their diverse roles.

Here you can find useful resources such as models used to develop 4-H programming, links to relevant research, upcoming trainings and much more. 

4-H Thrive Model

The core piece that 4-H uses to develop its programs is the 4-H Thrive Model, pictured below. 

image of flower with 4-H Thrive Model

This model starts with the programming that takes place in the organization. In order to provide young people a positive experience, core values such as sparks, belonging, relationships and engagement must be met for growth and thriving to take place. Other models and research pieces used to develop 4-H programs are listed below. 

For more information on the 4-H Thrive Model, visit here: 4-H Thrive Model Resources


Relevant Research

This nationally recognized program provides positive youth development through addressing the eight (8) "Essential Elements" of youth needs. 

Topics covered include 4 core concepts of providing youth a sense of Belonging, Mastery, Independence, and Generosity. Training in this program is 10-12 hours, but can be taken in a series of one-hour face-to-face trainings.  Check with your local extension office if you are interested in this program or being trained.

Info on the Eight (8) Essential Elements: Eight Essential Elements

Designed to provide practical skills for volunteers, the Volunteer Research, Knowledge, and Competency Model covers Communication, Organization, Program Management, Educational Design & Delivery, Positive Youth Development, and Interpersonal Characteristics. More information on the VRKC can be found at the following sites: 

National 4-H Website:  VRKC Model

VRKC Overview: VRKC (Morris and Bodhe, 2023)

 This framework poses as the basis for onboarding, training and retaining 4-H volunteers. Without informed and willing volunteers, 4-H could not thrive and especially could not provide the quality of programs that it has to offer. 

To learn about the framework, visit here: National Framework for 4-H Volunteerism


Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

Delta, Ouachita and Ozark districts will each have their own volunteer trainings starting Spring 2025. 

These trainings will cover topics specific to the district, risk management, best PYD (Positive Youth Development) practices, hands-on applications and more. 

Dates will be posted as soon as they are determined. 

For questions concerning these trainings, please contact Breanna Wade at bwade@uada.edu

Arkansas 4-H will be hosting the Arkansas 4-H Volunteer Conference in Fall of 2025. Please check back later for more information!

For questions concerning this conference, please contact Breanna Wade at bwade@uada.edu .

Offered every fall, this national training is held at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, Georgia.  Lead by 4-H volunteers, county agents, and state staff from across the United States, this training is geared to provide practical hands-on experiences to bring back to your programs.

Any current (2023-2024) 4-H volunteer can attend this event. Carpooling may be available depending on the group attending. More information to follow!

Date:  October 3-6, 2024

Cost:  Varies by Type of Registration (Virtual vs In-Person)

Location:  Rock Eagle 4-H Center, Eatonton, GA.

Website: 4-H Volunteer Conference of Southern States

Every year, Arkansas 4-H participates in a variety of state and national programs. In order for these to be available for youth to attend, 4-H professionals and volunteers are needed to chaperone.

If you are interested in chaperoning an event, contact your local 4-H Professional to see what events are in need and how you can help. 

Additional trainings such as First Aid, CPR, Mental Health First Aid, CERT, ServSafe and more may be available by request during your service as a 4-H Volunteer. If you would like to see one of these trainings or a training similar come to your area, ask your 4-H Professional about what is available. Trainings requests can be sent to the state 4-H office for review to Breanna Wade, bwade@uada.edu


Arkansas 4-H YouTube

Past virtual volunteer opportunities are available on the Arkansas 4-H YouTube Channel.  There you will find Virtual Volunteer Forums, Virtual Volunteer Conversations and 4-H 4th Thursdays.  Additionally, you can find science, leadership, and healthy living videos spanning a variety of different topics!

Arkansas 4-H YouTube


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