The Cooperative Extension Service has long been aware of the value of Extension service networks for developing women's skills in traditional home and family areas. Little is known about the relationship between leadership skills and these volunteer or service organizations. A study of Extension Homemakers/Community Educational Outreach Service (CEOS) groups was conducted to determine benefits of membership. Benefits can be categorized into four categories: leadership, teaching, personal efficacy, and networking. These surpass skill and knowledge gained about homemaking and parenting. Results suggest Extension should consider developing service groups throughout the country as "hothouses" for developing the leadership of volunteers, particularly women.

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