This article explores the important role that volunteers play in the effective delivery of Extension programs. Using an example of positive youth development (PYD) theory from 4-H, the article shows how the success of programs is dependent on volunteer training and support. The article reviews the management, competency, motivation, and satisfaction needs of volunteers and presents results from a statewide study of 4-H volunteers. Four critical areas of volunteer support are explored in light of the study findings: (1) volunteer training and support; (2) sustaining volunteers; (3) volunteer recognition; and (4) program monitoring and evaluation.
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Arnold, M. E., Dolenc, B. J., & Rennekamp, R. A. (2009). An Assessment of 4-H Volunteer Experience: Implications for Building Positive Youth Development Capacity. The Journal of Extension, 47(5), Article 7. https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/joe/vol47/iss5/7