The louisiana state university agcenter takes seriously its obligation to provide a safe, positive environment for the youth served in 4-h programming. Throughout the year, adults serve as overnight chaperones for parish, regional and state 4-h events. In an effort to provide adults, paid staff and volunteers with a set of tools to complete the job assigned effectively and safely, 4-h overnight chaperone training was developed. 4-h overnight chaperone training provides a standard set of policies and training. This process has enabled overnight 4-h events to run more smoothly, chaperones to perform their duties more efficiently and 4-h’ers to be cared for in a positive and safe environment. The curriculum includes adult behavior guidelines, working with youth, discipline procedures, handling accidents and injuries as well as working with sensitive issues.
Chaperones for local and parish events should apply through the acadia parish lsu agcenter office. Chaperones for statewide events should apply through the sponsoring faculty member with notification of the local parish 4-h agent(s). Volunteers who are interested in serving in an overnight chaperone role should participate in an overnight chaperone training program. During the training, the volunteer should fill out an overnight chaperone application with the attached fair credit reporting act disclosure statement. To respect the volunteer’s privacy, the application and fair credit reporting act disclosure statement should be placed in an envelope marked “confidential.” Sponsoring staff should mail or fax the confidential material plus the overnight chaperone training checklist to the state 4-h office. Once an application for 4-h overnight chaperone application and fair credit reporting act disclosure statement are received, the state 4-h office will submit the form to the verifications, a contracted background check company. Approximately three weeks later, the state 4-h office will receive a report. When a report comes back clear, the state 4-h office will mail a congratulatory letter and overnight chaperone card to the 4-h volunteer with a carbon copy to the area and parish staff. If the report has a discrepancy, the state 4-h office will request additional information. A review panel made up of a few, selected state 4-h staff, regional 4-h coordinator and hrm personnel will look at the nature of the concern as well as when the concern occurred as it relates to the duties of the overnight chaperone. Following a review, a volunteer might be approved as an overnight chaperone with conditions. An example of this would be: if the volunteer had drunk driving violations, he or she will not
Be allowed to operate a motor vehicle transporting 4-h members, volunteers or staff. The volunteer and parish office will receive a letter congratulating them on their new role while outlining the conditions on the approval. If the discrepancy causes concern for the volunteer and the youth potentially in their care, the volunteer will be turned down from serving in an overnight chaperone role. Both the volunteer and parish will receive a letter turning down the volunteer for the role of overnight chaperone. No details will be present in the letter as to respect privacy for the volunteers. If a volunteer would like to appeal, then he or she can contact the state 4-h office for an additional review process.
Following certification, a leader’s certification will be good for up to five years. Within a five-year period, applicants will go through another background check. Retraining and periodic updates may be necessary as changes are made in existing guidelines and new resource materials are developed. This training is now offered online. For more information on the online version see your parish 4-h agents
Announce meeting time, date, and location over school p.a. system. Post meeting notices on 4-h bulletin board or in centrally located place. Cut apart and distribute new business and old business slips to 4-h members to read during the appropriate part of the meeting. This information is attached to your monthly leader letter. Meet with club officers as a group or individually to make sure that everyone is prepared for the upcoming meeting. Remind demonstration volunteers and project report volunteers to be prepared for meeting presentations.