Adult Advisors

Apply today for an adult advisor position with Wisconsin 4-H! Adult advisors travel to many different cities across the United States with youth participants to serve as mentors, guides, and support for the youth on the programs. Adults are responsible for the well being of all youth participants and must work as a team to ensure that an experience runs smoothly. You can find out more about being an adult advisor below.

What opportunities exist?

  • Space Camp (April);
  • Summer Academy (June);
  • Citizenship Washington Focus in Washington, D.C. (June-July);
  • National 4-H Congress in Atlanta, Georgia (late November);
  • Arts Experiences (varies)
  • Animal Science Experiences (varies)

Who can apply?

  • Applicants must be at least 21 years old (25 for some experiences) at time of program.
  • Applicants must have completed all required volunteer/chaperone trainings (including the supporting youth mental health training) at least 30 days prior to the first day of travel.

What are the expectations of Adult Advisors?

  • Applicants must be in good physical condition to withstand rigors associated with the program. Expect much walking on hard surfaces, handling luggage, and sharing a sleeping room. Sleep deficit is common.
  • Space Camp, Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF), and American Spirit Experience leaders can expect long bus rides.
  • CWF participants usually experience high temperatures with humidity in Washington D.C.
  • Public speaking is required.
  • Adult leaders must work cooperatively with fellow Adult Advisor Team Members and remain with the delegation at all times during the program.
  • Adult leaders are required to submit a report and evaluation upon completion of the program.
  • Participation at scheduled Zoom or in-person orientations is mandatory.

How much time does it require?

  • Advisors are required to attend both Adult Advisor and delegate orientations.
  • Preparatory time and time to complete a follow-up report and evaluation must also be scheduled.
  • Most programs are for three to seven days but international programs are four to eight weeks, depending on the program.

What does it cost?

Registration, lodging, and travel expenses are covered for national programs; some meals are at the Adult Advisor’s expense.

Selected international Advisors will need passports and physicians’ reports; some fees apply.

What are the criteria for Advisor selection?

  • Motivation: An applicant’s first and foremost reason for applying must be motivated by a genuine desire to lead a youth group, attending to the group’s welfare and education, not for a vacation or to experience a son or daughter’s program.
  • Experience: An applicant must have previous experience chaperoning local, county, district, or state overnight or extended programs, whether for 4-H, school, Scouts, or other youth groups.
  • Gender: Youth must be represented by adults of their same gender.
  • Geographic location: Bus travel for CWF, Space Camp, and American Spirit originate in Eau Claire where an Advisor is needed at the initial loading site for each program. If a leader is not from that area, it should be noted on the application if he/she is willing to board/disembark at Eau Claire. National Congress requires Advisors at three or four widely dispersed airports.
  • Interpersonal communication: Leaders must be team players who work together.
  • Leadership ability. Effective teams unify a variety of talents: organization, “people skills”, guiding, etc.
  • Previous travel experience: National Congress leaders must have flight experience; international Advisors must have traveled internationally at least once.
  • Sense of humor! A vital part of state and national 4-H programs is having fun, both for youth and adults.

How do I apply?

Please submit your interest through this Qualtrics form.

A complete application must be submitted to WI State 4-H by 4:30pm January 30. (Dec. 1 for international programs). A reference is required, it is included in the application packet. A phone interview may also be conducted. All applicants will be notified of their status in early March (except for National Congress, notified in July). If you would like a paper copy of the application, please contact Justin at or 608-263-5971.

Each program has a different focus with different desired attributes for leaders. If someone doesn’t fit into one position, they might be great elsewhere. If you are not selected this year, please don’t be discouraged! Apply again next year!

2024 Wisconsin 4-H Adult Leader Information

Adult Leader Positions Available:

The Lead Adult for the Adult Advisor Team is the primary contact with the program staff and the State 4-H Office Staff, they register the group on-site, and help with some logistics.

All Adult Advisors work closely with the other Advisor Team Members to carry out the duties necessary for a successful group experience. This includes monitoring the conduct and health of delegates, enforcing rules/expectations, working closely with Adult Advisor Team Members and/or youth advisors, working in cooperation with the program staff, and serving in a leadership role as a Day Coordinator.

Adult Advisors are active 4-H volunteers that have completed all required 4-H volunteer trainings. Adult Advisors assist by monitoring youth activities, conducting meetings and assisting with operational committee work. Youth will be under the direct supervision of older youth leaders and/or adults. The ratio of adults to youth participants is approximately 1:10. Health staff consists of volunteers who have first aid and/or nursing training. Participants will eat in public cafeterias, fast food or other restaurants, or have box meals or hotel complementary breakfasts; sleep in a single bed in a dorm room with a roommate of the same gender; and use a dorm restroom with private showers; males and female participants are housed on separate floors or areas of the dorm. To the best of our ability, Adult Advisors are assigned to rooms on the same floors as their assigned delegates. Meals are prepared in large industrial or restaurant kitchens so individual meal accommodations may not be possible. Depending on the program, adults and youth participate in large group activities which may involve any of the following: discussion, writing, reading aloud, arts and crafts; role plays or skits, running, dancing, climbing stairs, standing or sitting for long periods, or having personal contact with other participants; they may walk long distances on sidewalks or hike up to ½ mile over steep terrain; for off-site excursions they may ride coaches or school buses up to 50 miles away, and may do physical activities such as working with carpentry or gardening tools. National 4-H Congress participants will fly on commercial airliners between Minneapolis or Milwaukee and Atlanta. National 4-H Congress and Citizenship Washington Focus participants will ride on public subway systems with others from their group. See for detailed individual program descriptions.

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