Counties across Minnesota are in the process of updating the county constitution/by-laws in which volunteers have a role, so it is important to refresh our understanding of and be clear about the definition of volunteers as a part of the Minnesota 4-H program.
There is a difference between being a Minnesota 4-H volunteer (has been accepted officially through our process) and the act of volunteering. People may volunteer to help at the fair or project days, bring food to a club meeting or even contribute input/opinion/perspective when asked. However, that does not mean he/she is a Minnesota 4-H volunteer unless he/she has completed the application, screening, orientation (and hopefully training although not required).
County 4-H federations/leaders councils are places where decisions are made that impact the local 4-H Youth Development program. 4-H members and Minnesota 4-H adult volunteers, based on this definition, are the individuals who make up the membership of these groups and have voting rights on the decisions made.
Over the years 4-H programs across the state have often used the word "leader" interchangeably with "volunteer". However, to be an adult leader in our organization you need to be a Minnesota 4-H volunteer. We intentionally went away from term "4-H leader" to "4-H volunteer" when the screening process was revised and updated. I hope this clarification will be helpful, not only as you work on the constitution/by-laws review, but in all of the work which involves volunteers in your county.