In the midst of touring season, there is always another project to conquer, and there is always room for more people to help conquer them. From driving a vehicle to assisting with the food truck, volunteers consistently help make the show happen.
Volunteers are much more than luxuries when it comes to drum corps—often times they are an essential piece to the functionality of the organization. Whether it's for a day, a week, or the entire season, they play an important role in everything the drum corps is able to accomplish.
"We really couldn't function without volunteers," said Volunteer Coordinator, Chelsea Stamet Davis. "As much as our administrative staff does, they can't be everywhere. We need the volunteer manpower."
Much like the administrative team, the volunteer position is hard to define. It consists of whatever the present moment requires to help propel the drum corps, and provides a consistently full schedule.
Tim Stephenson, who aged out with the Crossmen in 2015 and spent three weeks this summer volunteering, spoke briefly on his experience. "I did whatever I could find," said Stephenson. "I mostly drove, but I helped push the speakers, build props, make airport runs—I also washed my fair share of dishes."
Volunteers also often-times bring a special or unique set of skills to the table that might not be present on the administrative staff. Whether people realize it or not when signing up, these skills can often prove to be more than helpful to the organization.
"People who can work well with electronics or sewing, or people with CDLs are who we depend on to help us do drum corps," said Davis.
From former Crossmen to parents of current members, volunteering is also a rewarding way to see the 'other side' of how a drum corps functions.
"As a volunteer, I really appreciated how much goes into the 'off the field' business of a drum corps," said Stephenson. "I thought I had a good idea of how much everyone works as a member, but now I understand how much everyone is doing behind the scenes to make the season special."
Another volunteer, Austin Hager, who is spending his entire summer with the Crossmen, spoke on his time thus far with the corps.
"I marched Crossmen Winds in 2017 and wanted to be hands-on with the corps for the summer," said Hager. "This has mad me realize how hard everyone works to make sure the members have everything they need."
Volunteers give back to the organization in a truly exclusive way. Their bond with the members is morally uplifting while their logistical assistance keeps the corps up and running smoothly. The unique support that they provide helps to both better the corps and strengthen the family bond of everyone involved.
The Crossmen are incredibly grateful to everyone who has poured into the lives of the members by taking time to help behind the scenes.