April 23-29 marked National Volunteer Week. DCI.org recently took a look at just a few of the many personalities that spend their time volunteering with drum corps. There are many drum corps out there that you can contact to find out how you too can become a volunteer. Name, hometown: Lois and Marty Fricke, Winslow Township, N.J. Which corps do you volunteer with, how did you get started and how long have you been at it?
Lois: My husband and children were involved with the Jersey Surf from the birth of the corps. If I wanted to see them, then I guess I needed to be there. I decided to make it a family affair. I have been volunteering since 1991.
Marty: I was involved with local corps in Southern Jersey starting at the age of 10 until around the age of 17. I needed to get my life together, so I never "aged out," and just became too busy with school and work to be able to continue. When my son joined the school marching band, I started to help with the booster organization. That is where I met Jersey Surf director Bob Jacobs and became interested with his plans to start a corps once again in Southern Jersey. Since this is where my first love was, I have been at it ever since. What kind of work do you do with the corps?
L: Presently, I am the treasurer.
M: My official title is "business manager," but you never do only one thing. Whatever needs to get done, we all chip in and make it happen. What is your favorite part of being a volunteer?
L: Getting to know the individual members and the new adult volunteers every year, and working with them to make things happen.
M: There are a lot of "favorite parts" that happen all year long, from the first camp in November, to the goodbyes in August. You need these things to happen all year long to give you the positive energy to keep going. What is the most difficult part of being a volunteer?
L: Time. There's not enough.
M: I have to agree with Lois on that one. There is never enough time to get done all the things that you set out to do. Maybe that is why we keep doing this year after year, to try and get it all done. Do you have any favorite memories or anecdotes from your years as a volunteer?
L: The most memorable times for me was every time I watched my children perform.
M: It happens every year, to see the look on the members' faces when they come off the field after performing. There's a special moment when they know that that was the one performance they were looking for, that one when they know they left it all out there. What are you most looking forward to during the 2006 season?
L: Seeing the veterans have a greater experience than the previous year and the rookies having the greatest experience that they have ever known.
M: Lois hit that one on the head. What advice do you have for those who would like to get involved as a volunteer with a corps?
L: Take it slow, be constructive, listen to the experienced volunteers, but be willing to relate your own experiences. Realize that no matter what job you are asked to do, it's important for the final result, putting the corps on the field for a performance.
M: If you want to get involved with a drum corps, then please, just do it! If you have the time to give, then they need you to come out and help. Jersey Surf's entire adult staff is made up of volunteers, from the instructors to the mechanics. We do it because we see what it can mean for the members and their entire experience.