By Allison Owen Volunteering is something anyone involved in drum corps should do at least once during
life. If you're a recent ageout or if you wish you had marched years ago, you should volunteer. Whether it's a camp weekend or half of tour during the summer, volunteer. It is a completely different side of drum corps that many don't get the chance to see. A lot of stuff goes on behind the scenes that members often don't know about. While members are rehearsing, volunteers are trying to thaw out hot dog buns outside in the winter cold for snack that night, or they're devising ways to keep other food warm. During the summer especially, long after lights out, the volunteers can be found cleaning up snack or setting things out for meals the next day. While members are still sleeping, volunteers wake up to prepare breakfast. In order for members to get hot breakfast, someone has to get up and make it before we're awake. I always knew that the support staff had odd hours and had to be either crazy or extremely dedicated to the corps to do what they do. I don't think I knew just how amazing these people truly are, though. If you see a volunteer, make sure to thank them for making your food or taking care of your medical needs. They work some very difficult hours -- especially on tour -- and deserve to be given credit for all that they do. Volunteers have a set schedule just like anyone in the corps to meet. They also have the task of planning and preparing healthy and strengthening meals. When food isn't ready exactly on time, crazy things can happen. Did you ever have a day on tour when the pasta was taking longer than normal to cook and it ended up taking up meal time? In Troy, Ala., in July 2004, I experienced an incident much like that. This was not the cook crew's fault, the pasta just hadn't thawed enough, and then it took way longer than expected to cook. This weekend I got the chance to volunteer for Carolina Crown's brass and percussion camp. I had an idea of what to expect, but I didn't know just how much planning goes into how things are run. Everything in the food truck has its right place and everything works out if things are in proper order. Sometimes things don't work exactly as planned, but in the end the volunteers figure it out and fix whatever the problem is. Carolina Crown is blessed with some great really people that volunteer. I'd like to send a special hello to Susan Murphy, a truly amazing volunteer. I met a lot of awesome people this weekend that I probably wouldn't get the chance to meet during a normal camp weekend, but I'm glad I did. Members and volunteers don't get too much opportunity to converse, but whenever we get a chance as members we should thank those who volunteer to help out. After this weekend, I know that I'll make sure I don't miss any chance to thank a volunteer for his or her efforts. Allison Owen, 17, is a senior at Sullivan Central High School in Blountville, Tenn. She was assistant conductor at Southwind, and she enjoys dancing, performing, color guard, writing, English, and having fun. She plans on attending Western Carolina University next fall.. High Release archives