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One of my biggest regrets in life was never marching in a drum corp. I marched drumline in a very competative high school band where most our staff was former Suncoast Sound members. It was back in the 91-94 time period that I was introduced to DCI. I even marched with a guy who marched contra for Cadets in 93.

Anyway fastforward to now. I love drum corps and drumlines especially. I am a middle school/high school math teacher and have the summers off. I am still single and not married or have kids. While attending the Atlanta regional I realized that I am the perfect person to spend my summer volunteering with a corp. Why this hasn't hit me sooner I do not know. Perhaps I thought that plenty of people want to go on tour and that corps weren't looking for volunteers. After spending some time here at DCP, I realized that corps still are looking for volunteers. I did some reading up on different corps websites about volunteering. Some corps, like the Colts, do a good job of giving you an idea about what spending time on tour entails.

Would you say that basically all corps have the same basic routine for those who spend time volunteering on tour (ie cooks for example)? Am I crazy to think that I could go out with a corp for the whole summer or the majority of the summer? Are there corps in which I would be better off with than others? I have a few that I am generally bigger fans of but I am open as to which I would want to go on tour with. Does it matter that I never marched in a corps? Would a corp want me as a volunteer?

Any advice that you can give me is welcomed and you can send me a private message if you want.

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First - WAR EAGLE! (I noticed you are in Auburn, AL) With that out of the way, I must say that you sound like the perfect corps volunteer candidate. My suggestions:

Decide which corps you would like to volunteer with and what you would enjoy doing (cook crew, sewing, driving, etc.). As a novice, you should base your orginal choice on your observations of the organizations, your contacts when expressing your interest in volunteering, and where you feel you would be most comfortable and would have the best experience. Volunteering for one or more winter camps would be the best way to choose the best fit for a tour stint. Also, I would advise against volunteering for the entire summer at first. Do a week or two and see how you like it first! Drum corps touring is not for everyone and if you do not function well under tour conditions and schedules, you will be miserable!

If you find the right organizational fit and the right tour job - you will have the time of your life while working as hard or harder than you ever have in your life! Contact one or more corps of your choice and start gathering info. Obvious Division I choices for you (based on location) would be Spirit and/or Crown. However, every corps relies heavily on its volunteer base, so inquire wherever your heart takes you. If you take the initiative to get involved somewhere, I absolutely promise that you will not regret it!

Good luck! Hopefully, I'll see you on the road next summer!

Edited by ^Michael^
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Well put if you find a corps or two that you feel you might be interested in do try visiting & volunteering at one of the winter camps. This will help you get the feel of what it's all about. I promise you it will be one of the hardest jobs you have done but with the most satisfaction, and the wonderful people you will meet and all the talented kids , there is nothing that can top that. I say this as a proud parent of a Jr Corps member & a Senior corps members of two corps. I am a drum corps mom and I volunteer one the cook truck for the Colts & Sell souvies for the senior corps Chops Inc. There is nothing to compare this experience to.

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I might add you may want to start by volunteering at some camps during the weekend if you can. That will give you a good idea of what you are in for. Volunteering is hard work!

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Drummergirl,

As a long time volunteer for a top 12 corps, as a single teacher with her summers off, and as someone who always wished she would have been ablo to do drum corps--let me encourage you with all of my being to go for it!

I suggest you think about several corps that you might be interested in volunteering for and try them all. Every corps is a little different; every corps is a lot the same. Contact their websites and you will be put in touch with the volunteer coordinator. I also highly suggest that you not sign up for the whole summer. Tour gets LONG and TIRING! After trying tour out and finding the right fit, you can volunteer for a longer time the next summer. Camps are great times to get acquainted if you can get to a camp.

As a teacher you need some down time to prepare for the next school year and to recover from the year you just finished. :) Give yourself a little time to do that next summer, and have the time of your life on tour with drum corps. Good luck! I think you'll have a blast!!!

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  • 2 months later...

Boy, I wish I were still teaching and had the summer off to volunteer! My husband and I spent 3 days cooking on Miss Amana for SCV while they were in Denver. The staff was great, the kids were great and we had a fantastic time. It looked like the volunteers did have down time, but they did work hard. I would love to be able to volunteer for the summer!!

Good luck and have fun!

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Update: I have not made any plans for the summer yet. I am considering getting involved in the activity on a full time basis if the opportunity arises. So, if anybody knows a need for a highly organized detailed person somewhere let me know!

Contact George Hopkins with the Cadets at hop@yea.org . Tell him that I referred you.

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Boy, I wish I were still teaching and had the summer off to volunteer! My husband and I spent 3 days cooking on Miss Amana for SCV while they were in Denver. The staff was great, the kids were great and we had a fantastic time. It looked like the volunteers did have down time, but they did work hard. I would love to be able to volunteer for the summer!!

Good luck and have fun!

I highly recommend it. We had such a blast.

And the kids of SCV.... :huh:

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