The success of the Festival stems from the hard work and hospitality offered by our corps of dedicated volunteers. We invite you to join the team!
Each year we recruit, train and depend upon more than 1,200 volunteers to make the whole event happen. While mostly from Talbot County, some even travel from across the country simply for the fun of volunteering at our annual event. Festival planning and preparations go on year round, so volunteers are always needed for a multitude of tasks. More than 60 volunteer committee chairs invest hours of their time coordinating Festival details and they, in turn, depend on hundreds of others to help get things done. Volunteer opportunities are small to large, easy to extensive – but always much appreciated!
Our artifacts exhibit is located in the cafeteria of Easton High School and houses some of the most priceless sporting and eastern shore heritage treasures of museum and private collections.
Previous Chairs: Kim Newcomb has chaired for several years and is looking for a co chair to help her assist this year.
During the months prior, this chairman will contact past year exhibitors to ensure they are coming this year. They may decide on a loose theme for the year for exhibitors to base their display around. They will develop signage requests and provide content ideas for the Official Guide.
Throughout the Festival weekend this chair will assist with layout, set up as well as take shifts being the “go to” at the exhibit.
The Chesapeake Marketplace is a large and dynamic venue, marketed as the place for families to “shop, play, eat and rest.” with a large variety of artisan’s, conservation activities, food vendors and more.
Be on the lookout for fresh vendors to reach out to throughout the year.
Reach out to children’s programs such as authors, Chesapeake mermaid, etc for activities.
Work throughout the year with office staff, school point person for Festival and participants on logistics for the site Festival weekend.
Work with the Cathy and the Conservation chair for layout and scheduling of activities in the classroom
During Festival weekend, be the “go-to” for youth and adult volunteers, as well as vendors and food concessions. Set up and layout are typically Wednesday to Thursday. Throughout the weekend, there will likely be shift work between you and Cathy and others on your team.
This has become a favorite of the middle school as it ties conservation, art and sporting into one family friendly free activity! With this popularity, participation is limited to 25- 30 kids per class usually held on mornings for multiple days of the Festival. Our chairmen lead the “class” through painting a unique 7” ceramic decoy painting, while pointing out special characteristics of the species and techniques a real artist might use. The chair has minimal prep work in prior months but does need to be present for all three days of the Festival.
Typically Leslie will order decoys in early summer for a “ducksitter” youth volunteer to get their service learning hours in by priming and attaching a “keel” for little hands to hold onto while painting. The keels we use are actually pieces from a Jenga game hot glued on to give a real decoy feel as well as something for the kiddos to hold on to.
Chairmen should paint a few samples of the bird so they can figure out the best order to instruct the painting, special features of the bird to highlight, and order for the colors to paint. Photos of the bird in their environment should also be sent to the office for printing for each table.
We have tubs of paint brushes, easels, and misc supplies that need to be picked through and updated annually for wear and tear. Replacements and unique paint colors for the year will need to be ordered. The office can either reimburse you or you may send specific online links for them to order directly for you. There will also be kraft paper to cover the tables and sign up tickets for the children supplied by the middle school.
This is a great job for a few ducksitters to help with by pouring and distributing paint and supplies, however the art room this is hosted in can get pretty crowded with parents, strollers and “kid stuff.” Parents also usually assist their own children through the activity. Ducksitters can be requested through the office in a form distributed in September.
Sort of along the lines of “Night at the Museum,” only hopefully with no exhibits coming to life! While some exhibits are watched overnight by the Easton Police Department and Civil Air Patrol, others are volunteer run. This position organizes all to make sure venues are covered and has the advantage of being after hours and not missing any of the Festival excitement!
Past Chairmen: This vacant position has been done by Leslie in the office. Dave Renshaw has done it in the past before that but not at a chairman level.
Timeline: In late summer, check in with chairmen of Art, Sporting and other venues requiring security. From there, create a “signup genius” schedule to distribute to past volunteers and new volunteers to choose their slot. When filled, send the schedule out to chairmen of who they can expect. During the Festival, security starts Wednesday with the last shifts being Sunday morning. The chair will need to be on call especially when shifts are starting.
Volunteers: There are two longtime volunteers who have always been willing to take a shift or two. Ducksitters or volunteers under 21 are not eligible for this position unless volunteering with their parents.
The photography chair will work with Festival office staff to invite exhibitors, layout exhibit spaces, and assign booth spaces. Chair will be responsible for oversight of exhibit set-up, breakdown, recruitment and coordination of volunteers for Festival weekend. We are looking to enrich and expand this venue in years to come. Feel free to bring along a co-chair if you’d like.
Organize the soundtrack of the Festival! From large street concerts to duos in the Beer Wetlands, music sets the tone for the crowd. We currently have a few ‘regular’ volunteer individuals and groups of musicians, but we need someone to organize and schedule them. This chairmanship usually starts around Labor Day, by starting to contact potential acts off of a compiled list of past musicians and those who have expressed an interest in performing. Over the Festival weekend, the Chair needs to be available to run extension cords for electric in Thompson Park and at the Beer Wetlands at the Bullitt House. They should also show up to greet/thank the volunteer musicians when they are setting up for their performance and give them volunteer badges. At the end of each day, the extension cords need to be stowed. This work could be broken up into more manageable ‘Day Chair’ positions, too.