Can I be a teacher’s assistant on the volunteer staff?

Volunteers serve as teacher assistants in the morning classes and help run the camp in many other ways. If you’re interested in doing this, you should know about what’s involved.

First of all, your motive should be to help run the camp (as opposed to “getting in free”). Everyone at camp, staff and students alike, has time to have fun, but if you’re on staff it is hoped that you’re sincerely interested in doing what you can to help make the camp be all it can be for the students, and help the directors get the behind-the-scenes work done so that camp runs smoothly.

We need at least one person at each camp to help out with our Music & More program, which involves being musical and great with kids (aged preschool to pre-teen).

We also have an on-site yoga teacher, photographer, doctor or nurse, and masseuse--feel free to get in touch if you are interested in any of those positions, which are sometimes paid and sometimes worked out in trade.

Most of the rest of our volunteers serve as teaching assistants, and for one of those positions you should be fairly proficient on at least one instrument, or preferably two, (and/or be a good singer), and be interested in, or better yet have some experience in, teaching or helping teach. To this end, it helps to have at least one reference from someone the director knows and trusts, like for example any of the instructors she’s worked with in the past.

You should like to work! as there is plenty of work involved in running the camp. Some of it is fun (playing music for the clogging class, working with an admired instructor in the morning classes, etc) and some more mundane (parking cars, putting up signs, running errands, etc). But in any case, a good attitude about working in general is definitely a desirable attribute for any potential camp volunteer.

Then there are certain skills that are definite pluses. For example, help is always needed with publicity. This involves knowing your way around the internet and being able to find where musicians are likely to discover links to the camp website; chatting it up on Facebook or other similar sites; contacting radio stations, newspapers, newsletters, music teachers, etc; helping make sure we have fliers at bluegrass and oldtime events, etc etc etc. If this is something you’d be good at and like to do, you would be a very valuable volunteer and since most of this work happens before camp, you wouldn’t be obligated to do as much work at the camp itself.

Graphic artists also could provide valuable help, website managers and other people who are good with computers in general. 

Finally, know that we are trying to build a team of assistants who are willing to commit to coming to most or all of our camps and take on at least one other camp job besides helping out in class; in other words, with some exceptions this works out best on a semi-permanent basis.

If some or all of this is sounding like it has your name on it, get in touch and we can talk about it. These positions, when they're available, fill up fast, so the best time to apply is in May for the fall camp, or in November for the spring camp. Contact director Ingrid Noyes at 415-663-6030 after 9 a.m. or