Has anyone ever volunteered at Airventure?

SixPapaCharlie

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I am thinking about signing up to volunteer this year but I am wondering if I can just volunteer for 1 day. Also wonder if I get to choose what I do.
I think it would be cool to get the behind the scenes perspective and document the unsung heroes that donate their time to make the show go on.

That said, I would rather hold the megaphone on the back of the tram or help guide planes to and from parking then be the guy cleaning toilets after a bunch of Bonanza pilots have destroyed them.
If you have volunteered, how does it work, how much choice do you get with respect to schedule and duties?



Interesting note: Last year I got to talking to the volunteer guy on one of the shuttles dressed as Santa for some reason. He said the volunteers still have to pay for admission and basically everything. That kinda sucks.
 
Just remember that the type class is preceded by fools, then damn fools.
 
I am thinking about signing up to volunteer this year but I am wondering if I can just volunteer for 1 day. Also wonder if I get to choose what I do.
I think it would be cool to get the behind the scenes perspective and document the unsung heroes that donate their time to make the show go on.

That said, I would rather hold the megaphone on the back of the tram or help guide planes to and from parking then be the guy cleaning toilets after a bunch of Bonanza pilots have destroyed them.
If you have volunteered, how does it work, how much choice do you get with respect to schedule and duties?



Interesting note: Last year I got to talking to the volunteer guy on one of the shuttles dressed as Santa for some reason. He said the volunteers still have to pay for admission and basically everything. That kinda sucks.
Buddy of mine volunteers every year and reports that there is definitely a hierarchy and you don't get the plum gigs until you have put in the time to earn them. Which is about what one would expect.
 
Buddy of mine volunteers every year and reports that there is definitely a hierarchy and you don't get the plum gigs until you have put in the time to earn them. Which is about what one would expect.
That's fair
 
I met Jack Pelton on the Hill when he testified last year at a T&I hearing. His team invited me to volunteer with Government Affairs team at OSH last year.
 
I am thinking about signing up to volunteer this year but I am wondering if I can just volunteer for 1 day. Also wonder if I get to choose what I do.
I think it would be cool to get the behind the scenes perspective and document the unsung heroes that donate their time to make the show go on.

That said, I would rather hold the megaphone on the back of the tram or help guide planes to and from parking then be the guy cleaning toilets after a bunch of Bonanza pilots have destroyed them.
If you have volunteered, how does it work, how much choice do you get with respect to schedule and duties?



Interesting note: Last year I got to talking to the volunteer guy on one of the shuttles dressed as Santa for some reason. He said the volunteers still have to pay for admission and basically everything. That kinda sucks.
I’m not sure about other groups, but I get free admission, camping, sandwiches, and a few other perks. They expect me to put in 40 hours though, and I do more than that. They cleared out a lot of volunteers a few years ago for not meeting the criteria.

You might be able to volunteer for a day, but I’m not sure what the training is for some of the jobs.
 
Do you have any specific but less common skills? Language, A&P, ...

Volunteering is set up in a lot of fiefdoms so while you can choose the fief, the opportunities are somewhat related to your available skills till you pay your dues. I don't expect you get Tram or Aircraft direction duty without a lot of dues paid.

I've volunteered extensively for the International Visitors Test (Portuguese speaker) and also at the Sea Base. The Sea Base is a great place to volunteer as they are usually needing help, even their basic jobs are still in the nice confines of the Sea Base, and if you decide to make a habit of it there's lots to grow into.
 
I have for many years. Mostly at kid venture. It’s fun working with the kids and parents
 
I’ve tried to volunteer a couple of times, including the Seaplane Base. I even said I’d do First Aid. They’ve put me on various lists, but never actually asked me to do anything.

Screw ‘em.
 
I have volnteered the past twenty five years in Vintage.

I currently maintain the volunteer management software for the vintage flight line (along with the system that looks up N numbers to see if they are legal to park in Vintage).

Vintage flight line holds training sessions every day and 9AM and 1PM at our building across from the Hangar Cafe. You only need to attend one training (each year). THen you can work as much or as little as you like after that.
 
This will be my 3rd year volunteering. As the dates for the show grow nearer, some of the areas that need volunteers will post here: https://www.eaa.org/eaa/support-eaa...ture/available-airventure-volunteer-positions
You can also post your desire on the EAA Facebook page. But for a number of areas it’s basically finding out who the vol lead is and asking them directly.

During the show they used to post a list of where they need help by the Red Barn across from the Fly-Mart but I’m not sure if they still do that.

You can volunteer as much or as little as you like, but as mentioned if you volunteer for 20 hrs you get a weekly wrist band for the following year, and 40 hrs gets you free camping the following year. You also get a free lunch on the days you volunteer.
 
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Honeck's volunteered for like a week last year pre-show and had a great time from what i heard. Sounded like EAA provided good food and lots of it.

@tsts4 is the free camping reward for the whole week? That gets to be real money.

If I had a vintage airplane, I'd be in contact with flyingron. I'd also get there early for prime parking. Alas, I have a modern airplane that's only 50 years old :tongue:

If i was an IT nerd i'd try to leverage that into a cushy air conditioned volunteer post supporting the computers in some registration kiosk or something. Maybe Ryan dembrowski could hook you up with a job interviewing people. I enjoyed his interviews on the plaza last year.

In the north 40, half of the second row is reserved for n40 volunteers. Pretty prime spot; we had to get there Thursday to park next to them. The story I got is that they're awarded by discretion of the n40 chairman for people who do a lot of work up there.

Every year I say I'm going to go volunteer, and then I don't. I think going up early, claiming a good camping spot, and working for a few days might be fun. My skills are probably best suited to that pre-show building/ painting/ maintenance type stuff like Jay did. Teresa and I have theorized that we'd make a good tram operator team some day when we don't have kids in tow. I'm already a qualified compact tractor driver, and she's good at riding around and telling people where to go.
 
@tsts4 is the free camping reward for the whole week? That gets to be real money.
Yes and actually I believe it covers the entire period you’re there. For example, if you show up the week before the show you get comped the whole time and not just the week of the show itself. But I’m not 100% sure if there’s a max comp as we’ve never volunteered enough to get the camping as we camp in Sleepy Hollow so it wouldn’t do us any good. However, we do the min 20hrs in order to get weekly wrist bands which saves us $240 which we then blow on beer, brats, and cheese curds at SoS Bros. https://www.eaa.org/-/media/volunteer-handbook-2023.ashx
 
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I'd like to think that when I get some more time in retirement I might go up a week or month early and volunteer some for set-up stuff. I'm not so sure I'd want to work 40 hour weeks during the show though.... too much stuff to see.....but then I suppose folks that stay the full week year after year they've seen it all too many times, so just a little free time is enough.
 
There is always something new to see and do to fill a week at Oshkosh. If I’m using vacation time from work and spending a small fortune to be there I’m certainly not volunteering to clean toilets nor am I spending years doing menial work just do get a chance to volunteer for something more interesting. The fiefdoms that have been setup around the more interesting jobs are ultimately going to be the shows downfall and something eaa is going to have to address if they are counting on volunteers in future years to keep the show running.
 
There is always something new to see and do to fill a week at Oshkosh. If I’m using vacation time from work and spending a small fortune to be there I’m certainly not volunteering to clean toilets nor am I spending years doing menial work just do get a chance to volunteer for something more interesting. The fiefdoms that have been setup around the more interesting jobs are ultimately going to be the shows downfall and something eaa is going to have to address if they are counting on volunteers in future years to keep the show running.
I don’t think it’s as hard to get into interesting vol jobs as you think it is. I have zero connections with anyone and simply asked and bingo. Also knocking out 20 hrs for the week is pretty easy. 40 hrs is a bit harder but it can be done and still have lots of time to do/see stuff on your own. The long pole would possibly be scheduling work around a specific time that you want to do something.
 
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Vintage volunteering isn't restricted to vintage members or even people with airplanes. We have positions from marshalling airplanes, parking them, playing crossing guard for the two points where airplanes cross the roads, working in the operations area (checking volunteers in and out and operating the radio), crowd control during the airshow (and unfortunately during emergencies like the airplane crashes), providing refreshments to the other volunteers, transporting volunteers to the various work locations, etc... I've done just about everything there over the years (I started by answering the radio calls for N number lookups my first year as I had injured my foot and couldn't walk far or ride the scooters).

I've not bought a campsite credential or wristband in years. Vintage Flight LIne had over 12,000 hours of volunteers last year.
 
I don’t think it’s as hard to get into interesting vol jobs as you think it is. I have zero connections with anyone and simply asked and bingo.
What vol job are you doing?
 
Yep plus the other 3 wagons.
So, what exactly do you do? I think there's a n40 welcome committee, but I have no idea of their purpose. Not a homebuilder, so even less of an idea of what you do, although I've seen the hacked up vans with bench seats driving around.
 
So, what exactly do you do? I think there's a n40 welcome committee, but I have no idea of their purpose. Not a homebuilder, so even less of an idea of what you do, although I've seen the hacked up vans with bench seats driving around.
So the Homebuilt Welcome Wagon operates 4 converted mini-vans (well I think the Pope mobile is a 1/4 ton pickup) as a free taxi service (we do take donations) within the confines of the airfield to include Camp Scholler. The main purpose is to schlep Experimental pilots (and their gear) in HBP and HBC from their plane to registration, campsites, and pretty much anywhere inside the fence line they want to go and back. However, we'll pick anyone up that wants a ride, regardless of what they fly of even if they are a pilot. We do a pretty steady business running folks from all the camping areas to the Friar Tuck gate and back all day long. However, this past year I pretty much drove all over, from Basler down to the southern edge of S40, all over Scholler, and out to the Museum. We have a dispatch that fields requests for rides, radios, and GPS trackers so dispatch can direct the nearest wagon for pickups.
 
So the Homebuilt Welcome Wagon operates 4 converted mini-vans (well I think the Pope mobile is a 1/4 ton pickup) as a free taxi service (we do take donations) within the confines of the airfield to include Camp Scholler. The main purpose is to schlep Experimental pilots (and their gear) in HBP and HBC from their plane to registration, campsites, and pretty much anywhere inside the fence line they want to go and back. However, we'll pick anyone up that wants a ride, regardless of what they fly of even if they are a pilot. We do a pretty steady business running folks from all the camping areas to the Friar Tuck gate and back all day long. However, this past year I pretty much drove all over, from Basler down to the southern edge of S40, all over Scholler, and out to the Museum. We have a dispatch that fields requests for rides, radios, and GPS trackers so dispatch can direct the nearest wagon for pickups.
I always appreciate the ride from warbird parking to the registration area. I had no idea people were going all over the field in those things! It really is like a little city.
 
So the Homebuilt Welcome Wagon operates 4 converted mini-vans (well I think the Pope mobile is a 1/4 ton pickup) as a free taxi service (we do take donations) within the confines of the airfield to include Camp Scholler. The main purpose is to schlep Experimental pilots (and their gear) in HBP and HBC from their plane to registration, campsites, and pretty much anywhere inside the fence line they want to go and back. However, we'll pick anyone up that wants a ride, regardless of what they fly of even if they are a pilot. We do a pretty steady business running folks from all the camping areas to the Friar Tuck gate and back all day long. However, this past year I pretty much drove all over, from Basler down to the southern edge of S40, all over Scholler, and out to the Museum. We have a dispatch that fields requests for rides, radios, and GPS trackers so dispatch can direct the nearest wagon for pickups.
I had no idea. So many questions. Is there a phone number to call to get a ride? What hours do you operate? Is it listed in the show book and I missed it? Is it kept on the downlow to prevent people abusing it? I always just assumed it was a special perk for the homebuilders, because, well EAA.

What else do I not know about Airventure? That's probably worth its own thread.
 
If you park in HBC or HBP, you’ll be given the number for the welcome wagon. It is a service provided by and aimed at the homebuilt community. If you are hoofing it around the site you may be able to hitch a ride even if you’re not a homebuilder. But the priority customers and the ones who are supposed to have call on demand access are the homebuilders
 
I had no idea. So many questions. Is there a phone number to call to get a ride? What hours do you operate? Is it listed in the show book and I missed it? Is it kept on the downlow to prevent people abusing it? I always just assumed it was a special perk for the homebuilders, because, well EAA.

What else do I not know about Airventure? That's probably worth its own thread.

So the Wagons start operating on the Thursday before the show but with minimal service as the volunteers' are flowing in-- we're up to 100% by Saturday. That Sat-Mon is our busiest period. The wagons run 8AM-8PM and can start as early as 7AM on that first Sat and Sun. It is a Homebuilders perk (our work area/dispatch is next to Homebuilt Registration) and that community is the priority, but we'll support everyone as much as we can.
 
So the Wagons start operating on the Thursday before the show but with minimal service as the volunteers' are flowing in-- we're up to 100% by Saturday. That Sat-Mon is our busiest period. The wagons run 8AM-8PM and can start as early as 7AM on that first Sat and Sun. It is a Homebuilders perk (our work area/dispatch is next to Homebuilt Registration) and that community is the priority, but we'll support everyone as much as we can.
That all makes sense. Harder for them to get around before the trams & busses start running. Nice to know I could thumb a ride though if I see one going my way.
 
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