Volunteer

Your help is invited... and needed!

Since its inception in 1963, the Mandarins have been sponsored by an all-volunteer Booster Club of parents and other supporters. It is their tireless support which helps the Mandarins achieve continued success as a positive youth organization. The Mandarins program is fortunate to have support from many parents and friends who donate their time and talents to the success of the program.

The Mandarins thrives because of the generous support given by parents, friends and alumni. There are many opportunities available to help, including Bingo, kitchen crew at camps and on tour, truck driving, uniform fitting and alteration, and equipment repair.

Monthly Training Camp Volunteer Opportunities

  • For Registration, volunteers are needed to help check in members/staff.
  • For Transportation, volunteers are needed to:
    • Drive a box truck with equipment from warehouse to/from the camp. Regular license is needed.
    • Drive a rental tractor truck to move the equipment/food trailers to/from camp ‐ a CDL is needed.
  • For Sewing Crew, volunteers are needed to measure, alter and fit the members with a uniform.
  • For Medical, one person is needed per shift.
  • For Food Crew:
    • For Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner ‐ 6 volunteers are needed per shift.
    • For Snack‐ 4 volunteers are needed per shift.
    • For a camp weekend, there are 7 shifts total (Memorial Day weekend there are 10).

Volunteer Opportunities on Tour

Kitchen Crew

Our Mobile Kitchen (Mushu) runs smoothly with volunteers like you!  No experience necessary.
We need volunteers for our weekend camps, training camp, as well as our National Tour.  Our Mobile Kitchen prepares and cooks 800 meals per day for our very hungry members and staff.
You can earn credits for each full day that you work.  A full day is usually 6 am until midnight. (Sorry, but we do not give credit for partial days worked)

Credits are as follows…

  • $30 per day for weekend camps and National Tour
  • $40 per day for Training Camp

These credits can be used anytime, and stay in your Members account until they are used.  This is such a fun and rewarding volunteer experience.

Please contact Cathy Sackett with any questions.
cmsackett@comcast.net
916-799-4953

Truck Driving

Driving is a critical part of supporting the Mandarins.  The class A commercial trucks and other support vehicles carry all of the members’ performance equipment, show prop’s, as well as food supplies and cooking equipment.  Veteran drivers will give you an orientation to the pleasures of driving.  Our goal is to have you paired with another volunteer driver, and you will usually be in a convoy of support vehicles.  A valid driver’s license for the type of equipment you are trained on is all that is required.  We travel in class A commercial tractors, class A motor homes, and a range of class C passenger vans and truck/trailer combinations.

If you are interested in sharing the adventure with your performer, or just looking for some adventure of your own, contact our Tour Director Keith Sanpei, or Corps Director JW Koester.

Medical

The medical volunteer on shift would provide on-site early medical assessment of injuries/complaints as well as minor first aid care and spot checks of the members, staff, and volunteers as needed. They would call emergency medical help as needed and help coordinate transportation to a local hospital or urgent care clinic as the need arises. Additionally, a medical person is needed for each week of the nationwide tour. For more information, contact Dr. Dan Fong, Co-director of our Health & Wellness Team.

Registration

Registration volunteers would help with registration activities prior to camps or other events. You would assist the business manager in checking in the members, collecting paperwork, medical information, providing name badges and any other registration needs at the time.

Sewing Crew

Sewing Crew volunteers would help with uniform measurements, fittings and alterations during the weekend camps. On tour, the seamstress would travel with the volunteer crew and handle uniform alterations, repairs and maintenance on a daily basis.  Additionally, a sewing crew person is needed for each week of the nationwide tour.

General Questions/Answers About Volunteering on Tour

  1. Packing
    See the “Packing Information” section at the end. Generally, pack enough clothes for the week. If staying longer than a week, there should be a laundry day opportunity. A rolling duffle (27″) or medium suitcase and a carry on is typical.
  2. Laundry
    There are periodic laundry days for the members. Volunteers can also go over to a laundromat the same day. Also, volunteers may be able to run out to a local Laundromat at their option if time permits. Lastly, some schools have a laundry available. Feel free to ask the tour director if one is available. The food truck has laundry detergent.
  3. Sleeping
    Volunteers will have separate sleeping areas from Corps embers.  Specific areas will be assigned by Tour Staff so that they can get the rest they need.
  4. Showering
    Volunteers use the same school showers as the members. Try to schedule your shower time when the members are practicing. It will not be crowded and it is better to keep volunteers and members separated as best as possible.
  5. RV
    The RV bathrooms, sink, and shower do not get used other than for storage. If at the school please use the school facilities. On the road the RV will stop during the night at a facility for bathrooms.  Follow directions on when and how to start the air conditioner.
  6. Eating
    The volunteers eat the same food as the members. We ask that volunteers wait until the members go through the line to eat. The food crew will try very hard to ensure portion control for members so everyone can eat but there are rare cases where the food runs out. Food crew can always pull out left-over’s or make up extra food to feed volunteers, or worse case they can swing by fast food. Members have no other options so let’s make sure they eat.
  7. Transportation In/Out
    Please make sure that you send your flight info to Keith Sanpei so we can make sure you are on the pickup/drop off list. Scheduling airport runs is very challenging so please bear with the tour director.
  8. Arriving
    If you arrive at the show site, go to the parking area to find the Corps vehicles.  Hopefully you get there before they head into the show. You should get the food lead or tour director phone information before you head out for tour.
  9. Issues
    This last one is mainly about how to handle any issues you encounter. Things will not always go perfectly so in the event an issue arises please be patient and hopefully the tour director or food lead can help resolve the issue.  There may also be members or other volunteers that come to you with issues. If you can help them without interfering with the other tasks that is fine, if not then refer them to the tour director or staff. Remember it is a tense time for everyone, tight working quarters and long hours. It can really be a great experience if you keep an open mind and embrace the journey.

Packing Information

What to pack for Tour?

  • Working clothes for the week plus some extras just in case (especially food crew)
  • A change of shoes in case yours get wet or you need a feetsy break (like sandals)
  • Laundry sheet(s)- like the ones the kids bring, has detergent and can be thrown in dryer
  • Toiletries
  • Shower Towel and shower sandals (it’s a school gym so…)
  • Air Mattress and pump (we will usually have spare ones but maybe check first)
  • Bedding (Pillow, sheet set, light blanket, it can get cold in some school areas)
  • Light jacket (even though it is summer, storms can crop up)
  • Hat, sunscreen, Chapstick (it is summer and can be very sunny in places)
  • Nicer clothes (shirts/long pants – if you want) for the big shows

Optional things that can help:

  • Small extension cord (helps if the charge outlet is not near you when sleeping)
  • A few cheap store pants hangers (great for hanging a towel or wet shirt to dry)
  • Small flashlight (good for RV or for schools when hard to find lights or bathroom trips)
  • Gold Bond powder or Glide
  • Earplugs (for RV ride, kids up late practicing in hallways)
  • Travel alarm (unless you have a phone with an alarm clock)