Volunteer for the 2005 Common Ground Country Fair
How To Volunteer at the Common Ground Country Fair
Volunteer Job Descriptions
Guidelines for Volunteering at the Common Ground Country Fair
Volunteer Registration Forms
Volunteer Camping Info
Fair Steering Committee
Fair Planning Team
Year-round Volunteer Opportunities
Important Aspects of Volunteering At The Fair
1. Help Organize the Fair! If you would like to get more involved in
coordinating some aspect of the Common Ground Country Fair, please consider
joining our Planning Team. We are always looking for new members. We hope to
hear from you!
2. No Pets! We love dogs and other family pets, but for health and safety
reasons, we have to ask you to leave your animals at home. Pets are strictly
prohibited from the fairgrounds. Thank you very much for your understanding.
3. Clean Air! MOFGA, the Common Ground Country Fair, and clean air go
together. We encourage volunteers to refrain from smoking on the
fairgrounds. Smoking is prohibited in the following areas of the Fair: the
Children's Area; the shuttle and wagon rides; the food preparation and
service area; all buildings including barns and all tents.
Dear Fair Volunteers,
Once again the Common Ground Country Fair is almost here. Welcome back loyal volunteers and welcome to all new participants. There wouldn't be a fair without you! Please note, the deadline for volunteer pre-registration is Friday, September 9, 2005. We had a wonderful volunteer force last year, with many of our Friday and Saturday shifts filled well in advance through pre-registration. Please review the volunteer job descriptions and select those jobs and shifts that will work for you and register early. If you would like to bring a group to volunteer for the Fair, we have a separate Group Volunteer Registration Form. Please contact the MOFGA office for this form.
We are working to streamline and improve the Volunteer Registration process for this year. Last year, the Fair office staff added a new database that helped things run more smoothly. This year, we've added a Group Volunteer Registration form to help school and civic groups register early and reserve specific volunteer slots for their group. We are also redesigning the way we distribute t-shirts.
Below are the specific areas of the Fair that will require additional leadership.
- In the Volunteer Tent, We need people with fresh ideas and great people skills who are interested in the (sometimes) fast pace, (and always) exciting task of acquiring, keeping and organizing the many fair volunteers that make our Fair such a great success! We would like to train some additional coordinators.
- For the Safety Team we need volunteers over 18 on the graveyard shift (late night to early morning).
- In the Children's Area we need creative people who are good at multi-tasking, enjoy children, and don't mind a little paint, clay, and noise;
- In the Recycling Tent we need folks with good people-organizing skills to help make sure that all areas of recycling, from emptying trash barrels to sorting collected trash, are running smoothly.
- In Entertainment we need folks to help ensure smoothly running performances.
-BEFORE the Fair we need people to help out with Sign Painting
- We also always need lots of extra volunteers for set-up and clean up of the fairgrounds.
We also have a great need to have volunteers that are willing to work all three days of the Fair, particularly Sunday. Sunday is especially challenging as a busy last day of the Fair with often few or no volunteers to send to areas in need. Again this year, we are organizing a surprise benefit for Sunday volunteers.
As soon as we receive your registration form and process it, we will send your confirmation card to you. The new and improved MOFGA database will help us keep track of volunteers and areas of need.
MOFGA continues to develop year-round volunteer programs to help run the organization's many ongoing projects. Volunteers are needed in many areas such as landscaping, maintenance of buildings, research, office work event coordinating, sign painting, and much more. If you are interested in volunteering for any of MOFGA's programs other than the Fair, please send an e-mail to email@example.com or call 207-568-4142.
Mary, Sari and June
Common Ground Country Fair Volunteer Coordinators
Volunteerism and MOFGA Go Hand-in-Hand
Volunteerism is the essence of MOFGA and of the Common Ground Country Fair. Each year, hundreds of volunteers help with MOFGA's many programs, and more than 1,000 volunteers dedicate themselves to creating and hosting our big, three-day event in September. Common Ground and MOFGA simply would not exist without the spirit, intent and devotion of its volunteer community. Please read on about the many and varied volunteer opportunities that exist with MOFGA and the Common Ground Country Fair.
In exchange for a four-hour shift, each volunteer gets free admission to the Fair (of course), a volunteer's organic cotton T-shirt, a meal of delicious organic food in the Common Kitchen, and the chance to camp for a night in the Common Bond Woods (space permitting). Additional benefits are offered for additional shifts.
Fair volunteers are needed for countless projects starting on Sept. 12, running through the Fair, and continuing until around Oct. 4, when cleanup is complete.
Thanks very much to all of you who have helped us throughout the years!
Volunteer for the Fair-All Year!!
Yes, that's right--the fun of the Fair doesn't end on Sunday; it continues all year! The huge team of volunteers required to put on the Common Ground Country Fair is like an extended family, all organizing their different parts of the Fair at different times of the year. Then the whole family gets together for a big old family reunion the weekend of the Fair!
Join the family! Much like a rugby team, we have a position for everyone. Name your interest and we've got something for YOU!
We're the Fair-and Lots More
MOFGA stays busy all year, and the more help we get from volunteers, the more we can expand our services and programs! With your help, soon everyone in Maine will be buying local and organic! Just imagine…
Your options vary widely. Join one of our many committees that meet periodically, such as the Education Committee or Public Policy Committee, and work on outreach and programming; or come to MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center ("The Fairgrounds") and do some landscaping, help with office work, or show off your skill with a Skil saw.
Whatever your interest, we have something for you. Sign-up on-line, or download and complete a volunteering registation form, or Contact Melissa White, MOFGA Volunteer Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
- Download and print out the registration form:
- Register only one person per form.
- Feel free to make extra copies and pass them around!
- Mail your completed registration form to the Common Ground Country Fair - PO Box 170 - Unity - ME - 04988.
- We can use walk-in volunteers at the Fair but it helps us immensely when you take the time to pre-register.
- Soon after we receive your registration form, a Confirmation Card with your assignment will come to you in the postal mail.
- Keep the confirmation card. It is your entrance pass.
- If you need to cancel, call us at 568-4142.
Arriving at the Fair:
- Give yourself plenty of time to get to Unity. Directions can be found here.
- Consider camping the night before or arriving in the early morning to avoid traffic and to be on time for your shift.
- NEW LAST YEAR: Park at the South Lot (Pine Gate). The Volunteer Registration Tent is right by the Pine entrance gate. Volunteers may only enter the Fair through the Pine Gate, by reporting to the Volunteer Tent.
- Your confirmation card is your entrance pass to the Fair. If you don't have a card, go to the Volunteer Registration tent.
- Come to the Volunteer Registration Tent 15 minutes before your shift begins to confirm your assignment and get instructions, directions etc.. We are changing the way we distribute t-shirts this year. You will receive them from your shift coordinator and not at the volunteer tent.
- Please read the Volunteer and Common Ground Country Fair Guidelines for more specific information about volunteer benefits (a Fair t-shirt, admission to the Fair, and one yummy meal per shift at the Common Kitchen). The guidelines also outline our "No Pets" rule and our non-smoking policy.
- Volunteers are invited to camp at the fairgrounds. Please read camping information carefully. There is no pre-registration. Sites will be assigned on a first come - first served basis.
- Recreational Vehicle (RV) sites are limited. There is no water or electricity for Rvs only self-contained units will be allowed.
- There is a communal camping tent near the Rose (North) Gate.
Especially Needed This Year
Composting & Recycling - The Zero Garbage Project needs volunteers.
Farm & Homesteading Co-coordinator - Like farm products? Here's a spot for you!
Sign-painters & Banner makers - Have your work displayed and help Fairgoers navigate the mini-city called the Fair.
Agricultural Demo Co-coordinator - Love to garden? Thirst for more information? Indulge both here.
Coordinators: Mary Weyer, Sari Lindauer, June Zellers
Purpose: Volunteerism is the essence of the CGCF. Each year, more than 1,000 volunteers dedicate themselves to creating and hosting the three-day event. The CGCF simply would not exist without the spirit, intent and devotion of its volunteer community.
Volunteer Registration Forms
- Volunteers must be at least ten years old to work at the Fair. Any volunteer under 18 years of age must be sponsored by a parent or guardian who must sign the Registration Form. Volunteers ages 10 - 12 must be accompanied by a person age 21 or over (2:1 ratio). Volunteers in the Common Kitchen must be at least 16 years old. Volunteer ticket sellers must be at least 18 years old and well-known to MOFGA staff- or Board-members.
- Volunteers can register for set-up shifts (during the week leading up to the Fair), Fair shifts (during the Fair itself), and clean-up shifts (during the two weeks after the Fair). Volunteers who wish to become more involved in planning a specific area of the Fair may join the CGCF Planning Team which meets several times throughout the year.
- Volunteers request preferred work areas and shifts. The Volunteer Coordinator attempts to meet the volunteers' requests as closely as possible.
- Area Coordinators determine the number of volunteers and what needs to be done for each shift.
- The CGCF encourages volunteers to register well in advance of the Fair, but does accept walk-in volunteers and phone registrations.
- NEW LAST YEAR: Volunteers should park in the South Parking Lot. Volunteers may only enter the Fair through the Pine (South) Gate, by reporting to the Volunteer Tent.
- The CGCF assigns volunteers on a first come, first served basis. If a requested slot is already filled the CGCF will assign volunteers according to need.
- The CGCF office mails, to each volunteer who registers in advance, a confirmation card indicating assigned shift date(s), time(s), and job(s).
- On the volunteer's shift day(s), he/she should go directly to the Volunteer Registration Tent.
- Volunteers receive the following benefits in return for their efforts:
- One 4-hour shift: One Fair Volunteer t-shirt (distributed 15 minutes before the shift), admission for the day and one meal at the Common Kitchen.
- Two 4-hour shifts: One Fair Volunteer t-shirt (provided before first shift), admission for two days and two meals at the Common Kitchen.
- 12 hours or more: One Fair Volunteer t-shirt, admission for all three days and one meal per shift.
- Area Coordinators provide meal tickets for volunteers upon completion of the volunteer shifts.
- The CGCF provides limited camping for volunteers. Camping is handled on a first come - first served basis. Volunteers may bring their own tents or camping vehicles. They also may camp in the communal volunteer tent located near the North entrance. All campers should refer to Camping Guidelines which the CGCF enforces strictly.
- REMINDER: Volunteers who work at least one shift on SUNDAY, are eligible for a raffle of "goodies" held one or more times during the Fair on Sunday. Check in the Volunteer Tent for details.
- NEW in 2005: If you would like to volunteer as a group, please use our Group Registration form, which is new this year. The leader or coordinator of the group completes this form and can either give the names of the volunteers or just reserve a certain number of volunteer "slots" for the group.
The Common Ground Country Fair offers campsites to its volunteer community. Staff and volunteers with special needs may reserve tent sites. All other volunteers will be "first-come first-served." For every 4-hour volunteer shift, you are welcome to one night of camping. If you need assistance in transporting your gear, please come to the Fair Office where volunteers are available to help.
Coming from the South Lot (the Pine Gate), prepare yourself for a 1/4 mile trek through a pine forest, across the railroad tracks, past the big sun dial and the grassy amphitheater, behind the bike parking to the campground. Here you'll see the volunteer community tent and the two entrances to the horseshoe-shaped trail. The main trail is marked with white blazes and the side trails are marked in blue. Most of the 80 primitive sites are 10 x 10 and some of them are smaller. During the off hours of the Fair (all day Wednesday and Thursday, and 9 pm to 8 am Friday through Sunday) you may enter this forest haven through the Rose Gate. There is space available for unloading your gear. Vehicles will then need to be parked in the designated areas.
Camping also is available in the communal volunteer camping tent near the North Gate, and along the Southwest Corner of the South Parking Lot. If you don't have your own tent, you might want to roll out a sleeping bag in the communal tent. If you're coming in a camper, please park it in the South Parking Lot camping area. Volunteers also are welcome to set up tents in the South Lot. Don't forget to find a Volunteer Camping Coordinator to obtain a camping permit regardless of where you camp.
Peggy Connell & Chris Fabian
Volunteer Camping Coordinators
Space permitting, volunteers are welcome to camp in one of three areas: along the Southwest Corner of the South Parking Lot; in the primitive camping area on the north side of the fairgrounds; or in the communal volunteer camping tent near the North Gate. Permits are required for all volunteer campers in the South Parking Lot or the primitive campsites.
- Volunteers may not engage in illegal activity on the Fairgrounds.
- Volunteers may not bring pets on Fairgrounds or in the camping areas at any time.
- No campfires.
- To minimize impact, campers must stay on marked paths in the primitive camping area.
- There are no electrical or water hook-ups in any of the camping areas.
- Use port-a-potties or the latrine in the camping area. Do not go to the bathroom in the woods.
- Quiet time is from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. Volunteers may set up in the primitive campsite area between 8:00 a.m. and dusk only. Set-up in the South Parking Lot may take place at any time.
- Volunteers must take gray water to the holding tank.
- Common Ground Country Fair assumes no responsibility for lost or stolen items.
- Volunteers must stay off the Fairgrounds between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
- Members of the CGCF Safety Team are authorized to ask volunteers for identification in the form of volunteer registration cards. Safety Team members represent the CGCF and MOFGA in determining whether certain persons and/or their conduct is permitted to be on the fairgrounds. Any person not abiding by established Fair guidelines may be asked to leave the fairgrounds by the Safety Officer in charge, the Fair Director or a Waldo County Deputy.
- Please carry out what you carry in. Thanks!
About 30 areas of the Fair are visible, and another 15 or so behind-the-scenes "areas" are essential to the Fair. The "Planning Team" includes supervisors of areas and those who outline and coordinate everything necessary for the brief three days of the Fair that you see! THESE are the volunteers whom I consider the unsung heroes of the Fair, and without them the Fair simply would never get off the ground! Not to diminish the volunteers who come for one, two or more shifts of the Fair, but these planning team members work the Fair all year. MOFGA would never have become the organization that it is without their creative, dedicated and generous donation of time and effort, and if we had to pay face value for their work, we'd probably still owe all of the people who have done this job in the past and those who do it now.
Area coordinators are individuals or teams who work all year to organize particular areas. They attend meetings before, during and after the Fair, where they discuss the successes, surprise benefits, and, conversely, the snafus, bottlenecks and high wire balancing acts each area experienced during the Fair. This networking helps all coordinators brainstorm and come up with new approaches for their areas.
Every year these coordinators review their initial cover letters and applications to the Fair; adjust guidelines to reflect the maturity of the area; review completed applications for adherence to area guidelines; then accept, reject or put applicants on a waiting list. Many areas have many more applications than spaces available.
Next coordinators figure the number of volunteers, volunteer T-shirts and signs needed. They may write a piece for this newspaper. They determine the layout for vendors and coordinate speakers.
When the Fair finally arrives, coordinators gather the volunteers, give them a meal ticket (one of the bennies of volunteering), assign duties, then keep their eyes out for a co-coordinator to share these duties and bring that person into the circle (or maybe it's the web). Finally, coordinators help take down and inspect the area after the Fair. Within a week, they START AGAIN from the beginning!
The Common Ground Country Fair is a celebration of rural living and, like MOFGA, our parent, feels a great responsibility to show the Fairgoer the joy and value of sustainable living. As such many people come to the Fair for their yearly exposure to sources for this lifestyle. Many come for the ongoing workshops and intellectual stimulation and discussion of new and alternative ideas for sustainable living that are standard at the Fair. They find pure entertainment with no hype… dancing, singing, playing, watching livestock and animals do what they do best. They may talk with farmers about their livestock, produce and farms. Certainly they can purchase organic foods, with an emphasis on Maine-grown, that will please all palates.
The list goes on, so I’ll just say: COME TO THE FAIR! The Common Ground Fair is unlike any other Fair you've ever attended, and that’s why we've got the fierce loyalty and devotion of these area coordinators …. my heroes!
--Barbara Luce, Fair Director
Join the Fair Planning Team!
If you would like to get more involved in the Common Ground Country Fair but are not quite sure how to go about it, please don't hesitate to call us. We may have a position for you. The Fair Planning Team is made up of roughly 125 people who coordinate specific areas of the Fair. We are always looking for new energy and enthusiasm from volunteers who know what it takes to put on this huge event. We hope to hear from you!
Areas that need extra help include:
Phone 207-568-4142 or email email@example.com
- Composting and Recycling
- The Children's Area
- Audio/Visual Presentations
- Common Kitchen
- Agricultural Demonstrations
Planning Team--Volunteer Coordinators for the 2005 Common Ground Country Fair
Agricultural Booths Area -- Betz Golon, Ernie Glabeau
Agricultural Demonstrations -- Paul Birdsall, Jack Kertesz, Chris Cavendish
Animal Products -- MaryLynn FitzSimons
Antique Tractors -- Glen Dewitt
Bicycle Parking -- Jeff Miller, Fred Robie, David Wood, Maggie Wood
Camping -- Mary Chamberlin, Peggy Connell, Chris Fabian, Don Baldridge
Children's Area -- Alex & Amy Bradstreet,
Common Kitchen -- Kim Bolshaw, Madeline Cantwell, Patti Hamilton, Tom Kemp,
Barbara MacLennan, Bill Whitman
Country Kitchen Demos -- Wendy Karush, Becca Smith
Country Store -- Dennis Merrill, Nancy Merrill, Roy Miller
Crafts -- Leslie Burhoe
Draft Horses -- Darcy and Bill Winslow
Electricity -- Noel Dechar, Paul Murray, Jim Peary, Steve Plumb
Energy and Shelter -- Lisa Hawkins
Entertainment -- Robin Fowler, Tim Forsman, Charles and Marsha Lyons
Environmental Concerns -- Toni Pied, Matt Scease
Exhibition Hall -- Martha Gottlieb, Valerie Jackson, Amy LeBlanc, Adam Tomash
Fair Manual Project -- Jeannette Baldridge
Farm and Homestead Products and Equipment --Wendall Blodgette, Dale Thomas
Farmers' Market -- John Belding, Mary Burke
First Aid -- Ham Robbins, Kevin McGinnis
Fiddlers' Showcase -- John McIntire
Fleece Show -- Jenni Johnson, Claudia Raessler, Maine FiberArts
Folk Arts -- Anu Dudley, Vicky Burrell
Food Committee -- Shlomit Auciello, Liz Baldwin, Betsy Hart, Tom Kemp, Richard
Morgan, Eric Rector, Francis Walker
Foot Race -- Christopher Bovie, Skip Howard
Garden Parade -- Daaby Tingle
Golf-Cart Chauffeur -- Fred Pinette
Health and Healing -- Mary Chamberlin, Peggy Connell
Herb Tent -- Joanna Linden, Elizabeth Radliff
Horseshoes and Manure Pitch -- Mike Tansey
Information Booth -- Sue Buck, David Hilton, Philip Norris
Livestock -- Cathy Reynolds
Livestock Speakers Tent -- Lizz Atwood, Debbie Atwood, Margaret Hathaway-Schatz
Low Impact Forestry -- Mark Albee, Sam Brown, Peter Hagerty, John Plowden
Maine Businesses -- Patti Dowse, Ellis Percy
Media -- Jim Grant
MOFGA Board Members -- Tom Opper, John Belding
MOFGA Booth -- Donna Bradstreet, John Bradstreet, Bob Martin, Mort Mather
Native American Arts -- Theresa Hoffman, Jennifer Neptune, Richard Silliboy
Oxen -- Wes Daniel, Steve Norton
Parking and Traffic -- Jim Bowers, Joseph Charnley, Dave Colson, Scott Giroux, Bill
MacDonald, Matthew Strong, Paul Volckhausen
Poultry Exhibit -- David Raynor
Public Policy Teach-In -- Sharon Tisher, Alice Torbert Percy
Public Health Outreach --Tom Shandera, R.N.
Rabbit Exhibit -- Perley Emery
Recycling -- Obie Buell, Tim Stillman, Scott Yoos
Safety -- Andy Bray, Mike Burns, Richard Dickey, Barry Magda, Steve Montague, David
Olarsch, Robert Weyer
School Gardens Project -- Mary Bird
Signs -- Bob Costa, John Sherriffs
Social and Political Action -- Dan Hamilton, Gary Lawless, Beth Leonard
Sound Systems -- Stuart Reynolds
Show Ring and Round Pen Demonstrations -- Ansley Newton
Stoneworkers -- Joe Auciello
Ticket Sales -- Lisa Lebel, Skip Green
Utilities -- Steve Plumb
Volunteers -- Sari Lindauer, Mary Weyer, June Zellars
Wednesday Spinners -- Jani Estell, Donna Kausen, Cynthia Thayer
Whole Life -- Crystal Ashland, Barbara Balkin, Herbie Brewer, Jack Cole
Youth Enterprise Zone -- Bob Egan, Patricia Logan
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA)
Common Ground Country Fair
PO Box 170
Unity, ME 04988