By Kathie Hilberg
Ok, fam - it’s time for some volunteer real-talk. One of the biggest hurdles we had to jump in unifying our guilds was creating a volunteering structure that was robust enough to support our growing and newly global community while being flexible enough to, y’know, offer roles and opportunities that busy baristas would be interested in (and could actually take the time to do). Finding that balance wasn’t easy, but we think we’ve figured it out! The answer: event or project-based volunteering opportunities rather than a year-long commitment to a committee.
This new structure allows volunteers to support the BG as their (your!) time and energy allows. We’ll give you a clear description of the role, tasks, benefits, and expected time commitments; you’ll let us know if something is a good fit. This means you can choose something that not only best suits your skills and interests, but your availability.
Sound good (or at least intriguing)? Read on to learn about the current projects and events accepting volunteers.
World Coffee Championships Boston - April
Giving a hand at industry events is a great chance to grow your global coffee network, while learning some new skills in a fast-paced environment. The Boston WCC are coming to the Specialty Coffee Expo this April, and you can earn a 3-day Expo badge by meeting a minimum of volunteering hours (16 or 20 hours, depending on membership) in a role directly related to the running of the WCCs. If you enjoy helping barista comps run smoothly, this opportunity is for you!
CoLab: Milan - May
What exactly does event-specific volunteering look like? It's a commitment of about 10 hours per month until the event, ideal for those who represent a segment of the barista community or have access to a network of baristas. This is your chance to provide input on event content, shape programs, and expand your professional network!
You'll participate in regular calls and support the leadership and SCA staff in creating content, sourcing speakers, and providing your thoughts on the direction for these events. If you like short-term and fast-paced projects, this role is for you!
World of Coffee Berlin - June
There are a whole host of volunteering opportunities at World of Coffee in Berlin! From supporting in the cupping rooms to helping out with lectures, there’s a role for everyone. Barista-specific roles include working on the competitions stage, espresso bar, and brew bar, or helping out with the barista party.
The big benefit of volunteering your time is a complimentary three day pass to WoC for those that complete a set number of shifts (2 for members, 3 for non-members).
Barista Camp Europe - September
Similar to CoLab, this is an opportunity to provide input on event content, shape programs, and expand your professional network!
Expect a commitment of about 10 hours per month until the event, ideal for those who represent a segment of the barista community or have access to a network of baristas. You'll participate in regular calls and support the leadership and SCA staff in creating content, sourcing speakers, and providing your thoughts on the direction of Barista Camp programming.
In addition this pre-event support, there will be opportunities to volunteer your time on site at Barista Camp as a part of the crew, working closely with the organizers, trainers and attendees. What will this include? For starters, setting up cuppings, preparing classrooms, cleaning espresso and brewing equipment, assisting the ASTs with the training sessions, helping with social activities, and more! A benefit of this volunteer position is that the SCA will cover your accommodation and meals at the event (but not travel expenses). The one limitation is that you can’t enroll in any classes.
Be sure to sign up to the Barista Guild newsletter for updates on volunteering opportunities