Empower the next generation of changemakers and innovators


FIRST® volunteers are part of a global robotics community preparing young people for the future. Even if you only have a few hours to give, your contribution can make a difference. Working side by side with FIRST participants, volunteers play an important role in shaping young minds and inspiring students to achieve.

Volunteer at an Event

FIRST Chesapeake hosts events around the Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC made possible by volunteers who fill hundred of roles to accomplish the mission of FIRST. Volunteer roles range from safety attendants and field reset to judges, emcees, and referees. Volunteering at an event is a great way to share technical or professional knowledge, but you do not need special skills or expertise to volunteer.

General Volunteer Roles

Audio/Visual Attendant

The Audio/Visual (A/V) Attendant assists with lighting, sound, and any projections shown during the event. May be asked to help manage the live stream to create an exciting, cohesive experience for web spectators, and create an archive for teams to re-live the event.

DJ / Chief Vibes Officer

The DJ role plays high-energy, appropriate music throughout the competition.  You will work with the emcee and technical director to coordinate the music and the awards ceremony, monitor the energy of the crowd, and increase or decrease musical selections based on crowd enthusiasm.


The Emcee is the primary individual responsible for setting the tone of the competition. They create and sustain an exciting and fun atmosphere throughout the event. As the most visible presence at the event, they embody the spirit of FIRST and are the consummate FIRST ambassador. Emcees play a critical role in ensuring a smooth flow of match play and keeping the pace of the event including hosting the opening and awards ceremonies, providing spectators and teams with an overview of the game and the basic rules often throughout the event, and announcing teams taking part in matches.

Event Photographer

Event Photographer volunteers photograph and document the event via digital images. Photographs should be professional in nature, and not include selfies or inappropriate behavior or language. The photographs should be provided to the Event Leadership within 2 weeks of conclusion of the event so that teams, volunteers, and Event Leadership can utilize the pictures.

Field Assembly/Disassembly

Field Assembly and Disassembly volunteers assist with assembly of the playing field and the practice field on event set-up day, and/or disassembly on event break-down day. Volunteers are not required to do both assembly and disassembly. Tools and hardware are provided, and volunteers are not required to bring any additional materials with them to the event.

Field Resetter

Field Resetter volunteers repair and reset the playing field after each team match. They play a critical role in ensuring a smooth flow of match play and maintaining the pace of the event. Duties need to be done efficiently. This position is typically very physically active.

Inspection Manager

The Inspection Manager manages the paperwork and details associated with the inspection process and tracks the progress of all teams at the event through inspection. Provides support to the Lead Robot Inspector in prioritizing team inspections based on the match schedule. Identifies issues and potential bottlenecks. Provides recommendations on the physical flow of teams through the inspection station.

*Must sign a Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Statement prior to the start of service.


Judges select team award recipients with the help of a Judge Advisor through interaction with teams. They review team information and serve as role models for the students. Judges have the ability to positively impact the quality of event and have an opportunity to coach students on career paths.

There are separate volunteer roles within the system called “Judge – FIRST Impact Award” and “Judge – Dean’s List Award”. These volunteers focus on those specific awards but much of this role description still applies to those roles.

*Must sign a Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Statement prior to the start of service.

Judge Advisor Assistant (JAA)

The Judge Advisor Assistant (JAA) role assists the Judge Advisor (JA) throughout the event. Collaborates with event management staff to ensure the judges are meeting the competition schedule and oversees the food and drinks delivered to the judge room. The JAA does not interview teams or participate in the awards selection process.

*Must sign a Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Statement prior to the start of service

Load-In/Out Crew

The Load-In/Out Crew is critical to the safety of teams, volunteers, and the public during load-in/out processes. This is a physically active position that requires facilitating smooth team traffic flow throughout the facility when the teams are transporting their materials, including their robots, in and out of the event venue at the start and end of an event. A volunteer does not need to fulfill both roles of Load-In Crew and Load-Out Crew; instead, they could fill either position independently of the other.

Pit Administrator

The Pit Administrator role provides direction, assistance, information, and support to teams and guests in the Pit. Volunteers in this role may be asked to make general announcements via the public-address (PA) system in the Pit area but this varies by event. This is a physically active, fast-paced role.


The Queuer role plays a critical role in ensuring a smooth flow of match play and maintaining the pace of the event. The Queuer is responsible for managing team traffic to and from the playing field and restricting access to the field for unauthorized individuals. This is a physically active role.

Safety Attendant

Safety Attendant volunteers work together under the Safety Manager to help keep the event safe. Some volunteers may help by greeting visitors and handing out safety glasses at Safety Glass Stations. Others may help with pedestrian traffic flow throughout the facility, monitoring the audience, and keeping walkways and aisles clear.

Maintain an adequate supply of safety glasses at the Safety Glass Station, and alert the Safety Manager when more glasses, supplies, or volunteers are needed. Maintain a high level of safety as stated in the FIRST Safety Manual and FIRST Game & Event Rules Manual.

Spare Parts Attendant

The Spare Parts Attendant manages the distribution and loaning of spare materials to teams.

New Volunteer Guide

Are You A Part of the Dollars for Doers Program? 

Does your company participate in a Dollars for Doers Program that donates cash grants to nonprofit organizations based on the time employees volunteer? VirginiaFIRST dba FIRST Chesapeake is an approved nonprofit. Please note, that we might be listed in your company’s list of nonprofit organizations as FIRST Chesapeake OR VirginiaFIRST

Corporate Matching Gifts

Increase the impact of your donation or volunteer time with a corporate matching gift! 
Many employers will match your financial gifts and volunteer hours. Thanks to the generosity of FIRST corporate supporters, employees have the option of doubling or even tripling their donation through the Matching Gift program. Find out if your employer will match your contribution!

Season Theme Digital Content

Celebrate your volunteer spirit on your social networks by displaying a new badge, profile picture, or header! You can download season theme digital content including wallpapers for your devices.

How do you inspire the next generation as a #FIRSTvolunteer?

Join the conversation!
Tweet it, Snap it, Instagram it, post it on Facebook, or send us an email and tell us how you deliver the future with FIRST!

    Thank You!

We appreciate all the people who volunteered their time, support, and enthusiasm for the 2022-2023 season.

Gold Circle Volunteer Award Winners for 2022-2023

The GOLD CIRCLE VOLUNTEER AWARD recognizes volunteers who have gone above and beyond to support the mission of FIRST Chesapeake. Volunteers were nominated by other volunteers, team members, coaches, and mentors.

FTC Gold Circle Volunteer Award- Individual Winners

Ryan Wolfrum

Joe Bouchard

Rose Young

Jeff Meyers

Jim Anderson

FTC Gold Circle Volunteer Award- Outstanding Group


FRC Gold Circle Volunteer Award- Individual Winners

David Boyd

Dr. Kate McBryan

Frederick Monroe

Julia Krueger

Kyle Johnson

FRC Gold Circle Volunteer Award- Outstanding Group

Porvair Filtration Group- and other volunteers, organized by David Keegan

Interested in learning about volunteering for other FIRST programs? 
FIRST LEGO League Challenge program in Maryland
FIRST LEGO League in Virginia and Washington, DC