Team Captains

We want people to help out over and over again. That only happens if the tasks are fun and no one is ever overworked. Team Captains are a key component to making this happen. Our goal is for everyone to have a good time, be helpful and meet new people.

Team Captains are responsible for their station at the event and all the volunteers in that section report to them. The great news is that we have lots of help. Captains are basically coordinating and organizing that help. We hold one short in-person meeting to meet each other and learn how each of the roles interacts with the others. The next time we are together is at the event. At the end of the plant exchange, we sit around, eat pizza and conduct a debrief.

We need team captains for:

Accessories TablesQuality Control
Drop-OffSilent Auction
Event RecordersStore
HoldTraffic and Parking
Pick Up and ExitVendors
Plant TablesVolunteer Check-in
Plant RunnersWelcome and Info

Each Team Captain shares their station responsibilities with at least one other co-captain. Team Captains have only one 45-minute meeting to attend and the coordination aspects of the role typically take between 30 minutes and 90 minutes depending on the position.

Accessories Tables Captain

  • Throughout the day, help table volunteers arrange accessories so that all tables are full and items are ground by similar kind.
  • Guide guests who appear to be taking too much of one type towards other options.
  • Oversee the distribution of consolidating and restocking the tables.

Volunteer Check-in (Day of coordination):


  • Set up the Volunteer check-in table.
  • Check in registered volunteers and connect them to their station’s Team Captain.
  • Register new volunteers and assign them a station.
  • Volunteers go to this area for water and breaks.

Break-Down Captain

  • Manage a team of breakdown volunteers starting at 3:30 p.m.
  • Oversee activities such as:
    • consolidate plants to fewer tables, put away tables and chairs
    • return traffic cones, shelving units, and other equipment to the storage area
    • collect and sort compostables, and green waste for compost
    • gather up all volunteer aprons
  • Ensure that the space is entirely clear of remaining items and swept clean.

Donation Captain (Less than 30 min. per week for 3 weeks)

Donation requests are forwarded as they come in. You would contact your team at that time.

  • Arrange for a volunteer help transport donations from homeowners who ask for help. It’s typically only one or two pick-ups that are close to the volunteers’ home.
  • Arrange for a team member to pick up donations from ACE Garden Center for the 3 weeks before the event. (It takes one hour total to pick up and drop off.)
  • Thank the donor via email.

Drop-Off Captain


  • Oversee volunteers at the drop off tables, unloading of vehicles, and triaging donations and guests.
  • Ensure guests are correctly assigned a donation level sticker and directed to the welcome area.
  • Work closely with runners to keep a steady stream of plants moving from intake/Plant ID to the correct plant assignment table.
  • Ensure that prohibited items are not dropped off.

Event Recorders Captain

  • Manage a team of photography and  videography volunteers.
  • Oversee the shot list assignment distribution and make sure all of the event recorders understand their assignments.
  • Invite guests to be interviewed on camera and photographed.

Exit and Pick Up Captain

  • Manage the Exit table and interact with guests as they leave.
  • Remind them they can sign up for our mailing list, to volunteer, or make a donation.

Hold Captain


  • Manage the hold area and volunteers along with the exit table.
  • Oversee the hold check-in and check-out system allowing for easy and fast retrieval of hold items. Captains will also help guests stay within their donation level limit.
  • Invite guests to sign up for our mailing list and/or make a donation.
  • Manages carts so that there is a flow between the hold area and pick up.

Plant Tables Captain

  • Throughout the day, help table volunteers arrange plants so that all tables are full and plant types are spread out within their category.
  • Guide guests who appear to be taking too much of one type of plant towards other options.
  • Oversee the distribution of the 2 p.m. restocking plant release.

Quality Control  Captain

  • Assist master gardeners as they identify and label incoming plant donations.
  • Work with Runner volunteers to get identified and labeled plants out to the correct Plant Table.

Runner  Captain


  • Manage the runners who shuttle plants from drop-off to plant ID and then to plant tables.
  • Show how the runners the layout of their runners only area as part of their pre-event talk.
  • Monitor and re-assign as needed to: help guests carry heavy items to the hold area, return tools and carts to their original location after use, help unload large donations at drop-off, and escort guests with donations away from the welcome area.

Set-Up Captain

  • 2 weeks before the Exchange, coordinate volunteers to do preliminary set-up at the location: assemble rolling carts in preparation for plant stock donations, test walkie-talkies and assemble supplies.
  • 1 day before assign tasks to people and help make sure everything goes smoothly on the set-up day. For example: set up tables, assemble signage, set up traffic cones, and assemble canopies.
  • Install the portable fencing.

Silent Auction Captain

  • Supervise the silent auction  and it’s volunteers.
  • Oversee silent auction registration, bidder number assignment and inventory. This includes maintaining an appealing table layout.
  • Safeguard the silent auction at all times. Answer questions about the items and how the silent auction works.

Store Team Captain


  • Supervise the store and it’s volunteers, including the raffle ticket sellers.
  • Oversee cash flow, credit card purchases, and inventory. This includes maintaining an appealing table layout as items are purchased.
  • Safeguard the store at all times and verify that food items remain separate from non-food items.

Traffic Captain

  • Ensure that street traffic is not disrupted by our drop-off and pick-up areas.
  • Direct traffic volunteers on keeping traffic flow smooth, especially around the pick-up area.
  • Effectively communicate instructions with drivers, volunteer unloaders, and pick-up station volunteers.
  • Manage the parking area and the handicapped parking.

Vendor Team Captain


  • Check in with all vendors when they arrive.
  • Orient exhibitors to event layout.
  • Walk them to their exhibitor table.
  • Answer any questions they may have.

Welcome and Info Team Captain

  • Manage the guest line before the exchange opens and oversee volunteers at the welcome table and information table.
  • Ensure guests are provided correct information regarding: plant and monetary donations, the layout of the exchange, and opportunities to get involved.
  • Greet and escort the advice table hosts and vendors to their tables

All team captains are invited to attend the debrief meeting held immediately after the exchange is over. Dinner is provided.

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