EarlyBird

Help Us Prepare For SUN ‘n FUN

EarlyBird volunteers commit to living on our SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus each January and stay through a week after the SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo.  . These hours may change during what we call “Crunch Time” which is a month before the Expo. Our EarlyBirds’ primary function is to help prepare the site, facilities and operations for the Expo.  The SUN ‘n FUN Campus is also a rental facility that hosts many different types of events such as Dog shows, BBQ competitions, Car shows, Motorcycle Rallies, fundraising dinners and a whole lot more. We often ask for assistance from our volunteer workforce to support these event operations.  We invite you to come and enjoy it all with us!

To qualify as an EarlyBird, the following are required:

  • You must be issued an invitation to become an EarlyBird volunteer.
  • You and/or your spouse are able to walk unassisted during the workday and be capable of lifting objects weighing at least 30 pounds.
  • EarlyBirds are asked to commit to 24-32 volunteer hours each week, Monday – Thursday
  • A background check will be conducted upon arrival.
  • All volunteers must practice courtesy, respect each other’s privacy and be good neighbors.
  • Must live at least 50 miles from the SUN ‘n FUN campus.

You don’t need to be a jet pilot or rocket scientist to make an impact. Our volunteers come from all walks of life and have talents of all kinds… including:

  • Administrators
  • Airplane Mechanics
  • Carpenters
  • Educators
  • Electricians
  • Event Planners
  • Gardeners
  • IT Specialists
  • Office Support
  • Painters
  • Photographers
  • Plumbers
  • Pilots…of course!
  • Welders

EarlyBird Benefits

As an Early Bird living in our campground you can also look forward to these great benefits:

  • Full RV hook-ups
  • Free wireless internet
  • Really great affordable lunches in our volunteer kitchen
  • The opportunity meet interesting people from all over the country and Canada
  • Share stories around the fire pit
  • Physical labor that enhances sleep
  • Learn new skills
  • Free dinners from time to time
  • Friendly “bocce ball” competitions
  • Free comic relief from staff members

And last but not least, being a part of the best aviation expo on the planet!

Every EarlyBird volunteer is required to be a member of the Florida Air Museum, so a special discounted rate for memberships is offered to our EarlyBird family. The rates for a one-year membership are as follows: Individual Membership $20.00, Dual $35.00 and a family membership (of 4) $60.00. This discounted membership also provides free or discounted admission to over 200 Science and Technology Museums around the nation. (Through our membership in the Association of Science and Technology Center) reciprocal membership information can be found at astc.org

We hope you will consider joining the ACE / SUN ‘n FUN family. Please fill out the application below completely. If you have any questions, please email Robin McFarland, Volunteer Director for ACE / SUN ‘n FUN or call her at 863-904-4044. Once your application is received and reviewed Robin will contact you. If there is an opening we will send you a letter or email of acceptance notifying you we have a camping spot available. If there is no camping spot available at that time we ask if you would like to be put on our waiting list.


EarlyBird Volunteer Spotlight

Larry Sullivan

Larry Sullivan

Larry Sullivan has been an EarlyBird Volunteer for 10 Years supporting the efforts and preparation of the Fly-In grounds and operations.  He joins a group of 70-100 EarlyBirds who live onsite full-time for 4 months or more to get the job done.

Here’s Larry’s story! I was born and raised in a town named Selma in eastern North Carolina.  After high school, I attended a community college until Uncle Sam sent me a draft notice.  I immediately decided to join the Air Force and served my country for 20 years.  During this career, I was an electronic technician, master instructor, and Special Technical Agent.  Upon retirement, I worked with a government contractor on a contract with the National Reconnaissance Agency for 14 years.  I finished my “working” career as Director of Security for another government contractor.

The RV lifestyle became a part of my life.  On a trip down to the panhandle of Florida, I attended the Blue Angel airshow at Pensacola Naval Air Station.  A glider was on the tarmac advertising introductory rides.  I took them up on their offer.  After the ride, I was introduced to the tow pilot, Ralph Tarver.  He told me about SUN ‘n FUN.  In 2012, I came down and it felt like old home week with the wonderful volunteers, especially the Friday night happy hours.  The love of carpentry was passed down to me by my father, so I easily found my workspace.  I have been at SUN ‘n FUN every year except for two years.  BJ and I spent those years traveling through all the lower 48 states for two and a half years. 

I assumed the position of overseeing the carpentry shop when Ralph decided to travel last year.  It has been an exciting and demanding position.  In addition, I am chairman of the Mobile Registration team during the SUN ‘n FUN Expo.  It is one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever had!

Larry, we appreciate your dedicated service… and we are glad you are part of our EarlyBird family!


There’s So Much To Do At The
SUN ‘n FUN Campus!

  • Our annual premiere fundraising event, SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo, is one of the largest aviation events in the world!
  • Our campus is host to over 100 events including festivals, car shows, dog shows, BBQ competitions and more.
  • We have 200 acres of Florida landscape and multi-purpose venues that support a myriad of event experiences.
  • Our Florida Air Museum is Florida’s Official Aviation Museum and Education Center.
  • We encourage student interactions in everything we do!
  • We engage more than 50,000 students annually through our education outreach programs, both onsite and in the community.

EARLYBIRD VOLUNTEER APPLICATION

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Preserving and enhancing the future of flight through World-Class events, inspiring and educating people of all ages.
Address*
If you live outside the U.S., is your travel schedule restricted?
AGE*
VETERAN?*
Have You Volunteered with us before?
Volunteer positions require flexibility, depending on the needs of the task at hand or the upcoming event, including but not limited to the Fly-In. Jobs may require, lifting, carrying, driving and mechanical duties. Hours required: 4 8-hours days or the equivalent.
Will you be volunteering as a:*
A background check is required due to high school students being onsite. Have you had one pulled recently?*

Aviation Background

Aviation Background

Volunteer Preferences

Work Environment
I prefer to work mostly:*
I like to:
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Availability Date (Early Birds=90 days prior to Fly-In) - January 15th
I prefer to work:*
Select all events you may want to volunteer for:

Skills Background

Maintenance Skills
Maintenance Skills - Check all that apply:

Skills Background

Technology Skills
Technology Skills

Skills Background

Aircraft Restoration Skills
My aircraft restoration talents include:

Skills Background

Office Skills
Administrative Skills

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Promotional Skills
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References

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Volunteer Director

Robin McFarland

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