The Firefly Gathering couldn’t happen without the help of its wonderful Worktraders! Thank you for your interest in contributing your hands and heart to helping make this event happen.

Be sure to read the website content thoroughly before submitting your application, especially the Worktrade Positions and FAQs, as our program has changed significantly in the last few years.

There are a limited number of worktrade opportunities for the gathering. We make our best effort to assign applicants to one of their top three choices (which you can indicate on your application), but please note that we can’t accommodate everyone. We’ll make sure to clear your assignment with you before committing you to it.

please note

We won’t assign you a shift until we receive your Attendance Fee and Refundable Deposit. Read more about how to submit or why we ask for a deposit on our Worktrade FAQ page.

Filling out the Worktrade Application does not guarantee you a spot in the Worktrade Program. If you don’t get assigned, your Attendance Fee and Refundable Deposit will be reimbursed.


Thanks so much for considering worktrading with Firefly! Please read the following carefully before filling out the application.

General and Specialty Worktrade positions are available. Please thoroughly read the Shift Descriptions (below) so you know what you’re signing up for.

General Worktrade Shifts don’t require significant expertise or special skills; you simply need a desire to help.

Specialty Worktrade Shifts require expertise and special skills. Some include working closely with staff and instructors.

shift descriptions

PRE-EVENT  Sometime during the months and weeks leading up to Setup

SETUP  May 30th – June 2nd, 2020 (Saturday Evening through Tuesday leading up to the Gathering)

DURING  June 2nd – 7th, 2020 (Tuesday through Sunday of the Gathering)

BREAKDOWN  June 7th – 9th, 2020 (Sunday afternoon of the Gathering through Tuesday after the Gathering)

worktrade commitments




15 hours (less time for specialty)

30 hours / entirety of Setup/Breakdown (less time for specialty)


Non-refundable $145 attendance fee and refundable $55 deposit

Non-refundable $25 attendance fee and
refundable $150 deposit


2 meals/day during the event
3 meals/day during Setup/Breakdown

2 meals/day during the event
3 meals/day during Setup/Breakdown

general positions

Pre-Event, Setup, During, Breakdown

Help out Firefly Staff with all their needs! Must be willing and able to make phone calls, be GoogleDrive/spreadsheet savvy, and good at working with others. Often includes a lot of “office” time (we promise it’s more fun than it sounds!), printing, and running things out to other parts of the venue. You will be working with our core staff, so it’s a great way to get behind the scenes with FFG. If you’re considering applying to work with Firefly in the future, this is the position for you. These positions have varying start/end dates.

Pre-Event, Setup

Help make phone calls, travel to area businesses to collect donations, deliver donations to holding area before event. This position starts at the end of April or early May.


Be the best go-to person for random tasks! The During Event Floater arrives with few expectations and is willing and able to lend a helping hand whenever and wherever help is needed. This position has a set schedule, with one morning or afternoon shift per day. Works with the Site Manager or Site Manager Assistant to complete tasks to keep the event going smoothly.

FIREWOOD (Full Trade)
Setup, Breakdown

Firewood Crew’s job is to process firewood and distribute it to our many fires in preparation for the event. If you are handy with a chainsaw or a splitting maul, then firewood crew is the perfect crew for you. This position requires attendance of all of Setup and Breakdown.

MAIN EVENT KITCHEN (Full or Partial Trade)
Setup, During, and Breakdown

Help feed the masses! This shift is perfect for anyone who loves to nourish the community. Plug in and help our Main Event Cook love everyone by feeding them good food! Full trades include time helping with Setup/Breakdown. Most positions are partials and will be during the event. These positions are especially great for those with kitchen experience and/or desire to learn more about stepping into a kitchen leadership role in the future.

RAFFLE SUPPORT (Partial Trade)
During Event

Deliver donations where they are needed on site, organize and execute the Raffle, sell raffle tickets during the event. Must feel comfortable approaching and selling tickets to the public as well as being very responsible with money.

REGISTRATION (Full or Partial Trade)

Be the first to greet folks as they arrive at the gathering! Register and direct participants as they arrive. Must be available starting the Monday before the event. This is a great position for those who are friendly, organized, have great people skills, and don’t mind the hustle/calm ebb and flow.

Setup and Breakdown

Be the best go-to person for random tasks! The Floater arrives with few expectations and is willing and able to lend a helping hand whenever and wherever help is needed. This position requires attendance of all of Setup and Breakdown.

Setup and Breakdown

Help feed the masses! This shift is perfect for anyone who loves to nourish the community. Plug in and help our Pre/Post Event Cook love everyone by feeding them good food! These positions have staggered start/end dates.

SIGNS (Full Trade)
Setup, Breakdown

Signs Crew is responsible for putting up appropriate signage around the property to help folks find where they need to go. This position requires attendance of all of Setup and Breakdown.

TARPS (Full Trade)
Setup, Breakdown

Tarps Crew is responsible for the setup of all the shelters for the event. Tarps crew is a lot like a class in that you will learn several very useful knots and how to erect a tarps or canvas structure. Trucks and random skills are very helpful. Must be physically capable, focused, and able to follow directions. This position requires attendance of all of Setup and Breakdown.

specialty positions

DATA ENTRY (Partial Trade)
During Event, Post-Event

Need someone who is comfortable with GoogleDrive and computers to help with organizing data after the event (could include photos as well.) Must be familiar and comfortable with GoogleForms and spreadsheets in general, and happy to do data entry.

SITE HAND (Full Trade)
Setup, Breakdown

Help with carpentry, plumbing, clearing and other infrastructure projects on-site leading up to the gathering, and/or assist a Site Staff Member during the event. Specific schedule and hours will be arranged with the Site Manager. We’re especially looking for experienced carpenters.

Shuttle Driver (Full Trade)
Setup, During

Help shuttle folks from our satellite parking lot to the main gathering site. This is ONLY a Full Worktrade if you have a vehicle that can shuttle at least 8 people plus gear; in this case, you’re responsible for completing 20 hours during the event. We will compensate you for gas.

Truck & Trailer Driver (Full Trade)
Setup, Breakdown

Must have truck able to haul a trailer. If you have a flat-bed trailer we could use, that would be awesome, but it’s not required. We will compensate you for gas. Promptness and ability to keep a schedule are crucial. You will need to be on-call at some points, especially during Setup. As a Truck & Trailer Driver you will be responsible for moving materials (with additional helping hands) from off-site storage locations to the site. This load-up will happen on Friday, May 29th and Saturday, May 30th. Please be local to the Asheville area.

Youth Program (Full Trade)

Must have experience working with children and be level-headed, kind, patient, flexible, and attentive, with the ability to lead/support nature-based activities with large groups. Our wonderful Youth Program Staff will provide programming ideas and structure. We invite you to collaborate in the process by bringing your individual gifts and passions to Youth Village!

To apply, please provide 2 professional references, list any relevant experience, and share your level of interest and comfortability in leading activities with children, specifying what you hope to bring to Youth Village.

Questions? Please contact Bonnie at

frequent questions

Yes! However, options for this are limited, as it only works if the two shifts have no overlap. This can work well when a During Event position is paired with a Pre-Event or Post-Event position. We do not allow folks to do more than one During Event position. Please note that we are changing the way we arrange these this year, and a pairing you’ve done in the past may no longer be available.

We only process Worktrade Applications once the Worktrade Deposits are received. If you are mailing a check, please give adequate time for the check to get to us. If it has been more than 10 days since you’ve submitted your Attendance Fee and Refundable Deposit, please contact our Worktrade Coordinator at

ATTENDANCE FEE A $25 fee is passed on to our site hosts, Deerfields Retreat Center, for your attendance. The additional $120 Attendance Fee for Partial Worktrades is paying for half of your ticket.

DEPOSIT We want to know that you will come, as we need the help you are agreeing to give! Over the years, refundable deposits have provided the best assurance of accountability. We will keep your deposit only if you don’t show up or don’t complete your hours for a reason we deem unacceptable. If an immediate family member dies or you break your leg, and/or you cancel by March 30th, 2020, we will give back your deposit. If you decide to change your plans, your pet fish dies, your ride falls through, or you cancel after March 30th, we probably won’t give it back. We rely on worktraders to run this event, so please resolve what you need to resolve in order to follow through on your commitment!

We accept payment online via PayPal and by mail via check. Please pay online if you are able, as it’s the fastest way to secure your spot.

If you are paying online, you will be automatically redirected to PayPal for payment of your Attendance Fee and Refundable Deposit. For support with online payment questions, please contact our registration coordinator at

If you don’t have the funds to pay online, mailing in a personal check is a great alternative, as we will not cash your Refundable Deposit unless you do not show up. Please send two separate checks: One for your Attendance Fee ($25 for Full, $145 for Partial) and one for your Refundable Deposit ($150 for Full, $55 for Partial).

You can make personal checks payable to Firefly Gathering and mail to:

Firefly Gathering
Attn: Worktrade Coordinator
P.O. Box 18758
Asheville, NC 28814

Please put the Worktrader’s name and which fee is being paid for in the Memo line of the check.

By successfully completing your worktrade assignments and having a Firefly Staff sign off on your contribution to the gathering! If you complete your worktrade, we will refund you via Paypal if you paid in that manner, or rip up your check.

Our worktrade positions require a lot of care, attention and focus; so we ask that parents and caregivers of children under 12 years old find alternate childcare support during their worktrade shifts. If your child is 12 or older, they may hang out unsupervised onsite, at your discretion. Please arrange to have someone you trust care for your children’s needs while you worktrade. If you are working during Setup/Breakdown, you may submit a request for an additional adult to come with you to care for your children. This person, and your children, would not be eligible to be fed from our Setup/Breakdown Kitchen or Main Event Kitchen. Contact the Worktrade Coordinator at if you have questions or would like to discuss options.

Due to constraints on our kitchen, we are not able to accommodate requests to feed any additional people, including children of worktraders. Please plan ahead to meet your family’s food needs during the gathering. This applies to both our Main Event Kitchen and our Setup/Breakdown Kitchen.

Contact Bonnie Lenneman, the Worktrade Coordinator for questions at If your inquiry is more specific to a work crew leader, she can direct you to the right person.