Hi, regarding the volunteer hours, hopefully I can offer a simple explanation that will answer your questions thusfar.
You do need to purchase your own badge. It is one of the requirements that you are able to provide your own registration. When you pick up your badge, you sign up to be a volunteer at the con itself to receive a volunteer badge.
You need a general total of 20 hours to fully reimburse a weekend-badge, and 5 hours for a day badge. There are no partial reimbursements. You can fulfill this depending on how many hours you offer to the cafe, this includes in and out of the convention.
However, as the maid cafe is only open from 11AM-6PM for two days, and shifts are typically 2-4 hours (depending on how you are scheduled) you generally do not get enough hours for a reimbursement. What other volunteers do is sign up for another department seeking volunteers to fulfill the total hour requirements. Most maids that I've recruited in the past generally don't bother becoming volunteers, however.
A maid can receive up to approximately 8-17 hours. 4 hours for try-outs (this only applies if you pass), 2 hours for the at-con meeting, 2 hours for 2-hr shifts, 4 hours for 4-hr shifts, 1 hour for each performance, and etc. It adds up, but sometimes maids stick around and contribute more than we ask for.
To most, it isn't really so much about "what we are getting back", but from my experience, most girls come for the experience of being a maid and being a part of Fanimaid Cafe. I don't mean to say that we're just people looking for free labor, because that isn't it at all. We do this because it's fun, provides joy and a sense of accomplishment for staff, our maid volunteers, and our customers. We all just simply work hard every year, and ultimately, have lots and lots of fun.
We do discuss volunteer hours at try-outs, and feel free to ask us any questions. Be sure to read back into past updates and information posted to make sure your question wasn't already answered.
Hope that helps!