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Band & Guard Camp

Band Camp is where students learn the marching band show that will be performed at contests and half-time games in the fall.  It is essential that all band and guard members attend these summer practices, including all band camps, as this is when spots are assigned, fundamentals are taught, and the fall marching show is learned.  

Below are some useful tips we've compiled to help you survive band camp.

​Preparing for Band Camp

  • Get plenty of rest. Band camp can be strenuous, and it’s easier if you’re well rested. Get plenty of rest before and after band camp.

  • Hydrate early. Start hydrating in the days leading up to band camp. This helps you start balancing your water intake instead of drinking a large amount of water at once when rehearsal starts.

  • Prepare the night before. Have everything you need for band camp the night before including water, sunglasses, hat, deodorant, etc. 

  • Early is on time. Always arrive 10-15 minutes early. Remember that you need time to gather your things and get to the practice area.

Band Camp Attire

  • Lightweight clothing. Dress appropriately for the weather.

  • Comfortable, athletic shoes. You will be on your feet for long periods of time. Wearing athletic shoes will be more comfortable and protect your feet from blisters.

  • Sunglasses. Sunglasses will help protect your eyes from UV rays and block annoying glare.

  • Hat. A hat will help block sun and glare from your eyes.

Band Camp Attitude

  • Try your hardest. Band camp will go a lot smoother if you make a decent effort at marching and playing your instrument.

  • Be optimistic and don’t complain. Complaining is extremely annoying to everyone and ultimately unhelpful.

  • Learn the show. Now is the time to practice. Practice as you would like to perform - learn your formations, music, rhythms, etc.

  • Be respectful and courteous towards all staff. Often they are busy or stressed, so be understanding.

  • Listen to section leaders. Listen and learn from these upperclassman. They are section leaders for a reason.

  • Remember that everyone is at band camp to learn. If you’re a newcomer, don’t take it personally when an instructor gives advice. Remember, they’re trying to help you look better in performance. If you’re a returning member, help out newcomers and be patient with them. You were a rookie once. 

  • Make friends and have fun. Get to know your classmates, your section, whoever is sitting or standing next to you in formation.

Staying Healthy During Band Camp

  • Hydrate often! Frequent breaks will be given, especially during hot weather. Make sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water during these breaks. Avoid soda, juice, milk and dairy products. These drinks will dehydrate you and milk products will curdle in your stomach and make you nauseous. 

  • Stretch. Marching band can be demanding during the summer, stretch as you would in preparation for other strenuous activity.

  • Wear sunscreen. That sunburn won’t feel good tomorrow. Remember to reapply every few hours or so.

  • Lip Balm. Sunburned lips are not fun to play an instrument with, especially for brass players.

  • Eat healthy. Balance your meals with different nutrients, such as vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, and good fats. They’ll provide you with long-term energy, and refresh your body for the next rehearsal period. Avoid all junk food this week; these bad fats and excessive amount of sugar and salt will slow you down.

  • Get some rest. Band camp can be strenuous, and it’s easier if you’re well rested.

  • Overheating. If you start to feel fatigued, dizzy or nauseous, you may be suffering from heat exhaustion. Tell a section leader, drum major, or staff member immediately. Get to some shade and get some water if you think this is happening to you.

Proper Band Camp Hygiene

  • Stay clean. You will get sweaty and dirty during practice.
    Stay clean by bathing daily.

  • Clean clothes. You should wear clean cloths each day.
    Do not re-wear the previous days clothes without washing them first.

  • Smell good. No one likes a smelly band person. Deodorant helps, and should be available in instrument case if you need a quick refresh.

Additional Advice

  • Don’t talk when band directors, drum majors, or section leaders are talking. Not only will this irritate them, but it will distract people around you from what they’re saying, which could be very important. If you need help finding your drill spot, quietly raise your hand and someone will gladly help you. Marching Band is very military-esque. When the director is speaking, you do not. When you need to snap to attention, you snap. Take it seriously, many skills that you learn in this activity can be applied to everyday life!

  • Drill sheets. If you are given a drill sheet/card with your formations on it or music do not lose it.

  • Always trust the instructors. Especially when you think they aren’t right. They are rarely wrong.

  • Take things seriously, but not TOO seriously. In the end, it's just band!

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