Marching Band CampIt's that time of year again.  If you have not already held your summer band camp chances are you will be in the next few days.  Check out this list of suggestions to get the most out of the students while taking the least out of you!
  1. {mosimage}Provide lunch for your students ON CAMPUS!
    A few years ago I began having my band parent's organization begin providing lunch for the students around 11:30 or so each day of band camp.  The students each paid $10 for the week and were provided with generous portions of food, cold drinks, and desserts throughout the five days of camp.  It broke up the day nicely and allowed us to continue working right until camp ended at 3:30 each day.  The parent's got other parents to donate food and time which saved on costs tremendously.


  2. Get your leadership corps on board long before camp starts
    Don't wait until the day before camp to organize and plan how you will be using you student leaders.  A good, solid student leaderhship corps can help you get more accomplished but only if you have done the proper planning and training to get it off the ground in advance of band camp.
  3. Have a backup plan in case of weather issues
    As I write this the temperature outside is over 100 degrees.  It could just as easily be raining, so you have to have a backup plan for what you can do in case you can't be outside practicing the drill.  Find out if there are any rooms in your school are available (and air conditioned).  Sign out access to one or more gyms each day on the off chance you need a larger area than the band room for a music rehearsal. 
  4. Have your daily schedule posted and stick to it!
    Kidsdon't react to change well, especially incoming freshmen.  Set a schedule for the day with one hour segments (warm-up/fundamentals, music rehearsal, drill rehearsal, sectionals, lunch, etc.).  Unless circumstances require you to do so, don't change it during the day.
  5. Get your equipment ready BEFORE band camp starts.
    Tune the drum line, check the sousaphone valves, make sure you have all the needed silks for the flags.  If possible use your student leadership corps for these duties, but make sure that they are done!  Having to tune a drum or go grab something from the storage room during a rehearsal slows things down and distrupts the flow of the day.  You can't plan for everything, but try to do your best.
  6. Get Professional Help!
    Unless you are a one man (or woman) show doing everything from 5th-12th grade you probably have access to at least one other professional music teacher that might be able to help you with music rehearsals or some other aspect of the Band Camp week.  Offer to help them with some aspect of their programs in exchange for their help during band camp week.  This one item can totally change your entire band camp experience for the better.

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