Marching Band Camp can be a complicated endeavor. Follow these great tips to help ensure a smooth camp session:
Stress Free Lunches
Take the hassle out of dealing with sweaty bologna lunches away from the kids and provide a lunch. Involve the boosters and charge a small fee for a weeks’ worth of lunches – $10 or so. The band parents can supply food, icy cold beverages, and even dessert five days a week to give the kids a nice break. You may even find it’s possible to get area restaurants to donate one day a week! Any left over money can go in the booster fund.
Start Leadership Organization Early
Don’t leave your captains, majors, and leaders hanging on the first day wondering how to help you lead. Plan your system in advance and meet with them a couple of times before camp starts so that they are confident in how to help you get most out of band camp.
Be Prepared for Inclement Weather
Do what you need to do to have areas within the school open to you when you need them. If it starts pouring down rain or just gets way too hot, you’ll need a place to practice. Even if there’s no place inside to work on parts of the drill, breaking up sections into smaller rooms to practice the music is better than calling it a day.
Post the Daily Order of Events
Having an idea of what is next and how long they have to suffer standing at attention keeps kids motivated. They’re not big on surprises, so try to stick to the order as much as possible. Yes, you’re in charge and this is band, not romper room, but surprising them leads to the butterfly effect of lesser motivation and progress.
Make Preparation the First Order
Have each section meet with their captain or leader before band camp starts to be sure that every musician or guard member has everything they need and are ready for camp. Tune instruments, make sure the brass has rags and the winds have reeds, etc.
Next, make the first half hour of every day of band camp preparation time and have each section leader check to make sure everything is in order and instruments are in tune. You don’t want to pause a rehearsal for forgotten or broken items.
Ask for Help
Enlist another music teacher to help you with the camp in exchange for your help in their programs. Having another adult and experienced helper even one day a week can make all the difference in the success of your camp and your own personal experience of it.
Hope these tips help. Have a great camp!