Band Camp is the most important week of the marching band season. It not only “sets the tone” for the marching season, but for the entire school year of band activities.
Set specific goals for the week or two of Band Camp. Possible goals:
Fundamentals of music and movement
Learn the Opener drill
Learn all of the show music
Learn the school and patriotic songs
An important aspect of Band Camp is gaining a sense of belonging to the marching band and developing the band family atmosphere. This will not happen by accident but through planned activities and “Attitude Sessions.” (see Chapter 9)
Have a detailed schedule with every minute planned (including free time) and distribute copies to all staff, students and parents.
Band Camp is the most effective time to bring in outside help and it should be a very high priority in the budget.
Regardless of the length of band camp or how much is accomplished, it is essential to have a parent show at the conclusion. Students are motivated and excited to show what they have accomplished and the parents, friends and alumni are always interested in what the new season show is all about. It is important to talk to the crowd and explain the process and accomplishments of camp.
I always enjoyed band camp because it was the beginning of a new season, time to get to know the new students, a chance to focus on only the band and kids and it is a joy to watch the new band form its own personality.