Page current for 2021-22 Season

Why is there a page just for Band Camp?  Because unlike anything else we do, Band Camp is not an ordinary set of brief band practices–we work all day, every day of the week and go from coming together as a group for the very first time at the beginning of the week, to presenting a complete show in public by the end of the week.  It’s an awesome experience–but there are some things to know if you’re new!

DATES: August 8-12 at Quaker Valley Middle School.  August 13 back at Quaker Valley High School.  Please check the calendar page for specific times for your section (if you’re unsure of your section, check the “Schedule Groups” page here).  Without exception, all of camp is mandatory for all members of the Marching Band. 

HANDBOOK AND MEDICAL FORM: It is essential that you review the Band Handbook online and complete your medical forms prior to camp.

MEALS: Snacks and water are provided throughout the day at camp.  Students may bring additional snacks if they choose (no nut products please!).  For lunch, students may choose to either pack a lunch or order lunch via a form that will be e-mailed prior to camp.

DO BRING:
-T-shirts and shorts that are light in color and made of a light material
-OLD Tennis shoes or your marching shoes.  Students will NOT be permitted to march in sandals or barefoot.  Tennis shoes or marching shoes are the only acceptable option.  Old tennis shoes that have already been broken in greatly reduce the risk of getting blisters after a day of marching.  Do not wear new tennis shoes at camp!
-Long sleeved t-shirt, hoodie or light jacket
-SUNSCREEN, lip balm, hat, sunglasses, etc.
-Refillable water bottle
-Instrument and instrument supplies (extra valve oil, reeds, sticks, etc.)
-Music, pencils
-Cell phone–take pictures!!
-Lunch (if you didn’t order one)
-Hearing protection (mandatory for drumline, optional for other instrumentalists, not needed for Guard)
-Medications needed during the day (will be coordinated with the nurse)

DO NOT BRING:
-Other musical instruments–While we appreciate your enthusiasm, breaks are for well…taking a break.  Kumbaya will have to wait.
-Sports items–Same as above.  Breaks are for taking a break….not for burning up energy working on your ultimate frisbee game.
-Valuables–We are not responsible for lost or stolen items!
-Any other distractors.  If it doesn’t help you with playing your instrument or marching on a football field, leave it home!

EXPECTATIONS:

1. Consistently demonstrate your best effort.  Failing while trying hard is ok.  Failing while not trying is not.

2. Ask questions and/or ask for help when you need it.  We want you to succeed–if you’re not sure what’s happening or what do to, just ask!  There are plenty of people to help you…teachers, the drum major, captains, upperclassmen, other members of your section, etc.

3. Seek out and listen to the advice of experienced members–they know what they’re talking about!

4. Stay open-minded and trust us–the reason everyone has told you Marching Band is worth it is because…it’s worth it.

WHY IS BAND CAMP WEEK A NON-NEGOTIABLE COMMITMENT IN ORDER TO JOIN THE MARCHING BAND?

We regret that students who cannot attend the band camp week in its entirety cannot be in the Marching Band.  Below is an explanation as to how we’ve come to that policy over the past 10+ years, and why it is our only non-negotiable for membership in the organization.

Our program is structured in a way that breaks down as many barriers to participation as possible.  Over the years, we’ve moved band camp from an away location that used to cost families hundreds of dollars every summer, to having camp at the Middle School where there is no cost.  We’ve moved away from doing competitions which monopolize the weekends of our students and their families during the fall.  We’ve lightened our rehearsal schedule during the first weeks of school because a heavy rehearsal schedule was not conducive to students being able to start their school year with any degree of normalcy in their schedules.  It was also not conducive to allowing students to explore their other interests in other extra-curricular areas.  We believe strongly in the educational experience students receive in Marching Band—both musically, and in ways that have nothing to do with the music—and these changes to the way the program runs were and remain necessary to allow for the largest number of students possible to become involved.

With all that in mind, in order to run the program with less rehearsal time and with a flexible mindset during the school year, we’ve found over the years that we have to be less flexible with band camp week as a trade-off in order to set students up for success throughout the season.  Previously, we used to make exceptions for students who could not make camp because we did not want to turn away any student who wanted to be part of the Marching Band.  But we noticed a negative trend: students who did not attend the main camp week never got caught up, felt like outsiders to the group, and very often quit at the end of their first season—citing the fact that they didn’t feel it was the experience that they had hoped for or had been promised.  The number of rehearsal hours at band camp help explain this—the 50-60 hours of work that students put in together at camp is more time than they have together in rehearsal than the rest of the season put together.  Apart from the fact that that amount of work and time simply cannot be made up, not getting to go through all of the work with the “team” ultimately hurts students’ perceptions of being part of the group—which defeats one of the main purposes of joining in the first place.