Do you have a band student who plans to move on to marching band after eighth grade? Marching band camp starts around four or five weeks before school starts. Even though school hasn’t ended, I wanted to give you a heads up and let you know that band students are required to attend band camp. Check with the band director to determine the date that band camp starts. It is important that you plan the family vacation prior to the start date.
Band camp is necessary so that students learn the drills so that they can perform at the first football game of the season. A majority of band camp will be held outside and during the summertime, it can reach temperatures over 100 depending on the area that you live in. Before the first day, you need to get a few essentials to bring with you along with your instrument.
Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions regarding the UIL rules for your school district, please speak to your child’s band director. For all life-threatening injuries or if you think your child has symptoms of heat exhaustion, please go to the doctor or the nearest emergency room.
Before you head to band camp, apply sunscreen so that you are protected from the first-morning sun. Don’t forget to reapply it frequently especially if you are sweating. The last thing you want to deal with is a severe sunburn by the time you get home for the day.
A CamelBak (aff link) is a water hydration device that you carry on your back. I know you are probably wondering why your child can’t bring a regular water bottle? A water bottle would be sitting off to the side and your child will be unable to get to it. But with water accessible on their back, your child can have easy access to water as needed. The CamelBak has a straw/mouthpiece that can even be used while mobile.
When my daughter was in band, the band director informed them to fill the CamelBak up and stick it in the refrigerator overnight. is very important to stay hydrated. This trick allows your child to have cold water most of the day depending on how much they drink throughout the day. CamelBak’s are a bit pricey but they do come with a lifetime warranty. It should last your child the entire 4 years while they are in band camp as long as they clean it out regularly. Also, Camelbaks are not made to be shared.
Cross Training Shoes
The band director specifically told my daughter that she needed to wear cross-trainers instead of running shoes. Running shoes don’t have enough lateral support that your child needs while learning how to march. Marching is very different than walking or running. Students are taught to walk on their heels and have their toes pointed in the air so that they can march properly. Wearing the wrong kind of shoes can result in injury because they can’t properly roll their feet while marching.
Wear Light Colored T-Shirts
Before band camp starts, you should get five white or light grey t-shirts to wear to marching practice. The white or light grey t-shirts won’t absorb as much of the sun’s heat and will help keep you feeling cooler. Do make sure that they are loose-fitting as well. Skip on compression shirts, tank tops, and dark-colored shirts. These will absorb more heat from the sun and cause you to overheat.
Ask your band director if you are allowed to wear sunglasses during practices. Your child will be spending hours outside and it is important to protect the eyes from harmful UV rays. Plus, you will be able to easily be able to see your band director and conductor if the sun is shining directly in your eyes.
Wear a Hat
Invest in a wide brim hat, if possible, to protect your neck, face, and head. A baseball cap will work in a pinch but it won’t offer as much protection as a wide brim hat. Again, ask your band director if wearing a hat is possible during practice. If not you can cover your neck with a bandana.
Always carry a small amount of money to band camp each day. You don’t know if you will need it. Some of the upper class go off campus to grab lunch. Do get permission from your parents and band director before you leave campus for any reason.
Do you have a child in the band? While it seems silly to be talking about band camp before school has even let out for the summer. However, many families are making summer vacation plans now. Band camp is mandatory so you will need to know when band camp starts so that you can make adequate summer plans around it.