I’ve been helping with Bookworm’s Band Camp this week, and in consequence have been busier than I’d anticipated. Thought I’d share a few pictures of the fun:
The chaperones have been setting up tents, icing the Gatorades, preparing set cards, setting up lunch, giving first aid (a couple of twisted ankles, a rash caused by allergic reaction, some minor overheating), cleaning up, and generally being go-fers and fixits.
I think camp is going fairly well. A little intense, maybe, but still, the director is pretty calm and patient, and so are the assistants, both the staff ones and the people pulled in just to help with band camp. I vividly remember my own band director getting ticked and throwing things. Not at people intentionally, but still… you ducked if Mr. King was in a temper.
Each day, the drum majors have led a “drilldown,” where the band is in a parade block and given audible instructions that they must follow in good order: Mark Time, Forward, Backward, Quarter-turn to the Right/Left, To the Rear, Left/Right Slide, Left/Right Flank, Halt, Parade Rest, etc. Anybody who screws up has to go to the sidelines, and the last member standing wins. Bookworm’s done pretty well; she’s usually in the last dozen before she gets tripped up on back-to-back turns. As you might expect, it’s typically the seniors and section leaders who make it into the later rounds, and the winners so far have been Cooper (senior trumpet), a tie between tenor drum Ben and drumline captain Jolly, and then Jolly on his own. I can never figure out whether drumline has it easier to march or not, because they don’t do Horns Up/Down commands, and they don’t Slide, either. They Crab instead. Bookworm says this is easier, but she might be wrong. Drum harnesses are heavy, and it always looks to me that they impede leg movement.
I remember the first time Bookworm picked up her instrument: it was five years ago, and it was a clarinet. The squawking… oh, the squawking. She got better. Then she picked up the alto saxophone, because the only kid in her grade at the middle school that played it had moved, and she decided not to go back to clarinet, though she has played bass clarinet in concert band from time to time. When she was a freshman, the marching band was short on tenor saxes (they’re not this year, four tenors to five altos), and her section leader asked her if she could play a tenor instead. She could play it, all right, but she’s so short that it kept hitting her in the knees. She was selected Rookie Marcher of the Year her freshman year, and she’s only gotten better. I’m proud of her.
I’m looking forward to the week being over. It’s exhausting, and I’m not even there the whole day!
The end-of-camp cookout comes Friday night, and families will get to see the part of the show that the band has prepared that evening. Turns out we’re not doing that until the night before the first football game, two weeks from now.
Thursday update: we had a junior trumpet go down with heat exhaustion this morning, just about the time the kids were ready for their Gatorade/granola bar break at 10:40 a.m. I don’t think Amy has been hydrating at home very well, and she’s had this happen before at band camp. It’s not terribly hot – in the 80s – but humid, with no shade on the practice field, and when the kids came to the tents for Gatorade, she just collapsed on the ground and was having trouble breathing. Her mom had the motorcycle at work with her today, so I took Amy, her mom, and her boyfriend (Jolly) to the emergency room. Amy was feeling better by the time we got her to the hospital, and she was able to walk and to finish her Gatorade, so they’re just going to rehydrate her by giving her lots to drink (no IVs, since she’s able to consume liquid without help), and watch her until her temperature stabilizes. Poor kid.
Also, BOOKWORM WON THE DRILLDOWN TODAY!!! I’m so psyched.
Photos are mine. (I cannot imagine why my camera thinks it’s April of 2009. Moreover, I cannot figure out how to fix it. Aargh.)