Band Camp Information
A great marching band season requires having a great band camp. It is important that all students are focused and ready to go for three weeks of hard work, sweat, and fun. Our goal is to learn a majority of our show, while at the same time providing a strong music education in a safe environment. Band Camp is not easy, but it is also not impossible to get through. Students will be tired, hot, and a little moody over the next few weeks. They may struggle physically and mentally, but in the end they will be rewarded with a great sense of accomplishment. Please encourage your child to push through the hard part of the season and let us know if there is something that can be done to help with that as well. We have a dedicated staff of instructors who are concerned with the welfare of the band program and the success of the Dixie Band. I know they truly care about your children and you should feel confident that they will be taken care of. We also have a dynamic group of parents who donate their time, energy, and love to the band students. Please step up and help...we love to see new faces and we can always find something for you to do!
Attendance for Band Camp is crucial. If your child misses, it puts the whole band behind as we have to go back and relearn things.
Do not miss practice!
Below I have included some important information. While it is not a complete list of everything that needs to be taken care of over the next three weeks, I feel it will provide a lot of answers to questions you may be having.
It is important that students eat breakfast before they come to morning camps. We will give them a snack break but it does not usually happen until about an hour and a half into rehearsal. They should try to eat lighter foods (fruits, applesauce, granola bars, bagels or English muffins with jelly, oatmeal) and try to avoid heavier foods (bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, etc.). Cereal might be a good idea, but avoid whole milk. Pop Tarts hold no nutritional value.
The majority of our practices are held outside, on asphalt, in the middle of summer. As always we need to prepare for the heat, humidity, and sun. Students should wear sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher). The band may have some that was donated. Students are allowed to wear hats, preferably baseball hats. If your child is sensitive to the sun they need to take as much precaution as possible.
You must be hydrated during camps. The best way to do this is by drinking a lot of water. Please have students drink at least 16 oz of water before coming to practice and about 32 oz when they get home at the end of the night. We will give them numerous chances to have water breaks throughout the day. Students are required to have a water jug at all rehearsals. They are not allowed to share water jugs with other students. Please label the bottom and the lid of the water jug. Parents in the concession stand will clean and refill water jugs when needed.
Try to avoid other types of drinks during camps. Gatorade type drinks are ok, but should be in addition to a lot of water, not instead of water. All sodas, energy drinks, heavy sugar drinks, and carbonated drinks are not allowed. They will make your child sick and they will have less energy.
The band follows the school dress code during practices. While I know that it is hot outside, following the dress code will be enforced. Band Camp is not a fashion show and students should dress in a manner that is both comfortable and represents the band in the best light. This includes not wearing t-shirts that have inappropriate sayings, logos, or graphics. If students wear inappropriate attire they will be asked to change into something else. Girls are not allowed to wear tube tops or bikini tops. All shorts lengths are at the discretion of the band director, staff, and parents volunteering in the concession stand. If a student is wearing shorts that are too revealing or too short, they will be asked to change into something else. Athletic shorts are fine to wear.
Students are not allowed to wear jeans or jean shorts to practice!
Band Camp is NOT a time to diet. Many students might look at this as a great chance to lose a few pounds since they are exercising so much; however it is not safe. Your body will need fuel to survive the long practice hours. Food will help you get through the day and if we see students skipping meals or only eating small amounts we will talk to them and their parents. Meals will be monitored to ensure that everyone is eating properly.
Students must wear gym shoes and socks at every practice. Sandals, flip flops, skater shoes (flat soles), and crocs are not allowed and will only cause pain if worn. There is also no need to wear the most expensive shoes you can find, wear comfortable shoes.
Students should try to get on a normal sleep pattern as soon as possible. If they are staying up late hours it will affect their mood, attitude, and health at band camp. While it may be unrealistic to have the students go immediately to bed when they get home from camps (we all need down time), it is highly suggested that they do have a bedtime set-up that allows for as close to 8 hours of sleep as possible.
Wind & Percussion Students
Bring a 1 inch 3-ring binder with plastic sleeves for your music.
Drop-Off and Pick-Up
The official drop-off and pick-up location is on the left hand side of the school, by the football stadium. Students are to walk around the back of the building to get to the band loading dock. They are only allowed to enter the building through the percussion closet and must not go anywhere else in the building, unless they are instructed to go there. I will be there at least 15 minutes prior to rehearsals; sometimes earlier. Students should not arrive hours before practice. If students do arrive before me, they are to wait on the loading dock and they are not permitted in the building. Students are not allowed to prop open any doors at Dixie. Students must be on time. We are going to start immediately at the times published on the calendars and if students are late, they may be asked to run laps. Parents should avoid driving through the practice field.
Students will end practice at the published time. If practice ends at 9pm - it will end at 9pm, not 8:50pm, so they will need time to clean up their equipment and hear announcements. It is recommended that parents pick students up no earlier than 15 minutes after the published end of rehearsal.
Parents please drive slowly when entering the practice field area and watch for students walking through the parking lots. Many parents do come to the end of practice early to watch some of the end of practice; this is encouraged, although we ask that you do not cause distractions by trying to talk to your student while they are on the field.
Breaks & Leaving Campus
Students will not be permitted to leave camps during any of our lunch or dinner breaks. Even with a note, students will not be permitted to walk off of campus. If you do not want your child to eat lunch or dinner on campus with the rest of the band, they MUST be picked up in a car by you.
Lunch time is only 1 hour and it is a great time for the students to bond outside of rehearsal. We try to make it fun and relaxing. The band room will be open with air conditioning. During the week of Band Camp we will also have dinner on campus and the band room will serve as a place to relax, play games, rest, etc.
It is important that students are practicing outside of the band camp days. If they only look at their music, touch their instrument, pick up their flag, or work on fundamentals during our practice times, we will not progress at the rate we need/want to. The first week of camp is only in the afternoons, so students should be practicing in the morning or evening for a minimum of 30 minutes. They need to be prepared so the band can move quickly and efficiently. As we always say "We are only as strong as our weakest link", so every student is important and every student must give their all at all times...in and out of practices. The show is harder, longer, and more challenging than in past years, so it is important to step it up outside of rehearsal and come to rehearsals prepared and ready to work hard.
Typical Band Camp Day
(8am to 9pm Practice Day)
This is a typical layout for a band camp day; exact times will vary depending
on the weather and what area of the show needs the most attention.
8:00 AM Stretches
8:15 AM Fundamentals
9:00 AM Water Break
9:05 AM Learning/Improving Drill
10:00 AM Morning Break
10:15 AM Drill/ Music
11:15 AM Water Break
12:00 PM Lunch Break
1:00 PM Sectionals
2:15 PM Large Sectionals
2:50 PM Afternoon Break
3:00 PM Full Ensemble
4:00 PM Dinner Break
6:00 PM Fundamentals / Warm-Up
6:25 PM Water Break
6:30 PM Full Band
7:50 PM Evening Break
9:00 PM End of Rehearsal
9:05 PM End of Announcements
9:05 - 9:15 PM Clean up field and equipment
9:15 PM Dismissal