Band camp is just a couple of weeks away which is both the best and the worst time of the year. It's hot outside but it's fun learning music, putting together a show, and hanging out with band friends. I have participated in five marching seasons and seem to think I have a decent grip on what is needed for a successful band camp. We'll start with the essentials.

Always have the essentials

There are many things you need for a successful band camp season. Some things that are obvious and some not so much.

1. Binder and laminated sheets

Have your music organized and take care of them properly. Your music is 100% your responsibility.

2. Pencil

ALWAYS have a pencil on hand so you can make adjustments or notes as-needed to your music.

3. Water jug


4. Sunscreen

You don't want to look like a freshly cooked lobster, do you?

5. Hat and/or sunglasses

Protect your face and prevent being blinded by the morning/night sun! When you get home, you can admire your new and stylish tan lines.

6. Dot card or drill sheet

ALWAYS HAVE YOUR SETS WITH YOU. You don't want to be called out by your band director because you don't know where you're going. Don't be THAT person.

But wait... there's more

There's more to band camp than just the essential survival items. Band is about putting everyone together and performing as a team. In order for your section and directors to be happy you absolutely must:

1. Learn your music

2. Ask for help when you need it

Band directors and section leaders are there for a reason. They're your resources. Use them wisely.

3. Know the rules and follow them

4. Arrive 10-15 minutes early

If you're early, you're on time. If you're on time, you're late. If you're late... good luck.

Schedule time for yourself

There is not much time for yourself during band camp, but you still need to take care of yourself.

1. Make sure you're eating

2. Get a healthy amount of sleep... or close to it

3. HYDRATE even when you're not rehearsing

Band camp is tiring but it is still fun! You now have the key to a successful band camp, so enjoy the season and your show. Make it worth your while and march on!