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27 Things I Wish I Knew Before Heading to band camp

Written by band nerds, for band nerds.

27 Things I Wish I Knew Before Heading to band camp
John Burns

In my four years of marching band, I have learned many things. Skills, tricks, technical stances, and much more. But nothing could have prepared me for band camp that first year. I found myself wishing someone had told me these things before other worse things happened. And now, I pass on the torch of advice, of things we wish we knew. Sincerely, the band nerds.

I wish I knew how close of a family band would be.


I wish I knew the techniques to marching.

"It would have been a lot easier for when we learned drill." -Ryan

I wish I knew that you won't know what to do -and that's ok!

"Everyone tries to be perfect on the first day, when in reality, no one knows what's going on. But you'll get better with each day." -Cass

I wish I knew it was going to be physically and emotionally exhausting.

"but by making friends and having fun performing for an audience, it was all worth it." -Miranda

I wish I knew where band would take me.

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Drum Major Academy, States, Nationals, even Italy!

I wish I knew everyone had it out against the color guard.

"Though this may not be true for every band, it certainly was for mine, and probably some others, too." -Rhys

I wish I knew how much focus would actually be put into it.

"The struggle is so worth the work." -Abby

I wish I knew it would be more work than I originally thought.

"I never thought standing in the sun would be so difficult..." -Roberto

I wish I knew how fun it was before the first day

"That way I wouldn't hate it." -Greg

I wish I knew that DCI was a thing.

"I learn by replicating, so why not replicate the best of the best?" -Bennet

I wish I knew the amount of sunburn I would get.

"Yeah, no thanks." -Rachel

I wish I knew that growth is so much greater than not making mistakes.

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I wish I knew how physical band is.

"There is so much happening at one time -running, spinning, playing, moving. Most people don't realize that until they witness it (but really until they do it). I like to think I'm fairly active." -Jenn

I wish I knew to get ready to be social.

"It's mandatory." -Chris

I wish I knew to refrain from sitting.

"Never sit down after a day of band camp until you're ready to stay in that spot for the rest of the day." -Brooke

I wish I knew how strongly the whole experience would impact me today.

"The Leaders"

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I wish I knew how much time I'd spend at school.

"We're there almost all day and at odd hours at both night and day. We know the building the best because we're in it the most." -Justine

I wish I knew that nothing matters.

"Take nothing seriously because having fun is all you'll remember." -Caroline

I wish I knew to learn the music beforehand.

"It's one less thing to worry about." -Austin

I wish I knew how time consuming it'd be.

"Two weeks and two days. That's 12 days 8 AM to 5 PM in the sun, wandering around on a field learning. And that doesn't even include the introductory rehearsals..." -Ana

I wish I knew that I'd make lifelong friends.

"I never knew that band was going to be the place that I made the friends that I'd have for the rest of my life." -Noah

I wish I knew of the leader I'd become.

"Who you are as a freshman compared to who you are as a senior speaks volumes in your leadership skills." -Kirby

I wish I knew how fit and tan I could get in two weeks.


I wish I knew the goofy times wouldn't last forever.

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It was something like a family, like being part of something bigger than yourself, all while having fun and enjoying these moments.

I wish I knew how much drama it would bring into my life.


I wish I knew to put myself out there.

"Everyone is so sweet and so willing to take you into their family." -Hannah

I wish I knew that the pain would only be temporary.

Not to beat a dead horse, but we all know the pain is worth the win -all the hard work pays off. Just remember that water jugs are a must-have and to bathe in ice, if it even gets that bad.

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