Yes I am on vacation. A vacation that I actually look forward too, even though it is spent with 130 kids for 5 days and other Band Parents that chose to do the same. So you might say, that I am crazy. Vacation means no work, relaxation, good times.
Well we don’t look at it that way. Yes we do work, yes we have 130 kids to watch over, but we get to see these kids come to together as a Band, we get to know them better and we enjoy them. Yes, sometimes we get to a point were we say kids are icky, but if I personally look at the Seniors this year, I can go back and remember them when they started as Freshmen. And it brings up a lot of memories and it makes you proud and sad in the same time. For me this year it is bittersweet. Alex is a Junior, and next year she will be a Senior, a point I thought in years past she would not be, she tried to quit band several times, but the Directors and I would not let her. If we would have let her, she would surely regret it next year.
Anyway, we also have fun. The group of Chaperones that goes, has a great sense of humor. If you don’t have that, then you are at the wrong camp. Kids look at us and think we are weird. Directors have denied knowing us, and also threatened to sent us home if we were not to ship shape up ( of course they would not do that) or even joined in. And we also get yelled at from the Podium to keep quiet, kids love that when they Chaperones get told to knock it off.
It is always amazing, to see the kids take a piece of music and charts and get it all together. The talent they possess is absolutely astonishing. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer for some to realize what it means to be in the Big Red Marching Band and the Tradition that comes with it and the responsibility until they walk out the doors, march down the road to the football field and see the crowd that they have to perform for. Then it hits them..WOW…this is what all that hard work was all about. And it is even sweeter when they walk away with Trophies from a Competition.
The hardest part is when we loose some kids, because they choose not to continue with Band and quit. Lot’s of kids in this program don’t have the support system or structure at home, and every year we hear it over and over at the Senior Bon Fire, that this Band is their family, that this is were they made best friends, and helped them through their problems they have to face in their Lives. That this made them strive for better grades, to make them a better person, and when you hear this coming from someone that came in with a defensive attitute, thinking they know it all better, you know that something was done right and you hope they stay on the right path.
So yes my vacation time is spent at Band camp and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Go Big Reds!