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Band Camp Things to Know

  • Buy a Water Jug. That's right, I didn't say a water bottle. ...

  • Make sure you have proper clothes. I can't stress the need for proper practice clothes enough. ...

  • Bring sunscreen. Wear sunscreen. ...

  • Practice your instrument. ...

  • Keep in moderate shape over the summer, if possible.

  • Athletic shorts (no compression/bike shorts and must be proper length).

  • T-shirts(no shirts cut down the sides).

  • Athletic undergarments for ladies (sports bras, etc)

  • Hats/headbands/scarves.

  • Small towel.

  • deodorant.

  • Gold Bond or other medicated powder.

  • Spf chapstick.

  • Sunglasses and SUNSCREEN.

  • Insect repellent.

  • Cooler.

  • 2 pairs of lace-up tennis shoes with proper arch support

  • Extra socks, t-shirt.

  • Prescription medications (Keep in original container, clearly labeled with dosage instructions. must be given to staff member at check-in, and will be dispensed by staff as instructed.)

  • NO valuable jewelry.

  • NO nice clothes or shoes.

  • NO energy drinks.


Lunch is on your own. Either bring a lunchbox/cooler or make arrangements for food during the lunch break.

Food is just as important as water! More water breaks will be given than meal and snack breaks, so once you’re allowed to eat, take advantage of that time and eat something filling.  From breakfast through dinner, balance your meal with different nutrients, such as vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, and good fats. They’ll provide you with long-term energy, and refresh your body for the next rehearsal period. Avoid all junk food this week; these bad fats and excessive amount of sugar and salt will slow you down.


  • 1. PROTECT YOURSELF - Apply sunblock, preferably with an SPF of at least 30, at least 15 minutes before you’ll be outside. Don’t be afraid to apply more than you think you’ll need. Get a friend to help you cover the hard areas like your shoulders and the back of your neck. Keep in mind that sunblocks are sweat-resistant, not sweat-proof, so remember to reapply the sunscreen once or twice during your outdoor block. Not only will this help to protect your skin from sun damage, but hopefully you can also minimize the dreaded sock tan and shorts tan that are the telling signs of a band kid.

  • 2. DRESS FOR SUCCESS - There is no reason that you should ever show up to band camp in skinny jeans. Wear athletic clothing that will allow you to stretch, jog, march, and sweat. Leave your flip flops at home and instead reach for your tennis shoes (flat shoes like Converse and Vans are discouraged). Opt for lighter colored clothing, rather than an all black ensemble which will absorb more heat from the sun.

  • 3. DRINK - Investing in a Camelbak (a backpack filled with water) might be the smartest decision you’ll ever make, and you’ll thank yourself when you can sneak a sip while your band director or section leader is going over a couple of instructions. Another smart drinking purchase is a cooler jug. You can fill this with water and ice, and it’ll stay icy cold and refreshing throughout practice, unlike the Camelbak which has limited insulation power. Finally, consider having a supply of water and a supply of Gatorade (or Smart Water if you prefer something without flavor). These drinks have electrolytes, which you’ll need if you’re working outside for a couple of hours. Keep in mind that it’s important to pace yourself; don’t chug a ton of water before a hard rep, your body won’t let that go down easily.

  • 4. EAT - Take advantage of your lunch and dinner breaks to rest in an air-conditioned place. While some might take advantage of this time to get some extra practicing in, listen to your body and rest up if you need to. It’s better to recharge and continue the following practice block with full energy levels, than to exhaust yourself for the rest of the day. Some good energy-boosting foods for lunchtime are fruits, especially bananas and blueberries; carbs, preferably in the form of whole grains; a small amount of fat, like peanut butter, paired with a sandwich or celery; almonds and walnuts; raw veggies; and sandwiches with protein like turkey, ham, or egg. Try to avoid eating foods that are high in sugar so you won’t crash after a rush of energy.

  • 5. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY - Try to pace yourself throughout practice. Remember that the number one concern is your health, and if you’re feeling unwell don’t be afraid to tell a member of the band staff. There’s a flip side to this coin, and that’s don’t give up too easily. After the slightest amount of exhaustion or pain, it’s easy to say, “Ok, I’m done now”. But it’s important to power through so you can build up your stamina and prepare for the 7+ minute shows you’ll be marching in a month’s time. Any seasoned band member will tell you that a positive attitude on the field makes a world of a difference in your band camp experience.

  • 6. PREPARE - It’s almost impossible to stress how important it is to adequately prepare yourself for band camp. If you’ve been sitting around all summer and expect to shift effortlessly into band camp mode, you’re wrong. Take a walk outside, play with your younger siblings, or do some push-ups before you go to bed. Drink at least 8 cups of water a day during the week leading up to band camp. And then during band camp you can…

  • 7. TREAT YOURSELF - By going to bed early! Your body will need as much rest as possible after a long day of hard work. While it’s tempting to relax by watching TV or talk with friends late at night, remember that for the time of band camp, your health should be your number one priority.

  • 8. Make new friends - Band camp is the marching band’s first time for all the sections plus the color guard to be together at once. When time allows, like during meal breaks, get to know other band members outside of your section. Introduce yourself, and make new friends! You are all about to endure a six-month marching season, share the field, and work together as an ensemble to produce fantastic music and visuals. Get to know who you’ll be sharing those moments with. The time in between your first day of band camp to the bus ride home from the last football game will go by quicker than you can imagine. Start those connections early to assure a great rest of the season!


  • Consider buying a knee brace or ankle brace if you have a known weakness in those areas

  • Wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes. Don’t be embarrassed to wear a large hat that covers everything, it’s okay to be known as the sombrero kid.

  • Plan on bringing your own water, not mooching off of your friends’. Ask your friends to expect the same for themselves. Not only does this guarantee enough water for you, but it’ll help stop the spread of sickness (which can spread like wildfire when so many people are close together).

  • If you know that you’re sensitive to heat, consider investing in a cooling towel to wear around the back of your neck. That’s the first place you want to cool down if you’re worried about overheating.

  • If you have a serious sunburn from an earlier day of band camp, cover that burn up with clothing, even if that means wearing a long sleeved shirt or long pants. Look for athletic clothing that’s long, white, and breathable, which should do the trick. This will help the sunburn from spreading and getting worse (and from appearing in the first place).