Communication for us, as parents, and our responsibilities have changed a bit, too. Many of us have now experienced online meetings to the extent that it’s no big deal anymore. Yet even with this experience, there is always more to learn about maximizing the programs or just how to use them properly. There have been many technical issues on my end with the daily video meetings I endure. So, if anyone was unaware that there was a limitation in size for the Zoom kick-off meeting, it was a learning moment. If you were able to grab a spot in the meeting, you can enjoy watching it again because it has been posted on the Jenison Bands website at: http://jenisonbands.org/news
As you will notice in the video, the schedule is very different from years past. This year, it is critical that you get several items as soon as possible. These items are listed below. There are many other changes reviewed in the video that future blogs will tackle. Stay tuned and hang on tight!
LARGE WATER JUG
Your student’s health is paramount. Water is essential to our body’s ability to function efficiently. During marching band rehearsals and camps, it is extremely important to have an adequate supply of water at all times. We recommend having a gallon-sized water jug for your student instead of a 20-oz travel mug. The picture below shows the mind-boggling difference between the two sizes. We also recommend you have this jug ready to go for the first mini-camp of the season. Don’t forget to put your student’s name on it! Please make sure it is filled with water before coming to the school. There will be no way to fill it at the school this summer.
Dehydration is something we all want to avoid. There are many symptoms: dizziness/lightheaded, headache, confusion, dry mouth, sleepiness/fatigue, extreme thirst, dark urine, or little to no urine. Symptoms may appear more quickly in some people than in others. The higher the temperature, the higher is our need for water. None of this information is new to any of us parents, but we cannot stress enough how important it is to communicate this to your student. Band camp is hard work. It’s important to remain well hydrated.
Also, don’t forget to purchase a new Dot Book. It may not be needed for mini-camp, but I recommend buying one before they become hard to find. Dot books are required for all marchers and color guard. The front ensemble will not need one since they remain stationary during the performance. If you haven’t purchased one yet and are a little confused as to what it is, a picture is included below. A Dot Book is essentially a collection of 50 index cards with a spiral binding. It’s really that simple. The index cards are typically 3” x 5” and can be all white pages or multi-colored pages. Make sure to clearly mark your student’s name on the cover for easy identification. Because these can get wet, if you write the name in marker, you might want to consider putting clear tape over it to prevent smearing. Also, you will need a piece of string, yarn, or rope to tie the each end of the spiral binding. This allows your student to hang the book around their shoulder or waist. It needs to be easily and quickly accessed no matter where they are on the field. They will also need a mechanical pencil to make those notes with. The wonderful thing about mechanical pencils is that they never need sharpening. If the lead breaks, with a twist or a click, you’re back in business.
3-RING BINDER & PAGE PROTECTORS
For those students playing music, both marchers and front ensemble musicians, a binder is another necessity. Please provide page protectors as well to keep those music sheets free from smudging, creasing, ripping, and most moisture. You won’t regret it.
MECHANICAL PENCIL & DRY ERASE MARKER
Your student will also need something to write with. For quick note taking, a dry erase marker might be the best option. It should allow notes to be written directly on the sheet protector. This is important because time is usually in limited supply when they are on the field. Later in the day they can transfer those notes onto the music sheets with the mechanical pencil they use on the Dot Book. The dry erase marker should just wipe right off the sheet protector.
Shoes are a very important part of marching band rehearsals. Shoes that are comfortable but let your feet breathe to stay cooler are best. Running shoes are recommended due to their increased padding and support designed to reduce impact stress. To lessen the number of blisters caused by new shoes, it is critical that they be purchased as soon as possible and worn immediately to break them in. Rehearsal’s are tough and they don’t stop when someone gets a blister. They get a bandage applied and sent back into the ranks. Marching Band requires a mental and physical toughness usually associated with sports. Well, this is a sport in everything except recognition as such. The most common injuries in band are medically categorized as sports injuries. Good shoes will reduce the risk of these occurring.
Equally important is the need for a second pair of shoes. There is always a high probability of dew on the practice field in the morning. And who knows what precipitation will occur throughout each day. Having a second pair of older shoes (and extra socks) is always a good idea. This allows band members to wear the older shoes in the wet conditions and then change into dry socks and dry shoes during the lunch break. This prevents further skin irritations and blisters.
SUN BLOCKING ITEMS (SUNSCREEN, CHAPSTICK, HAT, SUNGLASSES, ETC)
These items are fairly self-explanatory.
New for this year is sanitizer. This should be kept on hand for obvious reasons. Since students will not be allowed into the school for washing, this is the best option for sterilization. Since these products are not effective unless they have high alcohol content, they also break down in exposure to high heat. Using smaller squeeze bottles may be more effective and larger pump action version in preventing a loss of effectiveness. Plus, it transports a lot easier and reduces risk of a messy spill.