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5 Steps to prepare for Band Camp

5 steps to prepare for band camp

Band Camp is approaching, and whether you are new to the band or a senior member, it’s time to prepare for this season!

So much factors into a successful camp, but besides the things that are totally out of your control (hello, torrential downpour), you can make sure you’ve prepared as much as possible for a great camp!

a band member drinking water from a cooler

Hydrate: Start drinking water a week before band camp, to hydrate your body

  • Water is the best choice, but fruit juice and Gatorade are
    also helpful to replenish electrolytes
  • Soda may contain sodium and does NOT do an effective
    job of hydrating
  • Take a large refillable water jug, and drink water any chance you get a break

Dehydration and Heat Exhaustion is a serious condition that can be prevented.

a girl applying sunscreen

Sunscreen: Wear an SPF50+ sunscreen, and reapply often to prevent sunburn

  • Make sure to apply sunscreen, even if the sky is overcast
  • Reapply often, especially if you are sweating a lot
  • Don’t combine bug repellent with sunscreen.  If you need bug repellent, apply it first then cover with sunscreen

Don’t end up roasted on day 1 of camp, that will lead to a really uncomfortable week and is also very dangerous to your health!

a diverse group of young people running on grass

Stretching: Warm up your muscles and strengthen them for an injury free camp

  • In the weeks leading up to camp, work on your stretching and strength training. Use a guideline (like the video below) to stretch before rehearsals, this will help to make sure the muscles are prepared for strenuous exercise and use
  • Condition your body by walking, swimming, biking, and hiking are good ways to increase your heart rate. Start with a 20-minute walk outside and gradually increase the distance and length of time each week. Getting your body conditioned and adjusted to the summer climate will help from making this difficult adjustment during camp
  • To strengthen the muscles in your arms, work on holding your instrument in a playing position multiple times every day.  Increase the duration of time each day, you can follow this guideline to build up strength:
    • 4 weeks before camp: Hold your instrument in playing position for 2 minutes every day
    • 3 weeks before camp: Hold your instrument in playing position for 4 minutes every day
    • 2 weeks before camp: Hold your instrument in playing position for 6 minutes every day
    • 1 week before camp: Hold your instrument in playing position for 8 minutes every day
an arm putting a backpack into the trunk of a vehicle

Smart Packing: Making sure you’ve packed all of the necessary items, plus these extra items that you may not have thought about

  • Extra Socks: the one-pair-a-day rule is out the window. Socks are small, so pack extra pairs for the days that you’ve sweated excessively, you will feel much better with dry socks!
  • Wide brimmed hat: You are most likely going to be in the sun during the most exposed times of the day (I’m sorry to break the news).  Days for worrying about your tan are out, sun protection is the key.  Try to find a bucket hat that will both cover your face and neck
  • Lip balm: Not only do you want to protect your lips from the elements, but it will help save them from chapping if you are playing a brass or woodwind instrument
  • Snacks: Although your band may supply snacks, you might bring a few snacks from home to enjoy during breaks or when rehearsal is over
  • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from the sun
  • Card Games: A deck of cards or other card games will make breaks much more enjoyable, and a great way to break the ice with new members
  • Fanny Pack: It’s not only a fashion statement but is helpful to carry your essentials like lip balm, pencils, and drill book
  • Athletic Shoes: Be sure to wear a good pair of athletic shoes that are comfortable and provide good support for your feet. You can bring flip flops for breaks, but don’t plan on wearing them during rehearsals
a diverse group of young people talking

Relax: Make sure to bring your instrument (obviously) and try to relax. Everyone is going to make mistakes so don’t stress about it.  Make sure you understand where you went wrong, and let it motivate you to get even better!

Have a great camp, we are so excited you have this opportunity. Learn lots, make tons of friends, and become the best band member you can be!

Write a comment on this post about how your camp went, or if you have a great story to share, we’d love to read about your experiences!

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