Student thinks Band Camp is Hell on Earth

Cooper Kerbow

“Why do you always go back to band camp in August?” “You’re a junior, what are you doing?” “Why does anyone go to band camp?” I get these questions all the time. It doesn’t matter what you look like or who you are, band is a big happy weird pseudo-family.

Kick-off starts the Friday before August, as each band member shuffles through the registration line. Here, all grades get their new equipment for the season, including a flip folder (to hold your music for the football games), your marching shirt and your wonderful, incredible, personalized red one-of-a-kind band tote (to hold all your junk, from shoes to hair brushes). Introducing themselves at registration are the officers and directors. We think of them as our dads, moms, brothers, sisters, uncles and cousins; they pretty much control our lives.

Think of living on the surface of the sun for a couple of weeks and that’s band camp. Where each marcher learns that their new best friend is their Westlake Chaparral Marching Band-issued water bottle. It is hell on the field in August. We’re covered in layers of sweat and the metronome pounds through our heads, but we still know the end goal and want that feeling of energy pumping through all of our veins. The pain and cultish desire for triumph all starts, under the beating sun and the harsh tones of new instruments.

Although we lost a few weeks of our summer break, we achieved a family dynamic at a forte. Our new marchers and freshmen have learned that our relationship is a stronger bond than a marcher’s love for his or her own instrument.