I volunteered last weekend to help the high school band that I work with visually during marching season. They hosted a WSCGA show and I knew they could use some help, plus I try to support their program anyway I can; good people 😀 Woke up early, got the usual stuff done around the house, fed myself and off I went.
Pulled into the parking lot and was surprised to see so few cars. Thought everyone had the 8AM call time. I wandered over to the new band room and thankfully before I reached there I ran into one of the band kids. We walked together to the band room and that made me feel a little better 😀
We got their and people, kids and parents started dripping in and out, dropping off donations for concessions, hospitality, volunteer snacks, etc. Word comes that the guard instructor want everyone in the Event Center (doesn’t that sound so much more better than the gym?! Right! Yes I said more better!)
I am with a small pod of people and others are still transitioning from parking lot to the Event Center. First order of duty was to pull the floor out that will go under all the other floors the groups performing today will use. Lots of volunteer kids and most of the guard is there so they get that thing pulled out and lined up fairly quickly. Next order of business is getting the guard their uniforms. As they are being passed out and put on the rest of the guard arrives. Moms and the guard guy make sure everything is on right and fitted properly. I really like the uniforms. I have other guard instructor friends and they say it is always a challenge to design a uniform that everyone can look good in and is effective, so many body shapes.
The guard gets their equipment and starts a brief stretch. I leave to look for my guy as my detail for the day will be parking participants. After a few minutes of wandering around I realize a lot has to happen before people are going to be showing up as the first competitors are not on until more than 3 hours from now. I go back to see the guard warm up.
They are running through some sets and they all seem nervous already and their performance is more than 4 hours away! One kid in particular after a 3rd drop on a third consecutive rep looks at me and says, its you! I am not this bad. I was surprised at the comment, didn’t take it seriously but got up and left anyway to see if I might be needed somewhere else yet 😀
Wandering around I can see more things happening, like yeah, something is definitely going to happen here and it is going to involve lots of people (29 groups in all, 12PM-4PM PAGENTRY!) Lots of the usual super booster people moving back and forth getting stuff done, lots of band kids helping out too, and quite a few new parents also coming out to lend a hand. Still no sign of my person so I head back to the Event Center.
The guard is running longer chunks of the show and it is looking better. It looks like they are going to be wrapping up soon so I decide I need to go back outside and really, really find out where I need to be.
Finally find the guy in charge of parking (there were 4 or 5 areas vehicles were parking) He looks NOTHING like a kid described him, go figure, when you trust kids…He takes me to the “North 40” and generally describes what I will be doing. Seemed like an easy gig.
After a few minutes 2 buses show up, so I tell them to park in the nearest corner of the field, away from the gate. Soon a kid shows up to help. Soon there after a stream of vehicles starts arriving and the kid jumps to guide them in. I say and do nothing, he was eager and I didn’t want to kill the enthusiasm 😀 Right away I see a problem. He is parking the cars in front of the buses, boxing them in. I walk out into the field as the cars are backing into the “spots” and the bus drivers are coming towards me. Blah, blah, blah, boxed in, blah, blah, blah leaving early, blah, blah. I say yes, yes, yes. You, you, you, could you please move your cars here?. You, you, you, could you please move your cars over there? Problem solved 😀
I grab some cones and make a “driveway” in front of the buses and give the kid some info. All over buses or large vehicles (equipment trucks) we will park on the other side of the field, all passenger vehicles anywhere on either side of the cones. Done, and done 😀
After the bulk of the participants had arrived we were dealing with some serious dead time, so I start looking around. I notice a table set up near the performer entrance and three kind of mature girls sitting behind it. I ask the kid with me if he knows how those girls are. He said he doesn’t personally know everyone at the school, but he pretty much knows who goes to the school, and they didn’t look familiar. I told him to go ask them who they are and why they are here. He was like, I just can’t walk up to them and talk to them. I was like, dude, they are right in the middle of all this stuff going on, at a table, pretty much looking like they are waiting for someone to ask them something! He was like, nah, nah.
Being the good role model that I am I took it upon myself to approach the 3 young ladies (wait, isn’t that in some Aerosmith song?) Turns out they are UCLA students, and in the colorguard. The band has a fraternity for the guys in the band to join and sorority for the girls to join. These girls were doing a community service project. Very amiable ladies. I thanked them and went back to my station.
I told the kid, dude, you should go talk to those girls. They are from UCLA, etc., etc. Tell them you are interested in going there and being in the band, etc., etc. He is like, nah, nah, I can’t do that.
Being of a certain vintage, but not dead 😀 and not wanting to miss another mentoring moment 😀 I went back to talk to the girls. I asked them some general questions about their service projects. One of them said something that reminded me of a short story (go figure) I started telling it and another one of them briefly interrupted me saying she had a similar story also. I talked with them a few more minutes, laughter-smiles, which encouraged me to go back again later one last time, then it was back to work 😀