2015 Impulse: Memorial Weekend Camp

Friday Night, May 22

Drum Corps 101


b) clump like puppies in a basket, or pickles in a jar unless you’ve been communicated with or have otherwise communicated

c) If open restrooms are not evident or if you’ve not been made aware of where the nearest open restrooms are, ASK

d) Drum Major – Vets – Section Leaders,  if not given a schedule,  and you’re waiting a given amount of time, seek updates – clarification – definition about what to expect

The stop in Santa Clarita went exceptionally well. I was going to give them 30 minutes, Louie opted for 45 minutes (a better choice); no one took more than 40 minutes.

Move in and lights out (midnight) were relatively seamless.

Saturday, May 23

Turned lights on 15 minutes early since half the corps was already up. Fernando came and joined me while the corps stretched, ran, did PT. We talked about a specific plan for the day and for the weekend. For me it’s all about the music. I don’t want them learning drill unless they know the music that accompanies it. (That plan worked out rather perfectly) 🙂

Piles of food for breakfast for the kids and staff (side note: I think I gained 5 lbs over the weekend)

I pointed out zones that have been used in the past for sectionals and that seemed to work well for all.

Took the cymbals out to the field to help line the field. Usually the camp hosts do the white lines, only, prior to our arrival. This camp we started with a completely beautiful solid green field. Estéban came the last hour, battery tech, and I was very grateful to have the kids finish the field before leaving with him.

Designating sections to assist the parent volunteers with meal cleanups before camp worked out very well. Kids were doing a great job of being mindful of all their duties and responsibilities, on and off the field.

Protocol was defined prior to getting on field. A very successful block as a result.

Maribel and Ruben continued a traditional special dinner for staff. 😀

Very, very impressed with how well the field ensemble went, although, I will say that was a direct result of a collaborative and cooperative instructional effort, across captions, which still, could have been better. We, staff, talked about it later. We will improve. General staff instructional protocol was effective. The energy and focus throughout the block produced very tangible results,  most notable in the consistency in the corps performance level running sets and chunks. Technical excellence in achievement and consistent application of proper technique will come. 🙂

A very important aspect of any positive social experience is good food, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, good snacks. Home baked cookies, cupcakes – pudding, poptarts, sticky buns, and donuts were plentiful!

After lights out, I sat in the moonlight by the main gym entrance watching the percussion staff clean out the equipment truck. Randy and the guard cleaned out and inventoried the guard bay the previous week. Nice! 30 minutes later I went lights out 😛

Sunday May 24
Much smoother start to the day, but their energy was already  palpably decreased from Saturday. The corps had expended more physical and mental energy the day before, consistently and collectively, than they ever had before. Our challenge, staff, was to encourage them to continue that progress and push beyond their previous limits.


Excellent work in sectionals continued. Excellent work on the field continued. Ensemble time was interesting. The corps was pushing past fatigue and still maintaining an appreciable level of performance and technical achievement. I’m very excited that we’ll have this moment as a reference to get to and through the next higher performance levels that are to come.

Of course, after a little rest and snacks they were re-energized. 😛 But, when It was time for lights out, they maxed that out like everything else all weekend. I was enjoying my coffee and donut when Josh got up to use the restroom. After two hours of talking about what was, what is, and what will be, we both turned in.

Monday May 25
One more day to max and reinforce what we’d accomplished this weekend.


I’m very proud of what the corps achieved this camp. They decided they are going to be a great drum corps and they are well on their way. 🙂

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