Travel Notes

The Magic of Band Camp: Make it Last All Year

The countdown to summer is on! But we don’t need to tell you that, since that almost-summer energy is probably crackling through your classrooms as we speak.

For high-school band directors, summer usually means two things – a well-deserved break from the busy school year and an outside-the-classroom experience that you and your students look forward to all year. That’s right, band camp

Band camp offers students the opportunity to engage early, make friends and form connections that last all year (and beyond!). After an unpredictable few years, many directors are still struggling to recruit and retain students in their programs. Today, our own David Brachmann, a BRT Travel Consultant and former band director, is here to share why he thinks band camp can make all the difference.

Why band camp?

There’s just something special about band camp. First, the obvious – it’s a unique opportunity for your students to learn, grow and bond before the school year even starts.

But there’s more to it than that. At band camp, you have brand new freshmen, who may not know a soul before camp, that leave with new friends, mentors and a feeling of belonging that would take months to cultivate in the classroom.

Then there’s the educational side of things. As the director, you have the chance to build discipline, establish fundamentals and set expectations for your student performers without the distractions of schoolwork, other classes and activities. Their undivided attention is worth more than gold!

How can band camp affect your school year?

Band camp is all about team building, both in relationships and performing. Those band camp experiences – every silly song, inside joke, hashtag and group picture – build the culture of your group and create bonds that remain true throughout the school year.

And welcoming new freshmen into the fold is just one piece of that puzzle. Students at every level will make connections across class lines and continue to build those friendships once the grass on the field has grown back.

That sense of belonging, of trust in each other and in you as their director, serves as the foundation for your program – whether you’re competing, traveling or simply making great music together. 

What can you do to keep that “band camp magic” alive?

Did your group have a favorite song, warm-up or activity from camp? Make that part of your weekly rehearsals – your students will love the flashback.

Did camp reveal a few upperclassmen with great leadership potential? Encourage that leadership and utilize those students to inspire the next generation of leaders.

Use videos and pictures taken at camp and put together a band camp video for your group. (Or, even better, have a film-minded student make one!) The students that attended camp will love reliving their experience AND you’ll inspire new students to attend.

Band camp, like student travel, is all about creating camaraderie and friendships – we call those moments that matter. To learn more about how that same magic is created when students travel together, reach out and we’ll give you the information you need to start dreaming up a bonding experience for your own student performers.

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