Our 2012 Band Camp was an incredible experience for all who attended. The students came ready to work hard and enjoy the new relationships they would make. The Counselors and volunteers came with servant hearts and did whatever needed to be done with a smile on their faces. The Coaches were both skilled and caring in the instruction of their students. The City of Elk Rapids, and he staff at the ER Middle School made us feel right at home.
It is difficult to put into words how awesome the Band Camp experience is. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are some pictures to help you understand.
It all begins and ends with the Music. If we don’t sound good then there is no reason to play. Here in the ER Band room the band gets familiar with the tunes that they will later March to.
After the music rehearsal comes marching tech, where the students learn how to march with good form. As a part of this, Josh Smokevitz introduced, “the pitcher Challenge”, A competition where the band had to keep as much water as possible in their Pitchers.
As the “best” marchers from each section (chosen by their sections) prepare to face off, Michael Humphrey, our drum major operates the metronome to establish the pace.
Although Every Section is equally important to the Band, the drum-line is key to the marching portion as they maintain the rhythm and tempo that the band will march to. As a result they marched in formation almost everywhere that they went, just to make sure they get it right. Here you see drum coach Adam Terwillegar watching their technique, and also keeping an eye on one of our future Lancers, who was practicing his marching technique right along with the drum-line.
Our marching technique was first displayed at the beach where the band lined up and marched into the water. I’m sure the folks at the beach thought that they were being invaded at first, but they were all very patient and gracious as the band marched into the water.
While at the beach the band was allowed to have some fun. Here Josh Eckman is spotted floating face down in the water. In spite of the fact that no one seems to be anxious to save him, someone must have, since he was present and accounted for that night at the parade.
Volunteers are a big part of band camp, and our camp could not happen without them. Most of these folks gave up a week of their vacation to come and help out. The only perks are 3 meals a day, a space on the floor to sleep on, and good seats for the Saturday parade. In spite of all of this, most of them say that they would do it again in a heartbeat. Our sincerest thanks to all of our volunteers, whether you stayed on site or camped nearby and drove in.
This sign appeared part way through the week in the yard of the lady right across from the school. A similar sign was there last year as well. The band put their names on the sign as a way of saying thank you to the neighbor who welcomes us every year.
Here you see the “lady with the sign” as she was known, being introduced to the band.
The “lady with the sign” was even treated to a meal with us. The kids did a great job of making her feel welcome.
Our other fans in the area are the Kleppers, whom we have stopped for the past few years and played for near the end of the parade route. This year they invited us to their newly opened restaurant and microbrewery, The Filling Station, for dinner. Here you see many of the students with the Klepper family after dinner.
In this picture Paula, our camp director, shares a BC Band window kling and card signed by the band to Mr. Klepper. Mr. Smokevitz is in the background still enjoying the food provided by the Kleppers, and this might be the only time that he actually had time to enjoy his food. Thank you Mr. Smokevitz for giving up part of your summer to make our band great!
Kayla, one of our Senior trumpet players, was caught posing in this picture, which I thought was just for the benefit of the photographer, but as you can see in the next Photo…
…she was actually practicing for her performance at the parade…who knew!?!
I mentioned that Band Camp could not happen without volunteers, but the other critical helpers at camp are the coaches, pictured here enjoying a meal together at “the round table”. The coaches work every bit as hard as the students, and are an extension of the skill and discipline, that has made the BC Band a favorite in the Cherry festival parades. Thank you coaches!
THIS…is what its all about…the parade! In just one week the band learns new songs, cadences, and marching techniques, so that they can perform for the crowds on parade day. It is really incredible to see all that they accomplish in that one week. You should be proud of your band Bullock Creek…I know that I am!
There are many other aspects of band camp that could be mentioned, such as the wonderful food, street marching in Elk Rapids, skit night, PHU’s, so many good memories. If we shared everything, then there would be no reason for you to come and experience it for yourself. Whether you are a band parent or just a Creeker at heart, we invite you to come and support the band next year when we invade Northern Michigan once again!
Band Booster President
P.S. For more pictures and videos (almost more than you can count) Go to our facebook page!