Amazing Kids! Magazine

Adventures at Band Camp

By Cathy Yan, Assistant Editor and Amazing Kids! Adventures Editor

 

Band camp was perhaps the strangest, yet most fulfilling experience I’ve ever had. True to its name, it was a motley group of about one hundred students from a diverse selection of musical backgrounds and ages, all grouped together into a large, cavernous space that would become a second home for the next two weeks. Black, brown, and navy instrument cases of various sizes littered the edges of the room, their occupants held in the hands of their owners, who were nervously giving each other the side eye. For most of us, it was our first time away from home.

When the director came in, I scrambled to find my seat using the number I had been assigned in the welcome packet sent a few weeks back. My bow clacked against my violin as people bumped into me, everyone on the same mission. Finally, when the hubbub died down, the director of the program began to speak, telling us the basic rules and explaining the daily schedules. For most of the day, we would be rehearsing and practicing, but during evenings and at lunch, we were free to participate in recreational activities and socialize. After a long-winded speech on the history of the program, we were free to go.

For the first week, everything felt stagnant and repetitive, with everyone being incredibly serious about honing their skills. Music was a part of us 24 hours a day, and the sports courts outside were eerily empty. Friendships were formed during this time, usually between roommates, as the hours before lights out were the only times when it felt appropriate to talk and joke about anything but the pieces we were rehearsing.

Second week, however, was a completely different experience. Most of us, at that point, were completely aware of the fact we had not done anything remotely ‘fun’. In an effort to make the most of the remaining days away from home, we scrambled to pack in as many regular camp things as possible. Prank wars commenced, and midnight s’mores were roasted at a makeshift bonfire almost every night. Although we were technically supposed to be in the dorms, we still managed to sneak past the lax security into a nearby field, where we laughed, sang top 40 hits, and danced to nothing.

On the second to the last day, we had our final performance, where everyone was giddy on adrenaline. All too soon, it was time for goodbyes, with tears shed over the experiences we shared and the new friendships we formed. Band camp was a musical experience yes, but at its very core, it was a traditional camp filled with people with similar interests who just wanted to have fun.