This one time at band camp

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Jadelin Hinkel

One of my favorite pictures from our last normal band camp.

Band camp is one of the most sacred rights of passage within the FHC band. 

It’s one of the most excruciatingly painful yet fun bonding experiences that I have ever encountered. 

Only band kids will understand the true importance of band camp. For those who don’t know what it is, it’s a week that the FHC marching band spends at Western Michigan University or another college campus to put together the majority of the halftime show performance. 

It’s by far one of the best experiences I have ever had throughout my high school journey. The time we spend with each other putting together the show for the year truly makes us a family by the end of the camp.

I just hope that the classes after us will be able to experience the joy of the camp once we’re allowed to go back to normal. ”

The daily routine of camp includes waking up around 6 a.m., breakfast, a very long marching rehearsal, lunch, practice within our individual sections, full band indoor rehearsal, back on the field to put more of the show together, dinner, more rehearsal on the field, evening activity, and finally, around 11 p.m., we get to return to our dorm rooms and collapse from exhaustion. 

The fact that we are all together for almost the entire day working towards a common goal to make the best show we can possibly accomplish is something I cherish. 

But the physical and mental exhaustion slowly gets to me over the five long days. Towards the end, it shows me what I’m made of while being able to push through the pain and keep going.

The encouragement from everyone is what motivates me as I want to prove to them—and myself—that I can overcome the pain and keep striving for greatness.

Band camp has provided me with endless memories. The simple but stupid memories are what make the experience all worth it. 

Staying up till 1 a.m. with my friend, taping drill sheets, is something I would’ve never experienced without this camp. Band camp takes people who are strangers and turns them into a family.

Spending countless hours in the scorching heat on the black top pushing our bodies to the limit with almost the entire band is one of the most uncommon ways I could’ve imagined to meet some of my closest friends. 

I’m longing for another opportunity to spend that precious time with my fellow band members. But sadly, due to the complications from the past year, we’re not able to have the same experience in the same place.

I just hope that the classes after us will be able to experience the joy of the camp once we’re allowed to go back to normal.