Marching back to camp

Band returns to Carthage College for summer band camp


Photo by Tessa Fabsik

During the summer, members of the marching band take part of a summer camp each year. There, they work together and take part in fun traditions.

Most people would choose to spend their summer vacation swimming, hosting bonfires, and eating s’mores; but for some LZHS students, this time of year holds a different tradition; one in which people stand in football fields for hours on end, dressed in crazy colors and animal costumes.

LZHS’ 2022 band camp was hosted at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. The camp’s objective is to teach incoming and returning members the different marching formations that will be used throughout the season. 

“We march so often that by the end of [band camp] we’re a lot more comfortable with how to march and how to respond to commands,” Natalie Czarnik, senior and percussionist, said. “It helps us start the year off running.”

The band also used this time to create a deeper bond within its members. Although  different grade levels are separated in Concert Band, in marching band, both upper and lower classmen are merged together to create a group environment, according to Audrey Hilker, sophomore and trumpeter. 

“I learned how to interact with incoming freshmen and even some of the upperclassmen. You [have] to really get out there and make sure you’re being an outgoing band kid. Which is hard and overwhelming at first, but once you realize that everybody there is just ridiculous, [you know] there’s nothing you can do to embarrass yourself,” Hilker said. 

Not only did the members connect through icebreakers and friendly conversation, they also participated in a section of the year competition, where each instrument group competes for points. Sections could win points in the “Band Olympics” by making and performing skits, and participating in scavenger hunts. This year, the clarinets took the acclaimed title.

“It feels awesome [to win] because a lot of work went into it,” Aarushi Bhagath, sophomore and clarinetist, said. “I know a few of the previous seniors that graduated, they sent us messages like, ‘We tried this for four years, but we couldn’t do it. Thanks for continuing our legacy.’”

For a final touch of fun to the camp’s festivities this summer, the members indulged in dress up days: first, wearing a monochrome outfit, followed by a frat boy or hipster style, and on the third and final day, an animal costume. 

“Dress up days are really fun and a lot of people go all out buying whole new wardrobes for it which is a bit extreme in my opinion,” Bhagath said. 

But band camp is just the first step in preparing to march in the football games, according to Czarnik. They will continue to practice throughout the fall for their Abba and 2000’s themed halftime shows. 

“Marching band really enforces community,” Bhagath said, “and just gives people that sense of belonging.”