Band Camp In 10 Not So Easy Steps...

A parent who had never been to band camp asked me the other night what she should bring. I wanted to say lots and lots of valium, but I made another suggestion (because we’re a tad low on band camp chaperones).

So if you’re not faint of heart – here’s my band camp primer.

1. Don’t ever go on line and look at Camp Lake Greeley. It looks very nice and can create false hopes. Instead – watch any one of the 80’s genre horror films set in a summer camp. You must realize that there will be only slightly less blood, but TONS less sex (band camp – remember?).

2. New parents should bring a taser or several cans of pepper spray. If I’m not mistaken, the wildlife there have gotten into some radioactive sludge and are quite a bit larger and more agressive than back home.

3. Guard girls (and freshman boys) tend to have very high pitched voices capable of traveling quickly over large areas of land. If you don’t take precautions to protect yourself from that sound, it could instantly trigger a seizure. Wetting your pants in front of THESE kids is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone (believe me, you’ll hear WAY too many stories that begin with “I know just how you feel…” accompanied by an offer to sprint back to their cabin for some “safety wear”).

4. Although very sweet, I’m pretty sure that the foreign kitchen staff is planning to overthrow our government. I’ve heard snippets of their conversation, and I believe they were chanting “death to Bush”….oh, never mind – that was us!

See, we’re already half-way there!

5. If one of your young wards gets a bit out of your control – smear them with honey and ask them to deliver an urgent message to one of the staff a few cabins over..say…around 2:00 a.m. That’s what we did to Johnny (and luckily we were able to replace him a whole week before our first football game).

6. A fun time can be had by all with a little planning! Rubbing alcohol is ALWAYS available in the medical kit.

7. Since the camp is located in the mountains, you may run into some rough terrain. To avoid injury, don’t EVER leave your cabin. Pick the weakest child in your care and have them do EVERYTHING for you (for example – wake you up at noon, bring you meals in bed, and locate the medical kit).

8. You may find that someone in your care has never slept away from home before and is feeling a little anxious. Aside from realizing that you’ve now found your weakest camper, you may also have to make an extra effort to create a home-like atmosphere for them. Please understand that this doesn’t mean you have to re-create THEIR home life. Pick an easy one. Watch one or two hours of COPS until you find a suitable model. Then light up a smoke, crack open a cold one, and pretend that your little cabin in the woods is a double-wide trailer! Ahhhhhhh – good times.

9. Pranks are inevitable. An easy way to deter them is to wear a vest of grenades, or carry a small caliber hand gun (and if you run out of pepper spray – those items can also be very helpful controlling the wildlife).

10. Prior to returning home it is always a good idea to count campers to make sure you haven’t left anyone behind. I usually do that at the last NJ Turnpike rest stop. That way, you can assure that it will be up to the PARENTS to make that long trip back to pick up their little straggler.

So, that’s about it. Enjoy your first band camp experience! I’m going to go now and prepare for this year’s adventure. Does anyone know where I can get a gallon bottle of rubbing alcohol?

Band Camp In 10 Not So Easy Steps...

Donna Dart

Blenheim, United States

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My 2007 Band Camp Parent Primer!

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  • deliriousgirl
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