The online home of the Greensburg Salem Bands

Rookie camp, mini camp and band camp… Oh my!

If you haven’t taken a peek at the August calendar, go ahead and look. It’s pretty full! You are probably wondering how August is going to break down, so here are some details.

During the first week of August (7/29-8/2), each section will wrap up their summer practices with one or two last rehearsals before the whole band gets together during the second week. If you ordered shoes, gloves or instrumental accessories, you should get them this week. On Friday night, the officers, drum majors, section leaders and captains will get together at Statler’s Fun Center.

Everything starts during the week of 8/5. Monday is a quiet day, and the drumline and trumpets each have an intensive practice on Tuesday. The drum majors and officers will also get together that day for their final meeting before band camp.

On Wednesday, all of the leaders — drum majors, officers, section leaders and auxiliary captains — will meet in the morning for leader training. They need to wear sneakers and socks and be prepared to go outside. They also need to bring a pencil. They will eat lunch in the band room after leader training (please arrange for your own lunch) and stay for rookie camp — the leaders are the ones who will first work with the rookies.

Rookie camp is Wednesday afternoon from 1-3 PM. Every NEW member of the band, whether they are an instrumentalist or in the colorguard/majorettes/dance team needs to attend this session. Wear comfortable shoes (no sandals) and bring a drink and sunglasses, because we will be outside for a short while.

We will have mini camp on Thursday and Friday of this week from 8 AM – noon. Every member of the marching band will need to be there during mini camp. Report to the band room at 8 AM for our morning announcements. We will be learning and reviewing marching fundamentals during these two days so come prepared to spend four hours outside – wear sneakers (with flexible soles) and socks. Everybody should bring a large container for water, sunblock and sunglasses. The dance team will be mostly practicing inside, but we will all start and end our days together.

Sunday, August 11 is the band family picnic. This celebration is for everybody, so bring the whole family! We will be at Lynch Field, in the pavilion near the pool, and we even have the pool all to ourselves that evening! We hope you will all come and have a relaxing time getting to know your band family.

Band camp is in full swing during the weeks of 8/12-16 and 8/19-23. We will again begin in the band room at 8 AM, but full band camp ends at 4 PM instead of noon. Here is a breakdown of our basic schedule:

– 8 AM: Morning announcements
– 8:15 AM: Full band stretching, then stretches in sections
– 8:45 AM: Marching fundamentals; Dance team sectional
– 9:30 AM: Drill instruction (marching only) – water/restroom breaks as needed
– 12:00 PM: Lunch
– 1:00 PM: Sectionals
– 2:00 PM: Full winds/drumline in band room; Auxiliary sectionals continue
– 3:00 PM: Full band outside on the field – put together drill from morning with music/routines
– 3:55 PM: End of day announcements in band room
– 4:00 PM: Dismissal

Everybody needs to be prepared for an intensive 8 hour day during band camp. It is an outdoor activity, so we will be outside unless there is lightning or a torrential downpour. Watch the forecast and be prepared for any kind of weather. Bring an extra set of clothes – shirt, shorts, socks and shoes – the first day and put them in your band locker, because you will likely need to change your clothes completely at least once during band camp (ask a veteran about the ‘foam incident of 2012’).

You all also need to have a “dot book” – a tiny notebook for writing drill spots – and pencil with you at all times on the field. These items, along with your sneakers, socks, sunglasses, sunblock and water, are essential for every rehearsal.

The band parents will feed us lunch in the cafeteria each day during band camp. A small part of your 100 point mandatory fundraising goes toward lunch at band camp, so everybody should take advantage of the good food they will provide. Here is the menu (it’s subject to change, but we will tell you ahead of time if it does):

Week 1
Monday – Pulled pork sandwiches, pasta salad, scalloped potatoes, fruit
Tuesday – Baked chicken, mac n cheese, cucumber salad, fruit
Wednesday – Hot dogs, french fries, salad, fruit
Thursday – Ziti with meatballs, garlic bread, salad, fruit
Friday – Turkey subs, chips, salad, fruit, chocolate chip cookies

Week 2
Monday – Ham Bar B Q sandwiches, tater tots, salad, fruit
Tuesday – Grilled cheese, tomato soup, chicken nuggets, veggies n dip, fruit
Wednesday – Take out day (this could change)
Thursday – French toast, turkey sausage, hash browns, fruit
Friday – Pizza, salad, fruit

As of right now, we know we have a couple of students who have life-threatening peanut allergies, but if there are other dietary restrictions we should be aware of, please email Danita Theis at If students are planning to order out, they will need to tell Mrs. Theis in the kitchen the day before.

On Wednesday evening, 8/21, we will give our first performance of the year. We will meet that evening and quickly get into full uniform. Then we will march to Redstone Highlands to participate in their annual carnival, along with several other groups. We will perform our field show as a stand-still the front of the building, so family members are welcome to join us! Afterward, we will march down to our practice field (by the greenhouse) and perform pregame and halftime. Everyone is invited to come and watch what we have learned during band camp! Bring a chair or blanket and watch from the hill – it’s a great view, and our own volunteer firefighters will be there to light up the field.

Saturday, 8/24 is Kennywood Day. The first half of the 100 point mandatory fundraiser is also due that morning. We will meet, wearing the new yellow band shirts, at 9 AM in the band room. This will be our first “away trip” so we will have assigned buses — the students will choose their bus earlier that week, and students with the highest number of merits will get to board the buses first. We will be performing that evening, so students will need to take their uniforms and shoes to change into before the performance. A very filling lunch is provided, as well as 3 hours of fountain drinks, but students will need spending money if they wish to purchase anything else that day. We will perform in the 8 PM parade, along with several other schools, and tickets are available to purchase if family members wish to go on their own that day. Contact Christina Venturini if you wish to purchase tickets. We will return to the school around 11 PM. If students wish to ride home with their parents, they MUST turn in a transportation form to Mrs. West 24 hours in advance.

The last rehearsal before school begins will be on Tuesday, 8/27, at Offutt Field. We will have a lot to work on that day, and it is our only practice on the turf, so we will begin promptly at 3:30 PM.

I hope I have answered a lot of your questions about what to expect in August. Please post a reply to this article if I have missed anything! See you all very soon!