by Lauren Holzmann &  Audrey Payne | staff writer and copy editor

With the number of days left in the school year dwindling into the single digits, some students that are involved in extracurriculars are preparing for a busy summer of on-campus activities. Many organizations on campus hold summer rehearsals or camps in order to allow the new students to meet the older kids and to prepare the students for the upcoming school year.

“Before camp starts, we’ll have section bonding times or over the weekends we’ll do it,” sophomore band member Kristen Hutchins said. “We [also] have Schlitterbahn in the middle of camp so we get to go to Schlitterbahn all together.”

The band program rehearses from August 1 until school starts, and the band rehearses from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the first week, and then rehearses from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. for the three weeks after that.

“We go through very intense marching practices, very intense training to get fit and just be ready for the season to start when school comes back. We have 9 to 9. It’s a twelve hour day, five days a week for three weeks,” Hutchins said. “It’s very difficult. We’ve had a lot of people drop out, but if you have the dedication, you should be fine.”

Before August rolls around, sometimes the section leaders want to take time to work with their sections before the whole group rehearses together in order to be ready for August camp.

“If the flute section leader wanted us to come together and practice scales or some exercises or work on marching material, before actual marching band started, then we’d have a couple of sectionals just to say hello to the freshmen and talk to them and show them marching techniques and stuff,” junior band member Angeline Rosado said.

Band Camp Schedule

This is the August schedule for the marching band program this year.

The football team is also physically active during the summer. Three to four times a week almost every week of the summer, the football team meets for a camp called ‘Strength and Conditioning.’

“Our summer camp is called ‘Strength and Conditioning’ and it is divided up by football position,” senior football player John Donoghue said. “We have a weightlifting part of our camp and then we have a running part to make sure we are in shape for football season.”

Near the end of summer, football starts two-a-days, where they practice on the field wearing their pads to grow accustomed to wearing their football gear before the game season starts.

“The very first time I went was the summer before freshman year and I was totally not prepared because I hadn’t played sports before,” Donoghue said. “I passed out twice because it was like 105 degrees outside and we were running a lot. I didn’t have a very nice experience. I got in shape for sure.”

According to Donoghue, the long practices and camps lead to bonding time with the other football players.

“When you run a really long way and you’re sweating a lot with a group of guys when you’re all suffering together, then you’re bonding. It’s kind of like a two in one,” Donoghue said.

Not all organizations meet for the entire summer, but some musical organizations, such as orchestra, have short summer practices to get to know one another and sight read some music before the school year begins.

“Well, we do the summer camp which is two weeks before school starts. We meet in the morning and practice for a couple of hours and then fun games in the afternoon,” orchestra director Karen George said.

Choir also holds an annual camp one evening in the summer to prepare the students for singing throughout the new school year.

“Right before school starts, we have choir camp, which is just one evening, but that’s for all choir students,” choir director Christie Brown said. “And then that way, the freshman get to know others and they kind of get assimilated to where the choir room is and we play games, and we eat and we do a lot of ice breaking things.”

According to Rosado, practicing in the summer is definitely worth losing a little bit of relaxation time.

“I benefit a lot from being in band. Band teaches you how to be time efficient and manage your time well. It teaches you to never give up and to be persistent with the things you want to do, and it teaches you that really anything is possible with hard work,”  Rosado said.

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About The Author

Audrey Payne is a sophomore at Johnson High School and is a first year writer for MyJagNews. To cope with the disappointment of not receiving a Hogwarts acceptance letter, Audrey joined band, where she turns her demolished hopes and dreams into magical flutery. As copy editor, she attacks grammatical errors in stories with a vengeance, making it her goal to educate humanity on the importance of proper grammar. She enjoys mint chocolate chip ice cream, novels longer than 300 pages, and swimming pools with a deep end so she can do her award-winning cannonball. When she's not correcting other people's spelling and punctuation, you can find her cuddled up with her box set of Harry Potter books and a steaming cup of hot cocoa with the little marshmallows on top.

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