End of an Era: Band Camp Edition

Paul Janes, New's Editor

Every summer the EGR Marching Band heads to Grand Valley State University for their annual band camp. The 6-day period in July consists of multiple hours of practice each day preparing for the upcoming marching band season. This includes playing at football games, and of course the homecoming parade.  However band camp at Grand Valley is no longer something that happens here at EGR, much to the disappointment and anger of the band students.

As of now band camp in the future will be held here at memorial field, allowing for students to go home after practice. However there has been years of memories at GVSU, and it will forever be remembered by current and former EGR band members alike. There are many reasons for band camp being moved to memorial field, most of which are probably very valid like logistics and cost. However one of those reasons must be an attempt to stop the constant antics that used to happen.

“I’m going to miss being away from East for a week the most.” Blake Layton ‘20 said.

This shift in venue is going to do more than impact the way the camp is run. It also takes away that sense of an actual camp that came with leaving for 6 days. The dorm room style of life and everyone being together most of the day is something that makes band camp special. Now it is just another week of band practice during the summer masquerading as band camp.

“I’m going to miss hanging out with friends in the dorms during downtime the most.” Max Genthe ‘20 said.

This is a common sentiment among the band members. Being there together for 6 days force the members to bond because there was nowhere else to go, but now that everyone gets to leave after practice is done it takes that away. This sense of forced comradery added another aspect of summer camp vibes to band camp. The downtime after practice was seen as a time to relax and spend time with other member.

More facets of old band camp life are in jeopardy of being lost is the forced activities. Things like skits and freshman initiation are going to be very hard to replicate now that everyone is constantly together. If there is to be a nightly activity at east, it is going to be a nightmare to try and convince people that they don’t have anything better to do after practice.

However this doesn’t mean that the legend of band camp is gone. While those American Pie like stories might not be as frequent as they used to be, hopefully that means that they aren’t gone forever.