The Band Camp Checklist – How To Prepare Yourself Fully

It is summertime and football season is just around the corner… wait, did I say football season? I meant marching band season 😉

If you’re a marching band nerd, you’re most likely spazzing about how to prepare yourself for those hot, strenuous weeks of band camp labor, am I right?

Well… I have good news!

There’s no need to worry because I have come up with THE band camp checklist full of essentials and tips just for you!






  • Water – water is considered your best friend throughout the marching band season. Always bring a 1/2 gallon to a full gallon of water per day… you won’t regret it one bit!
  • Sunscreen – We’ve all had those weird looking sun burns from our tank tops and socks/shoes, correct? I’ve had one on my chest from my saxophone neck strap and it definitely caught some eyes haha. Don’t make the mistake of not bringing sunscreen!
  • Bug Spray – This is extremely handy to have, especially if your practice field is grass rather than concrete. There’s a lot of gnats out there!!
  • Instrument – Don’t ever forget your instrument! Imagine what your band director would say if you did forget it… uh-oh.
  • Extra Reeds/Valve Oil – It’s always best to keep extra parts for your instrument with you, just in case there is an accident. I remember last year during band camp, I dropped my instrument and I busted my reed. I actually busted up my whole horn, but that’s beside the point.
  • Sunglasses – These are helpful for when the sun is right in front of you while your trying to watch your drum major. It would be a shame if you got off step from the beat on the sun’s account…
  • Deodorant – When you sweat, you don’t smell good. When you don’t smell good, deodorant will be your buddy!
  • PENCIL – Don’t get caught not having a pencil… I have learned the hard way.
  • Music – You can’t practice your music without your music… you can’t jot down notes in your music without your music!
  • Instrument Rain Coat – This suggestion sounds odd, but it has potential! What you do is you take some see through plastic and tape it to fit your instrument. Leave holes where you can get to it to play it and leave a small hole on the bell so you can actually hear the instrument 🙂 This coat keeps rain from tarnishing your beautiful piece of brass… or wood. It doesn’t have to fully cover it, but it does block a lot.



  • Exercise – Exercise before you actually have to go to band camp. You don’t want to be dying of exhaustion the first hour of camp!
  • Memorize Your Music – Before camp, it’s a good idea to memorize as much of your music as possible. It will help you understand how everything works together when learning choreography and your marching spots.
  • Stay Alert – At band camp, we tend to get a little distracted sometimes because of the hot temperatures and the constant thought about water. Keep yourself alert!! You don’t want to be that one marcher that is always getting yelled at by the director for not paying attention… every band has that marcher. Don’t be that marcher in your band!
  • Stay Positive – While marching, it is very easy to get exhausted and not do your best, especially when it is super hot out and you haven’t had water for a bit. You may feel like you want to quit… BUT. In marching band, we are not quitters! We are challengers! Just think… it will all be worth it when you go to Regionals, Semi-State, and maybe even State competition 😉
  • Be Early – Being early is being on time… being on time is being late… being late means CONSEQUENCES! Whether the consequence is being “yelled at” or doing push ups, don’t be late!!
  • Wear Something Comfortable – At band camp, no one cares about how anyone looks. Wear what is the most comfortable to you.
  • Show Respect to the Band Staff and Director – Remember, they are taking time out of their summer to help your band become amazing! Show them some respect and courtesy. They deserve it 🙂

I hope this list of essentials and tips have helped you in preparing for summer marching band camp!

Please share with friends and family!

Any questions, suggestions, or thoughts on the topic? Leave a comment!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Your Fellow Marcher,


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One thought on “The Band Camp Checklist – How To Prepare Yourself Fully

  1. Mark Rutherford

    June 4, 2017 at 11:21pm

    Really good information. My grand daughter is in band camp and I can use this as a checklist to help her. This is great!
    Thanks so much!!!

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    • Author


      June 4, 2017 at 11:49pm

      Hey there Mark! I’m sure she will be thrilled to receive this information 🙂 Thank you very much!

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  2. Rebekah Carter

    June 18, 2017 at 12:22am

    Wish I would have found this when I started my first year in the marching band back when I used to play! Really great checklist you got here! Thanks for posting! I know it will come in handy for someone else like it would have for me! Maybe my son or daughter when they get old enough!

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    • Author


      June 18, 2017 at 12:27am

      Hi Rebekah! Thank you for checking out my post! Band camp is definitely something to prep for haha! Last year was my rookie year for marching band and I just absolutely loved looking up checklists on how to prep for my first experience with the band 🙂 Great fun! Thanks again! I hope you get the chance to come back and visit us again soon!!

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  3. Courtney

    June 18, 2017 at 1:54am

    I’ve never been in a marching band, or went to band camp… although I’ve seen American Pie 😉

    Seriously though, I learned things just by reading this check-list! I’m sure it’s going to be helpful for folks heading off to band camp! Sounds like a ton more work than I ever thought too. Props to that! The instrument rain coat sounds like a fabulous idea – way to use your noggin! Keep it up, cheers!

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    • Author


      June 18, 2017 at 2:14am

      Hi there Courtney! I’m stoked that you’ve enjoyed my post! It is definitely a ton of work, but it is totally worth it at the end of the season 🙂 And thank you! I’m honestly very surprised that raincoats for instruments haven’t been invented yet! My saxophone got tarnished and rusted a bit from the rain at last year’s band camp, so I thought I’d prevent that this year!! Anyway, thank you so very much for checking out my post! I hope you can get to come back and visit us again soon 🙂

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