This has been many years of firsts for my daughter and I.  First year in our home, her first year of high school, and the first year of my daughter in the Brandon Valley High School Band Colorguard.

This year has been a blast and a learning curve.  Who knew that there was a whole band culture for students and their families!  If you're new to this adventure, I'd say the best thing to do is find a family with a few years of experience and ask lots of questions.  Before the last field competition, you'll be talking about Caption Awards and Drumlines too.  If you're all in, get ready for traveling every weekend during competition season, volunteering and cheering them on from the stands.

I've learned that as a spectator, there will be a list of things to bring to the stadium from hand warmers to multiple blankets.  You'll drive for hours to see your band and every minute will be worth it.  The band will grow and improve with every performance you watch. You will burst with pride when you spot your child on the field.

A whole new respect for band students was realized as I watched them practice in the summer heat, work as a team on the field, and grow as a close-knit group as they showed the crowds and judges what they could do at each competition. I admired each member's dedication, from foregoing lazy summer days to standing in the bone-chilling wind without a coat to adhere to the band culture.

Expenses can vary depending on the band and the role your child plays in it.  Makeup for Colorguard was a list longer than back to school supplies. Although we didn't have to buy the uniform, there were insulated undershirts and leggings for extra warmth, dance shoes and gloves, band t-shirts and sweatshirt, Colorguard jacket and various other expenditures.  I was trying to save money and didn't buy a band parent shirt, but quickly learned the shirt is how to identify other band parents, so that will certainly be purchased next year.  I've also started shopping for battery operated heated stadium seats and bigger blankets for next year!

Whether your child is in a band, sports, theater, computers or another passion, I hope you go on their journey with them.  It is one of the greatest joys of being a parent.


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