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TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY-KINGSVILLE

SUMMER BAND AND SYSTEM BLUE MARCHING CAMPS: FAQs

Q: Who is at this camp?
A: Band students from around South Texas.

Q: How do I sign up for electives?
A: Students will sign up for electives on the first day of camp.

Q: Will my student get lost?
A: Students are not allowed to go anywhere unattended. There are Camp Counselors whose responsibility it is to make sure that our campers get where they need to be at all times.

Q: What if my child is having trouble in band? Will they get left behind?
A: Definitely not! One of the major goals our camp is help the kids who are struggling. Your camper will be placed in the band that’s best suited for him or her. From that point on, your child will be under the instruction of clinicians and instructors specially hired for their ability to work with children in their age group.

Q: Do you have a repair technician on site to repair broken instruments? What about renting instruments?
A: Sorry, but the answer is no to both questions. Make sure your student brings an instrument and that it is in good working order.

Q: If I need to reach my child quickly, what’s the best way to do that?
A: 1.) During the day (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.): call the Camp Office at (361) 593-2803. Someone should be here, but if there’s no answer, call the band office number (361) 593-2160 or the dorm front desk. (We’ll give you that at Registration.)
2) At any other time, call your camper’s Residence Hall.
3) If need be, call University Police at (361) 593-2611.

Q: Can my kid order pizza at night?
A: We will usually designate a night for the students to order pizza. This will be up to the counselors.

Q: What if my child calls and says they are not enjoying camp and want to be picked up right away?
A: There are always a few cases of homesickness every summer, especially with young first-time campers—and it always seems to happen within the first couple of days. What we’ve observed from past experience is that if we can keep a student here just a couple more days, he/she’ll come around, and end up not wanting to go home even when camp’s over. Here is one approach:
    1. Advise your camper to “stick it out just one more day; if you still feel the same way tomorrow, I’ll come get you.”
    1. After you talk with your child, call us so that we can talk to them. One of the camp counselors of the same gender as your child will immediately find them and talk to them. This usually gets very good results.
    1. If they’re still miserable the following day, we’ll authorize early dismissal, and try it again next year. Your refund will be prorated based on the number of days attended MINUS your deposit. You will not be refunded the full amount you paid for camp.
Q: May I come up just for a visit during the week?
A: By all means! Just let us know in advance, especially if you intend to take your camper off campus, so we can know the whereabouts of all of the campers. We will not allow campers to get into vehicles other than their parent’s or legal guardian’s vehicle.

Q: To what extent will my middle school camper be exposed to older students?
A: We try to keep the Junior High/Middle School camp and the High School camp separate as much as possible—separate ensembles, separate evening activities, and separate rooms in the Residence Halls. There are, however, times when the intermingling of the two camps are inevitable: mealtimes, recitals and concerts, and the Thursday night dance.

Q: If my camper is in junior high/middle school but plays well enough to be in one of the high school bands, is she LIMITED to one of the younger bands?
A: This is something that we grapple with summer after summer—on one hand, we want to keep the two camps separate primarily for social reasons; on the other hand, we do every so often have a junior high camper of superior ability who would be limited if we put her in a younger band. So we do, upon the recommendation of the judges, make exceptions every now and then—but those exceptions are few and far between.

Q: OK, so what about high school campers who are NOT particularly strong players?
A: All players will be placed according to age and performing level. High school students will only play in high school bands, regardless of ability.

Q: What time do I pick up my child on Friday afternoon when camp is over?
A: The Final Concert will be on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 pm. We start with the younger bands and end with the High School Wind Symphony. Our preference is for families of campers to come early enough to hear the entire concert and stay until the end so that your camper can say goodbye to there new friends and to faculty and staff. But we understand that that’s not always possible. If your student must leave early, realize that each portion of the concert to be 30 minutes and plan accordingly. This is an educated guess based on how things have gone in previous years.

Q: What’s the checkout procedure?
A: Students will have the opportunity to check out before the concert – and we are recommending that. That way, they can leave immediately following the concert. If that is not possible, then students may check out immediately following the concert. Have a counselor check the room to make sure it is in good order and clear the camper to grab the luggage, and TURN IN THE KEY.

Q: What happens if my child has instrument problems while he’s at camp?
A: At this juncture, let me remind you once again of the importance of having the instrument checked out by a technician before camp—we have no on-site technician here. So if your camper comes to us with a broken horn, sometimes we can fix it, sometimes we can issue a loaner, but unfortunately, in some cases we end up having to take the instrument up to a repair shop. If we have to do that, be aware that you must reimburse us for the work.