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Wulfegang

Hosting a corps this summer!

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5. Here's a longshot, but worth it: if you have a strong parent booster club, try to arrange for a home cooked meal for the corps. It can be as easy as breakfast taco bar or something like that. If not that big, aim for a fresh fruit snack break. If you do wind up doing something like this, check with the corps ahead of time about the timing of meals as well as dietary restrictions and special needs. All corps will have something for those on special diets, but giving the food truck a complete break is absolutely worth it. (I did a fundraiser to provide a bbq dinner for Troopers last year and I also made sure I got something for the vegetarians as well as a gluten-free member. It was great to see Mom Gilbert sitting in a chair reading a book during dinner!)

THIS X1000000

The absolute nicest thing we got on tour was a full meal cooked by the boosters. It was a nice break from the food truck, have the support staff a night off, and they prepared so much we couldn't finish it all and took the rest with us!

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There have been two replies talking about lining fields... one saying do it, one saying don't.

As a member of a field lining crew in '08, my vote is don't do it. The crew will have to check it for accuracy with whatever method they use and if it's off by their standards, they'll have to either re-do it or find another area to line.

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I thought about that and honestly, would people believe you if you said you were housed at a school for the Poca Dots unless you had some kind of proof! If it were possible and I knew how many I thought it would be cool to get them some kind of souvie from our school to maybe help nip any temptation in the bud. It's not that I don't trust the kids, I just know human nature and have been in that position myself. Still would be kind of cool to maybe have some corps wanting to be housed at "The Poca Dots!" for the summer and become our own little legend in drum corps circles as one of those wouldn't believe it till you see it things. Wanna make sure they get photos of our mascot painted on the gym wall!

mascot.jpg

WULFEGANG:

I have read this entire thread and have learned much !!

You might ease any temptation of "borrowing" your Poca Dots equipment, mascot uniform, etc. by putting the mascot picture and band information onto postcard stock,print a couple hundred, and make them available to the corps as souveniers. (Give this project to one of your band kids that's a whiz on a computer) Should be relatively inexpensive?

I visualize some corp member sending a postcard home-- "Hi Mom", Look where we housed last night---In Poca,W.V,home of the famous POCA DOTS band!!"

You may need more than a couple hundred!! (The staff will love 'em)

Very,Very unique :thumbup::tongue::thumbup:

P.S. Why not put the mascots picture on the direction signs you make up for the housing site and let the corps take them with them when they leave? They might use them the rest of the tour !!

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As a parent with many years on the foodtruck, I can't tell you how awesome it was to have a school volunteer (with a car) offer to take us shopping. Locals know where the day old bread stores are, the best grocery stores, even Aldi's or Sam's club. Maps are great. Drivers are better.

Also, any access to ice machines will earn your school eternal glory. There is nothing more satisfying than telling corps members they can have ice in their water jugs. COLD gatorade is such a tremendous treat.

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great advise from all, fresh fruit is a real treat.......I remember one year we pulled into Lodi, CA, and a band parent brought us 3 boxes of fresh peaches and cherries...the kids went wild.

One school last year had baskets of travel size toiletries in both bathrooms, not one was left.

"dark rooms for drivers, last year near Boston we got run out of two areas within a 3 hour period, I had a guy ask me if I was homeless,

laundry for volunteer clothes washing, and towels.... ICE MACHINE.....one school open their lunch room, the kids got to eat sitting down at a table for 3 meals...what a treat.

cold gatorade.......ICE WATER

NO SODAS>>>>>>or PIZZA sounds nice NOT nutricious.....FRESH FRUIT

We always leave a school cleaner then we found it...

You too huh?

A large segment of the general population regards drum corps people in much the same category of carnival roadie. They have a hard time believing we hold respectable jobs in real life!

NOTHING compares to driving all night and then getting roused from a sound sleep in a band hall practice room (in my case by the choir director at the host school) and being asked if she could call someone at the Salvation Army to assist me! She presumed me to be homeless without asking and moved right on to question number 2!

Add to the list - It would be really helpful if anyone who works at Poca HS who might wander in during the summer to 'check on things' knows in advance that strange people may be sleeping in their school (and in unusual places) while the drum corps is present.

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I help instruct the drum line of a local high school and got a phone call from the band director this evening. He informed me we were selected to host a corps for a DCI show this summer!!!!!! We weren't told which corps it would be yet and even though I really really really want to be a certain one, I am happy and pumped about hosting any corps. We want to get DCI promoted more in our community as well as with kids in our area and think this is a great way to do it. I am hoping the corps that we host will let individuals watch rehearsals and such so the kids I help instruct can see what is possible for them if they work hard enough. That and see how easy they have it at our practices :thumbup:

But the main reason for my post is I am wanting to make the stay for the corps as comfortable, enjoyable, and pleasant as possible and was wondering if anyone had advice or tips on the best way to do this in hopes we will be able to continue to be hosts in future years. The band director at the high school as well as myself are huge DCI fans and will probably be there before they arrive to make sure everything is in order (school gym is open, ample places for buses/equipment trucks/food trucks/etc) and just generally make sure they have everything they need. I am even willing to stay the whole night or at least arrive very early in the morning to volunteer with anything the corps may need (even....gasp...the food truck!!) just to show how much this means to us. I know how hard the volunteers that travel with the corps work as well as the marching members and staff and they deserve help and a break sometimes too. Anything anyone can tell me to help these folks out and make them enjoy their tour even more would be greatly appreciated!!!!

Based on my internship experience with Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics (Event Office) these are my recommendations:

1)If possible have a liasion avaible on site during all practice hours. The purpose of the liason is to facilitate any needs of the guest, not necesarily cater to them

2) Designate a staff member for after hours emergency contact

3) Provide a list of important phone numbers to the guest manager. The list should include:

- School Police/Security

- Maintenance

- Local Police

- School physician on call

4) Communicate with all fall sport coaches who utilize school facilities for summer work out sessions. Find out what facilities they use and when.

5) Communicate current school usage of facilities. It is very important to remember the corps is a guest. School use (e.g. ahletics) have priority of use of facilities such as weight rooms.

6) Utilize volunteers (responsible students, boosters, etc..) to add perks for the corps

- have coolers with ice water, ice and bags, and cups readily available (ask the athletic trainer if you may make temporary use of hydration equipment)

- (as mentioned before) provide a home cooked meal. Are there any local business that would be willing to contribute?

- Have a daily weather forecast for the guest manager. When severe weather is pending, monitor the National Weather Service for updates. Communicate updates to guest manager. The guests should follow the hosts established protocol in regards to severe weather. (policies will be available through the Athletic Director)

That's all I can think of for now.

Edited by Penn State

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Just found out which corps we are hosting today but don't wanna say until I make sure it's OK (I know it probably is fine but I want to make sure all of my bases are covered before I go blabbing things all over the place). As we work with the corps director, I will try to post updates as to what we are doing in preparation for their arrival and hopefully this will serve as a small guide to any others that may have the same questions and circumstances we are in! Thanks again to everyone for their words and advice, they have helped a ton!

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Make sure the tour director/staff know the dymanimcs of the area around them. some schools are in communities and not all people will appreciate the efforts of the corp.

If that is the case, 9:00 at night is a good time to call it quits on outside rehearsing. If gyms are available any corps will make use of them.

Always be in touch with administration-ask them how things seem to be going. If there are problems be that liason so that it can be rectified. Most corps need places and want to be accomodating as well.

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One of the things I found very helpful when on tour with various groups was the use of office space and a phone that allowed for local outgoing calls in a quiet area. With cell phones, depending on the area, roming charges can be brutal when trying to find a mechanic that can do onsite repairs or a store if looking for a particular product. A desk to write at is alot better then your lap on the bus.

One thing I use to utalize, and this can be from either the host or if you volunteer on tour with a corps, perhaps you can arrange this yourself. I belong to a service club in Canada called the KINSMEN (actually now it's called KIN CANADA), alot like the Optimists or Lion's Clubs, anyways, while on staff I would look at our schedule, if we were in an area where there is a nearby club for a couple days (death camp, remember that term?????) I would often make contact ahead of time, invite the president and a few members out to see the group, ask if they could assist with any needs (food runs, general info, any members who are mechanics, doctors/emt's etc....) on more then one occasion, I would inquire as to if they could donate a supper or lunch. I made a lot of new friends and great contacts doing so and the groups usually got a nice treat. Short story...I once invited several members of a service club to visit a band I was with while we were housed for the July 4 celebrations (we were in the same location for several days) they saw the band rehearse, saw them in the local parade, and standstill, what cost our band 3 extra meals as these people were watching gained us a full bar-b-q supper (with vegetarian options) some treats (ice cream and cake) some care packages for the bus, the staff were treated to a night out at their clubhouse (free beverages) and a small monetary donation, not to mention a ton of extra help and use of a laundromat (a member of the club was the owner) before we left they called an emergency meeting of the club so we could perform for them (at our request) and have since had a great relationship whenever in that area (even though I am no longer with the band, I try to send an email to both groups when they are going to be travelling that way) all in all I used my resources from my professional life to help the youth activity, makes a lot of us warm and fuzzy.

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IF its be already said I apologize but knowing where the closest Kinkos/Staples is often a G-d send. Whenever there is an adjustment in music or drill there is a lot of faxing and photocopying involved, most of it very time sensitive.

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