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Should my 14 year-old march

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Depends on how mature he is. If he is in a lower tier world class corps the average age will probably be relatively low, but he'll still be hanging out with people who are up to 8 years older than him, and will be expected to work just as hard as any of them. Some kids can handle that, some aren't ready.

Excellent point, and could be the difference between a great summer and a bust. Some kids aren't ready at 14 for the rigors of drum corps, others knock it out of the park.

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It is difficult for a younger person to fit into an older corps. We even have this issue in some of the more competitive open class corps as well. The reality is this. it depends on the 14 year old. If they are mature, determined and able to get along with older members. they may fit in. However, it is more difficult as the season goes on as the age differences (not on the field) outside of drum corps are more difficult.

One of the corps I support had a few younger kids in it and they sometimes had a little bit of difficulty fitting in outside of the practice field. However, their parents did go on tour and that helped some. It also helps to have a few staff members who beleive in this person and help make the transition to drum corps easier and work with the older kids to be mentors, not section leaders.

Afterall, if a member is 14, they have 7 years to march and will be a mentor to others as they grow older. It comes down to how accepting the other members are and making sure a younger member feels accepted and valued. It takes real member leadership to do that. Put aside their wants for the needs of another. Drum corps teaches you that as well.

Marching at 14 can be done, but it takes special care and understanding on all parts. The Oregon Crusaders have many younger members as well as age outs. They seem to make it work. They had 8 age outs this year and several youngers ones as well. They seem to do OK. :-)

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This is a reasonable concern about your son. I was in the colorguard and the youngest member of a world class finalist corps when I was 14 and it worked out well for me. I was indeed exposed to some language and behavior that I was a bit young to see. The challenges of being the youngest in the corps and the skills that it provides though, will likely serve him for the rest of his life. I am now an ER doc and the first in my family to do so. If it weren't for so many of those hot days when I thought I couldn't go on, I would have given up on my dream a long time ago when things got hard. If you are worried that it will be hard for him, that's a good thing! He'll be better for it! That's the greatest part of DCI. It will give him memories that he will cherish for the rest of his life. The smell of the freshly cut grass, the crisp sound of the crack of a snare drum in the summer night air. These are the memories I draw upon on my hardest days. If you are worried about the cultural aspect of spending a lot of time with young men and women who are 4-7 years older than him, you'll have to gauge how your son might handle that. If the corps didn't think he could do it, they wouldn't have offered him a spot.

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i think 14 is a bit too young. 16 would be much better in my humble opinion. 

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26 minutes ago, greg_orangecounty said:

i think 14 is a bit too young. 16 would be much better in my humble opinion. 

Concur, at least for world class.

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I don't think OP has much to worry about, as his son is 21 years old now...

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1 minute ago, Western Burger said:

I don't think OP has much to worry about, as his son is 21 years old now...

I was gonna say, this got dug up from some time ago and ... the kid would be aging out by now. 😉

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So reviving a thread from 2012?  So many questions!!!

 

Did he march in 2012?

Did he ever march?

Did he choose another activity?

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[Narrator:  Little did they imagine in 2012, Bobby would grow up to become a legend in the new world of e-sports rather than the marching arts.]

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This is a bump thread, and even though the young person would be aging out, the issue comes up around this time, especially if the young person is exposed to DCI.

Les Stentors and Colt Cadets have marching members who are young, perhaps as young as 14, but both groups are heavily chaperoned and in the case of Colts Cadets, at least in the past, special attention has been paid to issues such as being away from Mom and Dad, maturity (the difference in maturity between a fourteen year old and a fifteen year old can be astounding). A parent really has to know a corps to decide if this is a good thing. This is a void that feeder corps could fill, and before someone says school bands fill this void, they do not compete in the summer or travel. This is not to minimize school programs who in so many cases do a great job and give kids so much. 

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