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Jersey Surf and competitive success

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Look I run an independent A wgi line that is new in our area. There is another group about 40 minutes away. Their competitive success has our kids wanting to go somewhere else. So what did we do? We let some staff go and changed how our program is being ran. We are expecting a majority of people to return because of the changes.

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Look I run an independent A wgi line that is new in our area. There is another group about 40 minutes away. Their competitive success has our kids wanting to go somewhere else. So what did we do? We let some staff go and changed how our program is being ran. We are expecting a majority of people to return because of the changes.

Yup. depending on ones goals , you do what you have to do.

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I assure you that they do have fun. My niece marched their guard for 3 years and loved every second of it. The majority of the kids she marched with felt the same and were perfectly content with their lot. Those who wanted to be more competative moved on to other corps, but plenty who could have moved on stayed instead because they liked the environment.

Not everyone that marches is burning for a medal or a finals appearance. Some march for the simple joy of marching and performing and really don't care if they are "competative" as long as they are having fun and entertaining the crowds.

I would like to add that when it comes to lower placing WC corps, some kids stay and age out with them simply because it is financially prohibitive for them to fly off to their dream corps for camps every month - and come up with tuition dollars. Some kids stay with the corps that is geographically closest to them simply because that's all they can, or are willing to manage.

My son was in this category. He stayed five years with his home corps for just these reasons.

Edited by luv4corps

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I would like to add that when it comes to lower placing WC corps, some kids stay and age out with them simply because it is financially prohibitive for them to fly off to their dream corps for camps every month - and come up with tuition dollars. Some kids stay with the corps that is geographically closest to them simply because that's all they can, or are willing to manage.

My son was in this category. He stayed five years with his home corps for just these reasons.

I marched in that now would be considered an Open Class corps, and I assure you, no one had more fun than I.

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It's quite a dilemma - we question Surf for not "investing enough" in the competitive aspects (design, instruction, equipment, etc.), but yet we excoriate corps of yesteryear for "mortgaging their existence" to futilely chase a trophy while flaming out of existence. A few of our "hallowed corps" likely would still be here with a bit more disciplined leadership in this regard.

I would seem the most responsible (at least to me) to develop the human resources and infrastructure of the corps as a priority. After that is completely secure, the expensive arms-race to the top can be pursued.

As to "what they want to be" - it could be an entertaining corps that give those involved a very positive experience for many healthy years.

"Winning" is many things to many people. Why else do so many people invest themselves (as opposed to a $75 ticket) in this activity?

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It's quite a dilemma - we question Surf for not "investing enough" in the competitive aspects (design, instruction, equipment, etc.), but yet we excoriate corps of yesteryear for "mortgaging their existence" to futilely chase a trophy while flaming out of existence. A few of our "hallowed corps" likely would still be here with a bit more disciplined leadership in this regard.

I would seem the most responsible (at least to me) to develop the human resources and infrastructure of the corps as a priority. After that is completely secure, the expensive arms-race to the top can be pursued.

As to "what they want to be" - it could be an entertaining corps that give those involved a very positive experience for many healthy years.

"Winning" is many things to many people. Why else do so many people invest themselves (as opposed to a $75 ticket) in this activity?

Winning is not just 1st place or even finals . it could mean just any placement or any advancement. There are many competitions championship week including making top 12, top 10 top 5 top 3 and 1st but also, moving up a spot or 2, making semis or top15-17 OC corps beating a WC corps etc etc.... just to entertain and nothing more,,,MANY competitions and goals.

Now with that said, one can \choose to be whatever they want and if they give a great experience that's a win win situation. One has to realize though and this doesn't mean bottom corps because it happens in WC established finalists , people and in many cases many people will move on because what one offers is simply not enough or someones goals. It happens often. Honesty also is a part of it. I can't tell you how many kids contact me saying we were told this or that and never delivered on anything close. I first tell them consider the fact it was your corps goal and there are many components to reaching a goal including their part and the members.

A corps can choose to be anything they want but with every decision, high goals or simple realistic goals nothing comes without a consequence to a decision. the good or bad , however one wants to look at it.

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They can still do all that and be better at it, IMO visually the design they had didn't set them up for any success, that drill was pretty weak (just being honest here) from any standard. Lowest scoring caption this year was in Visual Analysis, and I don't think that was just a performance problem.

They can be the fun, happy go lucky, everyone has a good time corps. We need one of those, but IMO there are certain areas where they could DEFINITELY be setting the kids up for success more, visual design being the big eye sore for me this year. I thought early on they'd end up having a pretty solid semifinalist brass line and guard, and they just never seemed to progress any from around Atlanta or so.

If they wanna roll the way they are, cool. That's fine, but getting beat by 6 Open Class corps, earning their lowest placement and score since entering world class? I know they might not care too much about scores and placements, but I think they might want to rethink a few things when the best you have done in the move up is the first year in 2009. They're regressing. Nobody is saying they have to give up the vibe they have............they could just be doing it in a more successful way unless they wanna keep on dropping. There's a good few Open Class corps that have started up that are incredibly impressive, and when they head to championships at some point, they are not slowing down.

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They can still do all that and be better at it, IMO visually the design they had didn't set them up for any success, that drill was pretty weak (just being honest here) from any standard. Lowest scoring caption this year was in Visual Analysis, and I don't think that was just a performance problem.

They can be the fun, happy go lucky, everyone has a good time corps. We need one of those, but IMO there are certain areas where they could DEFINITELY be setting the kids up for success more, visual design being the big eye sore for me this year. I thought early on they'd end up having a pretty solid semifinalist brass line and guard, and they just never seemed to progress any from around Atlanta or so.

If they wanna roll the way they are, cool. That's fine, but getting beat by 6 Open Class corps, earning their lowest placement and score since entering world class? I know they might not care too much about scores and placements, but I think they might want to rethink a few things when the best you have done in the move up is the first year in 2009. They're regressing. Nobody is saying they have to give up the vibe they have............they could just be doing it in a more successful way unless they wanna keep on dropping. There's a good few Open Class corps that have started up that are incredibly impressive, and when they head to championships at some point, they are not slowing down.

Yes you are quite right. As I said, it's ones decisions and one has to live by them and reap the benefit or not.

Fun shows , as some like to call them were far and few yet those corps , worked their craft very seriously. It's just like a comic. they can be laid back and funny as all hell yet practice their timing of a joke over and over and then over again. Nothing happens by chance. You are right about whats lacking but sometimes one has to wonder , is it any surprise to them. I don't know. With individuals i have spoke to they do go into a season with hope and enthusiasm all around. Now what happens from there I can give my personal opinion or assessment but choose not to here.

As said earlier , corps have their own goals and mission and nothing wrong with whatever it is as long as it is clear to a new member and expectations are realistic.

You are also quite right , it is a staff's job to set a member up to succeed , show strength's hide weakness, develop skills. If a staff can not deliver that they are doing a member a dis service and they need to be reassessed . Success though can and does mean different things to people as i said.JMO

Edited by GUARDLING

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I marched in that now would be considered an Open Class corps, and I assure you, no one had more fun than I.

Exactly. I never meant to imply it wasn't also fun! But I also know there was a certain elite corps my son always wanted to march with and he didn't go for it because of the reasons I mentioned in my above post - too expensive, too complicated to fly in and out, etc. He certainly had the talent. He was state runner up on euphonium his senior year!

I'm guessing there are a whole lot of kids out there in the same boat. It's important, IMO, to have as many local corps options as possible available for kids. Those who have the means and intestinal fortitude can move up to their out-of-town dream corps and manage school/work, the flights and so on - and those who don't can stay with the local corps and still get all the great experience drum corps provides.

Surf is providing a local corps opportunity for a lot of kids. The importance of that can not be stressed enough.

Edited by luv4corps

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I love Surf's fun attitude. I was dissapointed in 2014 when they went more serious - I missed the party on the field. But an ex-Surfer sitting behind me in Allentown told me he was glad because when he marched with Surf, the party attitude carried over to the members - some of whom wouldn't put the effort in to play and march well. Forget standings and medals, this is DCI which implies a certain level of performance, whether your show is fun or serious. I think Surf has stayed at DCI level even if they're not getting "better" every year but I can see how it would be frustrating for members who want to do better.

I talked with some kids from Surf this year who were incensed they didn't make semifinals - but my words to them were that it wasn't so much that Surf did poorly, it's more that some of the Open Class corps were amazing. This brings up the question of what does it mean to be Open Class or World Class? I heard quite a bit of rumblings that corps like SCVC and BDB should be forced into World Class. But then again, I spent time in the lot with the Vanguard Cadets (who were amazing!) and I was surprised at how young they were - as good as they are I was thinking they'd be older. Nope, kids. Same with BDB so age isn't what's holding corps back.

Personally, I've learned as a fan to not care about scores, my team never gets the scores they deserve (except maybe Bloo in 2014) so I just cheer for the shows I like and enjoy watching them and not worrying about placement.

I know a guy who marched Crown (years ago) and left to go to Madison because of Crown's obsession with scoring and placement and lack of concern for members' comfort and enjoyment. I spent a week with Bloo last year and I was impressed with how they've managed to balance pushing the members while making sure they still had fun. I was also impressed with how good the staff was at not only spotting problems but giving real solutions to fixing them - not just saying "you have to do better". They told/showed them how to do better. Of course, sometimes pointing out something was wrong was all that was necessary for the person to fix it - the bluecoats kids were pretty good.

I also know a guy who marched with an Open Class corps for his whole career because he didn't want to go away for three months in the summer. Not everyone has the same goals or desires when it comes to marching in DCI. People who come on here and tell everyone what their desires/goals SHOULD be are misguided.

I realize upon re-reading that this is a somewhat rambing and disjointed post. I apologize for any discomfort I may have caused.

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