DHS Band Camp

Band Camp is much more than learning all of the marching fundamentals, drill and charts for the new season’s halftime show. Dexter Band seniors often say that Band Camp is one of their favorite high school highlights! Section skits, dress-up days, alumni returning as field staff, and traditions like the Thursday night dance make for a lot of team bonding and a rewarding, memorable week!

Band Camp 2024

Sunday, July 28 – Friday, August 2, 2024 at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, MI

Camp Chairperson:  Pete Meloche, dexterbandcamp@gmail.com

Band Camp FAQs

The Band Camp Handbook will have most of the information needed for attending camp. The Handbook is sent to you after the final payment deadline has passed.

Q: Why can’t we do a day camp instead of an overnight camp?
A: Having an off-campus band camp requires students to clear their schedules for six days and focus on the task at hand—learning the shows for the upcoming season. Being together 24/7 allows us to get to know each other much better and fosters the espirt de corps that is so vital to having a good marching band. That cannot be duplicated by having a day camp on the school campus. Besides, students have a lot more fun!

Q: What do I need to know about the practices the week before camp?
A: Rehearsals are held at DHS on the Tuesday and Thursday before camp from 1:15 to 3:00 p.m. These times are for music distribution, rehearsal, and basic marching concepts. If your child cannot attend these rehearsals, it does not preclude them from coming to camp. They can pick up their music later. The camp equipment trailer is loaded on Thursday after rehearsal, so if your student plays tuba or percussion, you’ll want to make arrangements to ensure that his/her instrument gets loaded.

Q: How do I know if my child is a squad leader?
A: Students can apply to be rank and squad leaders in May. Final decisions regarding these positions are usually not made until the last week of school in June. Students selected to be squad leaders will be notified by the drum majors and results will be posted on the band website.

Q: What should I do if my child has special food considerations?
A: Lactose intolerant and vegetarian students do not have to worry; there are plenty of appropriate choices on the regular menu at Hillsdale College.  Students with specific allergies, Celiac disease, or anyone following a vegan diet should contact the band camp chairperson so that arrangements can be made.

Q: Can we come down to watch on Friday?
A: Parents are highly encouraged to attend the Friday morning performances at Hillsdale College. You will want to be seated 15 minutes prior to performance time. Directions are in the Band Camp Handbook and a campus map is available on the Hillsdale website: www.hillsdale.edu.

Q: If the weather is really hot will the kids continue to march?
A: The safety of students is of primary importance to the band directors. When the weather become hot, the daily camp schedule is revised to minimize exposure to the mid-day sun and high temperatures. Students receive water breaks every 20-35 minutes. If temperatures reach 90 degrees, the band director invokes a “No Pop” rule at mealtime and mandatory naps after lunch. Dorms are air-conditioned. Hats are a required at all field rehearsals, and sunscreen is always available.