By Allison Owen With less than three weeks until I move in for the most awesome summer of my life, I'd like to take some time to thank the people who have gotten me to this point. First of all I'd like to thank my parents for never saying "no" when I told them I wanted to be gone all summer marching drum corps. I feel so blessed to have found out about drum corps at the age that I have and be able to march as well. In addition to my parents I'd like to say thank you to my extended family for supporting me and sponsoring me so I can march. Without their help I wouldn't be able to do what I love doing. I feel so lucky to have such a great corps staff. I may not know each of them very well, but I do know that they work so hard for us. I can see their love and dedication for us because of their efforts. I'm very thankful that Emily and Kristin saw my desire to be a part of this guard and decided to offer me a contract; I'm very happy that they have given me this opportunity. A HUGE thank you goes to Mr. and Mrs. Bohannan for recruiting me back in November at a band competition. If it were not for them I might not have found my corps family, so I am forever grateful to them for that and all they do for our corps. As much as people in the drum corps world may look down on band, I have to thank my band directors and staff for teaching me the basics and setting me up for my life in drum corps. Mr. Stites, Mr. Foster and Mrs. Stites have taught me what I needed to know and prepared me for the most amazing summer I have ever had. It's hard for me to think that I had to be talked into joining color guard! I'm thankful that I come from such a good band program that encourages me to broaden my horizons by marching drum corps. A special thank you also goes to our percussion director, Dan, for reminding me that "it's not where I march, it's THAT I march." Then there are my friends: The ones at home and then my friends at corps. Where would I be without my friends? All my friends here at home have played a huge role in my life -- especially this year. Thanks to all of them for putting up with my ramblings about drum corps and taking an interest in my dreams. I love them all and I'm going to miss them this summer, unless of course they want to pay a visit! Next are my friends at corps. It seems like almost instantly I formed an indescribable bond with each of them. As much as I love my friends at home I am glad to have friends that I am experiencing drum corps with and understand the activity I love. I am so thankful for these friendships and I can't wait to see how close I am to these people in August. These friends encourage me and inspire me to work as hard as I can. I am forever grateful for's staff for allowing me to share my story with all who wish to read it. I have had so many wonderful opportunities because of this and I will never be able to thank the staff enough for giving me this chance. Last, but certainly not least, I thank you, the reader. All of those who read my story each week are sharing in my rookie year of drum corps. Thanks for encouraging me and taking an interest in my life.

Obviously it has taken a lot more than my dreams to get me to where I am. I am thankful for each and every person who has gotten me here. I have had such an unbelievable time in drum corps so far -- even though the summer hasn't even started -- and I know it is only going to get better. If there is someone reading this who is questioning marching this summer, DO IT! This activity is full of such amazing people and I am so thankful that I am lucky enough to be a part of this incredible thing we call drum corps.