Today through Sunday, nearly all of Drum Corps International’s World and Open Class corps will be taking part in one of their final rehearsal weekends before spring training “move-ins” prior to the start of the 2018 DCI Tour. Topping the list of activities will be a strong focus on participant safety and increased communication.
Corps leadership will facilitate discussions with their members, staff and volunteers on topics including safety, sexual harassment, whistleblower policies, and abuse reporting mechanisms. All of the drum corps taking part in this year’s tour are already submitting their policies and procedures to DCI, and activities this weekend will be another step forward in making sure performers, staff, volunteers, and parents have current information as it relates to their individual corps.
As an example, the Bluecoats will reinforce their commitment to participant safety by starting this weekend’s rehearsal camp with a meeting outlining the corps’ commitment to creating a safe environment for members and staff. The corps plans to acknowledge current events while also providing a refresher course regarding the nature of their policies and how to ask for and get help if needed.
"We want to ensure that each and every member and staff member of the Bluecoats has verbal reinforcement of the nature of our safety and whistleblower policies and how to access them,” Bluecoats executive director David Glasgow said.
The Blue Stars will also have a series of meetings throughout the weekend with discussions on the corps’ overall policies, specific member health and safety procedures, and protocols for any issues and concerns.
“As always, our highest priority is the health and safety of the members, volunteers, and staff of the Blue Stars,” Blue Stars executive director Brad Furlano explained. “It's important for us to carve out time before our summer tour to discuss these issues openly and directly so everyone understands what is expected behavior in our organization.”
The Blue Knights have two special meetings planned this weekend to go over the corps’ policies to ensure that everything is crystal clear – the first to remind staff members of their roles and responsibilities as educators, and the second with Blue Knights performing members to review the policies.
“Now is the time for meaningful introspection and diligence focused upon assuring we as an organization are applying the very best practices designed to make our environment safe and wholesome for all participants,” Blue Knights executive director Mark Arnold said “It’s about creating a culture built upon excellence, caring, and mutual respect. It’s also about having the integrity and will to do the right thing when challenges to that culture materialize.”
While each corps concentrates this weekend on preparing for the upcoming competitive summer season, the focus on participant safety and well-being will take top priority.