For many young drum corps fans, walking onto the field of Lucas Oil Stadium would be unthinkable. During the DCI Tour Premiere earlier this month in Indianapolis, that dream came true for more than a hundred middle and high school students, as part of a “Kick Start” leadership workshop.

Kick Start is an educational program designed to teach students about leadership and responsibility. Led by motivational speaker and author Fran Kick, the workshops will make an appearance during DCI Tour events at five more venues across the country this summer.

“Rather than just lecturing to the students, or letting them watch something on the field, we actually bring them down on the field and interact through various activities,” Kick says. “Leadership isn’t about the title of the position. Leadership is about making things happen and being the example. The activities demonstrate the point that if you pay attention, respond appropriately, and get involved with what’s going on, you can make things happen, regardless if you have a title or not.”

After speaking to students sitting in the front few rows of Lucas Oil Stadium, Kick led them to the field to play the “ABC Game,” which teaches students to step forward and “make things happen,” according to Kick. Games the students play change every year, so students who attend the seminars more than once will have different experiences each time.

The games are what make Kick Start events unique, Kick says.

“Versus other forced audience participation activities that people have gone through, this is more of an interactive experience that has an educational point to it,” Kick said. “The kids get to discover that point as they play the game. That’s the best part.”

The students continued to play the game, forming a large circle on the left half of the field, as fans began to file in for the night’s main event. About an hour later, the first drum corps of the new season took the field.

While the corps provided entertainment for everyone in the stadium, they also reinforced some of the lessons that the students learned earlier in the day.

“The cool thing about doing these events in conjunction with DCI shows is that after we've talked about using these techniques, then they get to see the results of doing that,” Kick said. “They get to see students just like them in the performing drum corps who have committed to putting a lot of effort into their experience. And they get a lot out of that.”

The next Kick Start workshop will take place in Indiana on Wednesday, July 8, in conjunction with the DCI Fort Wayne event at the University of Saint Francis. Admission for students is free with their ticket to the drum corps show.

Additional events throughout the summer will take place just prior to DCI shows in Belton, San Antonio and Atlanta, as well as one before the World Championship Finals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Upcoming "Kick Start" Events

Learn more about Kick Start leadership workshops.