One of the hardest things to do in drum corps is to age out or even take a summer off.
I knew I was going to have no choice but to take the summer of 2003 off. My graduation gift from my parents was a two-week vacation to Spain and Morocco. Don't get me wrong, the trip was amazing and worth my time. But deep down I knew I would rather march. I remember standing in horn arc during Pioneer's audition camp last November. Our horn sergeant from 2002, Kevin "Trackstar" Wick, was going over some of the basic commands the horn line would be using that weekend. After learning the commands we all introduced ourselves. Trackstar was the first to go. He talked about how taking the summer of 2001 off was so difficult. I had been at the end of the arc and kinda laughed at him (sorry Trackstar!). I seriously thought that taking a summer off would be such an easy thing to do. I was wrong. After the 15-hour trip back home from Madrid it felt as though I should be packing to go on tour. But instead, I was unpacking and was sadly putting my bag underneath my bed. Not marching didn't fully kick in until mid-June, when scores and updates were starting to be posted regularly. I was upset I couldn't be there, but I knew I had finals week to look forward to. Finals came and I felt some relief. I helped out Pioneer by cooking and running errands that needed to get done. It was difficult on me emotionally. My heart truly belonged on that field, having my butt kicked. The week ended on a high not. I saw some good friends I marched with. It was cool to see them again. I went home truly satisfied because I saw them and had made many new friends. Marching in a corps is one of the greatest things you can ever be a part of, I realized after my summer hiatus. The friendships and memories you make last a lifetime. I know if I ever needed anything, my drum corps family would be there and vice versa.