By Allison Owen This has been quite a week for me. To set the stage for my week, I haven't been feeling too well. Then on Thursday, this huge surprise snowstorm hit and flights were being cancelled, so I was afraid that my flight to Memphis would be cancelled as well. I woke up on Friday to see that it had stopped snowing and I was feeling a bit better. When it came time to go to the airport that afternoon, I was feeling significantly better and I was excited to go to camp and see everyone again. I arrived at the Memphis airport a few minutes earlier than expected, and before I knew it I was checking in at camp (When I say, "before I knew it," I mean, "after about an hour or so of waiting for another corps members' plane to arrive and then loading up horns for camp," all of which was a fun experience.). After a corps meeting we were all ready to begin rehearsal. As I headed to the gym with the rest of the guard I was starting to feel a little under the weather again. I decided it would probably be in everyone's best interest if I told my guard instructors so they would know what was wrong with me if I didn't look like I was doing very well during rehearsal. Sure enough, after maybe an hour of stretches and some movement exercises, I felt like I was going to pass out. Emily and Kristin had me sit down while the guard did across-the-floors. I tried to watch what they were doing so I knew what to practice, but it was making me dizzy just watching. When the guard had a break a few people came to check on me and see how I was doing. It might be a small gesture, but for me it was so cool to really see how drum corps is your family and how everyone looks out for each other. After about an hour of sitting on the floor, Emily woke me up -- apparently I fell asleep -- and had me go to sleep where the staff was rooming for the weekend so I wasn't disturbed by the rest of the corps later that night. I woke up Saturday morning feeling worse than I had the night before. I knew -- and everyone could tell -- that I didn't have enough strength to do movement or to spin, so I sat with the Bohannans (and any staff that happened to wander out to the front lobby) for a bit at the front check-in table. Since I sat at the table all day I had some opportunities to do some things that I normally would not be able to do. I slept through the morning run, watched the guard rehearse (and it was a little weird to watch instead of participate), listened to the ensemble practice, met a lot of staff members and volunteers, and helped organize papers. One other thing I had the wonderful privilege to do was to explain to one of our visual techs, Jeremy, the difference between a peggy spin and a drop spin. I still don't think he understands.

I also got the chance to see some of the things that go on behind the scenes in a drum corps that most members don't really pay much attention to. I'd like to take this chance to thank our wonderful staff and volunteers for all that they do for the corps. I realized this weekend that it means a lot to a volunteer when a member thanks them for dedicating their time and effort to help their corps. There are a lot of things that they do for the drum corps that members might not even know about; so just a simple "thank you" goes a long way.

One of the funniest moments of Saturday (trust me, there were a bunch of interesting moments) was when our new cymbal tech, Chris, brought the cymbal hopefuls up to the table with him. He quietly asked if "that girl was still sick in the auditorium" or if they could rehearse in there. I laughed as Mrs. Bohannan pointed at me and said, "You mean this one?" Then we all had a good laugh and the cymbals went on their way to rehearse. Maybe you had to be there to get the hilarity of the moment. An exciting event for me on Saturday -- wait, the whole day was very exciting -- was when I received my corps member jacket. Although my ailing body may not have shown it, I was very ecstatic to get my jacket. Receiving my jacket made me feel even more like an official member and lifted my ill spirits. All weekend there were members of every section in the corps who decided to joke around and tell me how lazy I was for not spinning. It was all in good fun of course, so that also helped to lighten my mood. I was amazed at how many people I hadn't really met before in the corps were coming to check on me and see if I was feeling better. At first they had to ask me if I was a sick staff member or sick marching member since I was "sitting in that same chair all weekend at the front table." I think I met more people this weekend because I was sick than I did before the camp. Another thing I realized is that we have some really cool and hard-working staff, all of which were very entertaining for me over the course of the weekend. Your drum corps is your family and I fully realized that this weekend. I am so happy to be a part of this organization and I am so thankful for my great new family who looks out for one another. Now more than ever I can say that I can't wait for this summer.