Today, campers eagerly piled into Ball State’s Student Recreation Center to start their week at Camp! A handful of these campers, flag bags in hand, are attending the first-ever Middle School Color Guard Division at Summer Symposium.

When I first heard about the Middle School Color Guard division, I was ecstatic! Color guard is often only a high school sport and there are very few programs exist for students in middle school. Susie Harloff, the division head of Color Guard, says “We are thrilled to provide this opportunity for middle school students! The color guard activity continues to grow for kids in this age group, so of course we wanted to let them have a chance to experience this life-changing camp.”

The Middle School Color Guard division allows for students in these schools to get a jumpstart into their color guard education, learning and refining the technique of the trade. We all know that good habits formed at a young age, both technical and social, will last a lifetime!

Watching these campers learn and grow in such a short week really warms my heart.  As a former color guard performer and current educator, it forces me to look back at my own color guard journey and what it taught me. A journey that taught me more than just cones, drop spins, and pirouettes. It facilitated an environment where I developed skills in team-building, cooperation, leadership, self-discipline, and perseverance. Skills that have carried me through some of my longest and hardest days. A journey where I have learned from and taught with some of the most passionate and inspiring educators. I just can’t believe that it all started with a drop spin.

My only hope is that these campers have an experience that lasts forever and a life-time.