Equipment Survival Kit!

| January 31, 2007 | 2 Comments

Imagine this! You are starting to sweat.  Your heart is beating faster.  The adrenaline is kicking in.  You are totally focused on your game and your students have every eye on you waiting for your direction.  Equipment warm-up is only 7 short minutes and you have every moment perfectly planned to make sure your performers have a chance to practice each difficult toss and every challenging combination before stepping foot into the gym.  Things are intense and the kids are looking great.  Suddenly you hear a crack and look up to discover a rifle cracked completely in two!  How could this happen?  Time to panic?  NO!  Because you have thought ahead.  You calmly walk over, take a spare rifle from your Emergency Equipment Bag and all is well and good in the world.

Okay…so things are maybe not quite this dramatic!  But little equipment issues crop up all the time from a flag coming untaped during rehearsal to an endcap coming apart or a rifle bolt screw that just won’t stay put!  It’s generally a good idea to put together a small toolbox or backpack of items that will help you to make sure your equipment is always in working order and that any necessary repairs can be done quickly so as not to take time away from an important rehearsal or lead to disappointing performance during a competition.  You should also keep an extra set of equipment in a bag that you take along to all performances just in case something dramatic happens.  The more prepared you are, the less likely an equipment malfunction will un-nerve already nervous performers and the more time you will have for rehearsal or warm-up.

Here are some ideas for things to include in your Equipment Survival Kit:

  1. Extra End Caps!
  2. Extra pole weights (if you use them)
  3. Extra Electrical tape in every color you are using
  4. A Small Pair of Scissors
  5. A few Maxi-Pads for repadding rifles last minute (or cotton batting works too!)
  6. Safety Pins
  7. Strapping tape for repairing a rifle
  8. A screwdriver (look for one with a flat head and a phillips head)
  9. Clear Plastic tape for last minute fixes (if a rifle bolt screw comes out)
  10. A small amount of duct tape (when all else fails!)
  11. An extra pair of gloves (someone always seems to forget!)
  12. Band-aids
  13. A copy of the performance CD (always useful to keep spares EVERYWHERE!)
  14. PVC Cutters (if you use PVC poles) in case the end of a pole cracks and needs to be trimmed
  15. One extra piece of each of your show equipment.

You can also include some personal items as well such as

  1. tylenol or advil (if school rules allow)  [updated 8/2015 most schools will not allow any medications including over-the-counter to be included in bags with student access.  It’s best to check with your school district policy to determine what, if any, medicines are allowed to be carried and who may have access (coach, parent or school staff).]  If a student equipment manager has access to the equipment kit it is likely necessary to have a separate medical bag if school policy requires one to be carried on field trips.  Again, check with your school district.]
  2. a small bottle of water
  3. make-up wipes
  4. a small bottle of hairspray (also good for slippery shoes!)
  5. a small mirror
  6. a small comb
  7. feminine products
  8. deodorant (aerosol is best for “sharing”)
  9. Basic First Aid Supplies (Ace Bandage, Cold Pack) [8/2015 update: see note above regarding a separate medical kit/bag]

If you assign a student as equipment manager, this student would be responsible for picking up the survival kit and bringing it to the rehearsal space at each rehearsal.  That way, repairs don’t have to take too much valuable time away from practice!

(Did we miss something important on our list?  Let us know and we’ll add it!  Email editor@colorguardeducator.com .) 

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Category: Performance, Preparation & Travel, Team Management

About the Author (Author Profile)

Catina Anderson is the founder/editor of the Colorguard Educators blog. Color guard has been part of her life for almost 25 years. She began coaching in 1994 and worked with the Broad Run High School color guard in Northern VA from 1998 until 2010. She has also written for Halftime Magazine and served on the Executive Board of the Atlantic Indoor Association. A former teacher, she enjoys sharing what she has learned and hopes to encourage others to share as well. Together we can create even more positive experiences for performers and help to collectively strengthen marching arts activities worldwide.

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