September is typically a tough month for kids since they have so many responsibilities, homework, the social scene of high school, and it can take some time to figure out the balance between life and marching band. It’s always the toughest time for my kids, even when they know the expectations of the guard. Once we have come through the month of September and the kids are able to show some success and growth on the field, we take time to boost their mental game by focusing on the relationships in the group.One of the traditions we’ve loved is doing is an activity called ‘Warm Fuzzies.
The activity takes about an hour, but this is more or less based on how many kids you have– we had 18 of us including instructors. All that’s needed is a piece of paper and pen/pencil. Each person writes his or her name on the top of the paper and then numbers the paper from one to one less than the total number of people there (for us, it was 1-17). The kids leave 2 blank lines between numbers.
The activity is simply to write positive messages about each person on their sheet of paper– fun memories, encouragement and strengths, but namely, positive feelings you’ve had for that person through the activity.
The only rule is that everything must be in a positive light. There can be no back-handed compliments (You used to be so bad at marching and now you’re not!) or any jokes that could be misinterpreted or hurtful (You’re pretty cool for a redhead).
The instructors bring a yummy treat (we had cider and doughnuts!) and we make a party out of it.
It is a GREAT refueling for the kids, and it creates some wonderful team bonding and positive atmosphere. I’ve had some of my guard kids graduate and I’ll see their lists of Warm Fuzzies displayed with all their awards and accomplishments. When an activity can foster special relationships, it can build memories that are never forgotten.
I’ve kept every single one of my Warm Fuzzy notes. )
About the Author (Author Profile)
Amy Townley is a color guard designer and instructor from Grand Rapids, Michigan. She currently teaches at Byron Center High School, and she is an adjudicator for Scholastic Marching Bands. She has taught for 13 years and continues to seek to be a better educator.