With the evolution of the drum corps activity in the last decade, there has been a higher physical and mental demand asked from every performing member. With the incorporation of dance skills and maneuvering props on top marching, members are being asked to do things which most of the time, their bodies may not agree with.

As such, the need for full-time athletic and physical trainers throughout the summer has been on the rise throughout DCI in order to strengthen and condition members to avoid potential injury.

We are excited to announce that Vanguard has established a Health & Wellnesss Committee:

Zarah Calvin – MS, ATC, LAT Certified & Licensed Athletic Trainer

Carolyn Drislane – Doctor of Physical Therapy

 Jeremy Van Wert – MFT, MBA Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California

Working alongside each other and in cohesion with the educational staff, they will lay the foundation for what physical and mental health means for Vanguard.

Drum corps as we all know is an activity which demands a lot of mental and physical strength, why is it important for groups to start a wellness program for their members?

Z: I think it’s super important that these members are treated how every other athlete would be and have the same resources, whether that comes from a strength and conditioning background, into a mental health program and nutritional aspect.

C: I know when I started working with drum corps each corps was getting like one trainer. That ratio is 1 to 150 people so it’s crucial not to have just health care providers but to also have a health and wellness team that consists of people of different expertise.

J: Our members as we know are fanatics and they will go to the very max with their bodies and if they don’t have health and wellness as a focus in what it is that they’re doing, they will push themselves past injuries

As we’ve seen in most recent summers, the amount of weeks of move-ins for many corps have increased, how can these performers maintain stability in their mental health in order to avoid that feeling of “burn-out”?

J: The prep work is in the relationships the young person makes and in a drum and bugle corps organization that pays attention to what every single member is going through so that there is the highest amount of success for even members who have a little bit more of a difficult time socializing and with anxiety and depression.

How can the educational staff prepare themselves in order to better serve the mental health of the members?

J: We’re going to be preparing our staff with mental health first aid. The leaders among the staff are going to take this mental health first aid so that there is a large understanding of what to look for and how to work with the members.

C: The best thing that we can also offer are resources and resources of people and organizations who know what this person is going through.

Z. I think that for members themselves, education on how to help their own selves with mental health and self-care is a big thing right now.

What do you see as the immediate goals for the Health and Wellness Committee and also the future endeavors?

J: Health and wellness is something that not only has been made a great focus by the board of DCI, but that’s something that should be an expectation from our members. That they are going to have a season of being cared for properly in every single way.

C: When DCI comes out with their recommendations, taking it, be proactive, be efficient and then try to do it the best so that the members who choose to join know that SCV is the safest drum corps that they can march in a season post pandemic.

Z: My short-term goal will be to make sure that both corps are staffed how they should be and the long-term goal is making sure that we have all the right people in place so we have the best system set up and a system where there is respect.