M101- Ye Olde Water Jug

Here's a mandatory piece of equipment that you need to start shopping for: 1/2 gallon thermal water jug with drinking spout.

You'll find them made by several manufacturers: Igloo, Coleman, Rubbermaid, etc.

Note that I said it wasmandatoryequipment? Yep, your marcher is about to become best friends with their water jug. They'll go everywhere together, not by choice but by director's orders.

LOMB rehearsals are almost always outside, far from a water source. They take frequent water breaks but what they don't do is give everyone 30 minutes to run to the nearest drinking fountain and stand in line. Your marcher needs a water jug.

At band camp, the jugs become even more important. Not only are the rehearsals back to back for multiple days, but the water sources are even further away from rehearsal space and the cabins have no sinks or faucets.

Now I want you to look at the photo above. Really look. Notice anything?

I'm sending you out shopping NOW so that you can find your child a water jug that is any color BUT red.

I know. Red is pretty; red is my favorite color. The stores all agree with me. They really like red too.

The problem comes when you have 156 kids with 156 red water jugs.

You see, parents call them "water breaks" and that sounds all fancy and refined. Polite people have water breaks.

The kids call them: "Gush & Go"

The drum major gives them 60 seconds. They all run off the field at once and grab whatever jug looks a bit like theirs. They dump half on their head, the other half down the back of their shirt, and the last few drops make it into their mouth. Then they all run back to their dots and pretend like nothing ever happened.

Now you understand why the third jug from the left is hot pink with added stripes. That kid is an absolute genius.

So this helps explain why when I found a purple AND an orange 1/2 gallon water jug at a local store, I started spinning around in the camping aisle like Maria Von Trapp on her sunny Austrian hillside. It was like hitting the Mega Millions and then striking Texas Tea in my back yard all on the same day. I'd stumbled upon a magical hole in the space/time continuum where God was hiding all the un-red Igloo jugs.

So start shopping right now for a color other than red. Or make plans to add clever duct tape decoration. Do not rely on a name written in Sharpie- it won't last the whole season. Think odd, think different, think ugly-as-sin-no-one's-gonna-want-to-steal-this kind of decoration.

Want more water jug tips?

  • Run the lids through the dishwasher frequently and bleach the jug. Several kids have colonies growing in their jugs and don't seem to care.
  • Buy a bag of ice or freeze a few blocks that fit inside the jug. Your ice maker may not be able to keep up with the draw during mini-camp weeks.
  • The school water varies in taste. The camp water is worse. Single serve packets of sugar free drink mix can help mask the taste and relieve some of the monotony.
  • Buy an extra. Jugs break when you're least able to shop for a replacement. My kids have had at least one fatal crack or detached handle per year.
  • Be prepared for your student to loose their jug or bring one home marked "Fred". Their mind is on 5,000 other things besides guarding a jug.
  • When a jug breaks, save the parts- especially the gasket. You'll thank me later.
  • The boosters donate a few jugs to the Salvation Army every year. When your student says they can't find theirs, go check the lost & found.