The following two articles appeared in the Wooster Daily Record following our 2000 trip. Thank you to nutritionist and band parent, Bobbie Randall for writing the great articles, but most of all, thanks for chaperoning the trip!


Looking For FRUIT In All The Right Places

"Fruit, fruit, I need fruit." My son, Tom, and his friend were standing in front of a highway rest stop halfway between Orlando and Wooster desperate for fruit. It was Day Six of the spring break band trip to Disney World. Teenage boys are known to crave many things but a piece of ripe, nutritious, and juicy fruit is usually not one of them. The long tall boys were in search of something that wasn't fried or surrounded with a mushy bun. Fruit was their desire.

The Wooster High School Marching Band and Orchestra recently went to Disney World. My husband and I went along as chaperones on the six day bus trip. The band directors did a fantastic job with organizing and executing the plans of the trip. The orchestra played like professionals at Epcot. The Marching Band would make any parent proud as they paraded down Main Street USA. I got goosebumps as my own two kids stepped by. The trip was fabulous.

We all know that it takes gasoline and oil to fuel a bus loaded with kids; ever wonder what fueled the kids while on the whirlwind tour? Most of the kids thrived on adrenaline. But even the most excited kids got hungry after the second day. It was a kid's holiday, fast food three meals a day. The routine was caffeine and grease for breakfast, caffeine and grease for lunch and caffeine and grease for dinner with ice cream in between.

Now don't get me wrong, there were other choices but peer pressure prevails in a group of 291. We did get wonderful breakfast buffets on most mornings but the kids were left to choice while in the Disney parks.

At the Animal Kingdom Theme Park I decided not to go on one of those water rides that leave your pants wet for the rest of the day. Instead, I sat in the sunshine with my SPF 30 sunscreen on and did some serious people watching. I found a fruit stand and bought an orange. It was heavenly. It quenched my thirst and filled my stomach. When my crowd finished the ride and dried off as much as possible, I treated everyone with an orange of their own. They all exclaimed that it was a delicious treat and that they never would have thought of buying one. I guess it's the nutritionist in me that looks at treats for both nutrition and satiety value. By the end of the trip, people were admitting to me that they actually spent money on apples and pears and oranges instead of french fries and soft drinks.

Fruit, either dried or fresh, is refreshing sustenance while traveling. Applesauce and diced mixed fruit is available in small half cup serving containers at the grocery store. Raisins are great to stash in your fanny pack. Sharing an orange with a friend is another way of saying I care about you.

Was I proud of my teenage boy when he was yelling "FRUIT" at the rest stop? You're darn right I was. Did I eat my share of cotton candy at Disney World? You're darn right, I guarantee it. Upon returning did I make a balanced meal as soon as possible? You're darn right, I did!


Drink Water, It's The Disney Thing To Do

My family huddled around the television last night. It was our turn to watch the video of the kids from the band march down Main Street USA in Disney World. We even invited Mrs. O. and Mrs. B. to come over and enjoy the show.

About two months before the band field trip, I volunteered to help the kids with their uniforms prior to the parade. At the time I didn't realize what I had committed to. Another mom and dad were in charge of the emergency band uniform supplies and had a bag of extra buttons, gloves, spats and duct tape. I was there to help them get those hot, tired, sweaty and excited teenagers dressed as the grandest band in the land musicians that they are. I was part of the crew.

As soon as we were on the backlot, a Disney employee informed us that for the next few hours, the Wooster High School Band was a Disney performer. Now that's an exciting thought.

This was it. All the months of fundraising, planning, rehearsing and waiting were geared toward this moment. The band directors gathered the kids together for their marching orders from the guy in the white shirt and Mickey Mouse tie.

You want to know what he said to the kids as they stood in the Florida sunshine before they unpacked their instruments and put on their wool uniforms in the 88 degree heat? Wouldn't you like to know what this young Disney professional said to our excited sunburned group of 225 teens that were overflowing with hormones and adrenaline?

They heard the speech about conduct and professionalism. They were complimented for being chosen to march on one of the busiest Disney days of the year. They were quiet and spellbound when the parade route was explained. He had the group right where he wanted them. This guy was good. Then he said something that the Wooster adults had been saying for days. He said, "Water."

He couldn't have been more eloquent. He went on to say that the kids were at high risk if they didn't get enough fluid and that he didn't want anyone passing out during the parade. That was not the Disney thing to do.

It was a matter of saying the right thing at the right time. The band directors and chaperones had been using the word "water" as a mantra for days. Visions of a dried up mellowphone player lying in a blue and white heap in front of Cinderella's Castle haunted one mom in particular.

The kids needed water to march, to play their instruments and to think. The Florida sun was hotter than springtime in Wayne County. Their sweat glands were working harder than they had all winter. Water was the key to a successful parade.

The lines at the drinking fountains were as long as the restroom lines. This was a good sign for the directors. The kids had heard the message.

Thirty minutes before marching as the band rehearsed in formation, they sounded and looked great. The directors moved up and down the ranks squirting the tuba players and the percussionists with water bottles. The clarinets had water streamed into their mouths to keep their reeds wet. The majorettes and flag corps gulped downed one last swallow before show time.

Last night we watched the video. It was impressive. If those kids did anything right that hot April day in the Florida sunshine, it was to drink water. Don't forget this lesson when mowing your grass or planting your gardens and flower beds. Water yourself. It's the Disney thing to do


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