Ichabods In Depth

Shrine Bowl camps bring more than 600 to Washburn

Student campers, residential living staff, and a Shriner ready to make balloon animals at Masonic Band Camp check in at the LLC

By Thursday there will be more than 600 high school students and guests of the Shriners on campus to participate in the 2013 Kansas Shrine Bowl and related activities.

As more than 200 Masonic Band Camp participants checked in to the Living Learning Center Tuesday morning, Residential Living staff got a taste of the "controlled chaos" that awaits them on move-in day in less than a month. By Thursday, more than 600 students will be staying in Washburn's residence halls.

"This is much more controlled," said residential living staffer Nicole Stormann, of Topeka, who graduated in May with a degree in human services. "We get to talk to each of them individually. Move Crew is controlled chaos (because) everyone wants to be here right away."

Because of all of the other camps and conferences using the LLC this summer, Stormann, Trent Meyer and other staff had only about a week to prepare for all of the Shrine Bowl students.

Meyer, a junior finance and accounting major from Wellsville, Kan., said now that all of the preparations are finished he's looking forward to his duties as Resident Assistant for the campers.

"I'm betting there will be a lot of lock outs," Meyer said, as one band member who had checked in not long before came to ask for help getting back into her room. They're not used to having to carry keys all the time, just like new students in the first few weeks of school.

While Shriners organize much of the camp itself and set up several stations during move in so students got all of the information and materials they needed, including color-coded T-shirts for an event and a refillable water bottle to ensure each participant stays hydrated, it was Washburn staff that ensure logistics make their experience go smoothly. And Washburn music staff direct the Masonic Band participants.

Gary Van Cleave, camp director, said on Tuesday things were going great. This is the fifth time Washburn has hosted the Shrine Bowl since it began. The Masonic Band Camp program was added to the football game 30 years ago. In addition to football and band, students participating in dance, cheer and cross country will be on campus for the event. All proceeds of the Kansas Shrine Bowl and related events benefit the Shriners' nation-wide network of 22 children's hospitals.

The band students, selected by their school band directors, have five days to learn to march as a unit, both in the parade and for pre-game and half-time shows at the football game to be played Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at Yager Stadium at Moore Bowl.

"In five days they become one, instead of 202 different people," Van Cleave said. "Their passion, their desire to excel is amazing. This is the cream of the crop and they show it."

Expect to hear them practicing on campus over the next few days.

More info:

Learn more about the Kansas Shrine Bowl: http://www.kansasshrinebowl.com

Volunteer to be part of Move Crew 2013 on Aug. 15: Complete a volunteer form.

Reminder: The Union Market food court at Stauffer Commons will be closed to the public on Thursday and Friday in order to accommodate the Shrine Bowl students. The Corner Store, main level, Memorial Union, will be open.