GUEST COLUMN: Guard encourages self-confidence

By DUSTIN ROBINSON, guest columnist

The Brown County color guard, coached by Lacey Dresslar of Nashville, is more than an extracurricular activity at Brown County High School.

Many individuals, including parents, teachers, students and even many community members, have a misconception of what this group is about and, ultimately, the impact that they make.

For sophomore Caly Rice, “Guard is an amazing experience where I get to express my feelings by doing work through a song. It is my safe zone where I can have fun with people I love and they bring out the best in me. Guard is what I look most forward to in my school week, and I am more than happy to be a part of a growing activity that makes me happy about who I am and the people I get to meet.”

Color guard is an activity that requires its participants to provide a visually emotional and moving performance to selected music.

In the summer and fall months, they can often be found participating with the BCHS marching band, competing at state and regional competitions.

In the winter they work their way to solo performances, demonstrating not only complex dance techniques but also using flags and other props to create unforgettable performances that leave their audiences captivated.

Each year, girls from the county come together, with each performance crafted to highlight and cultivate the individual skills of each and every participant.

While they learn technical skills associated with performance, guard inspires more. Focusing on instilling confidence, developing social skills and learning to work collaboratively to overcome difficult challenges, it teaches a bit about life in the process.

Maddy Westcott, also a sophomore at BCHS, states that, “Guard has been an amazing experience for me ever since my first day. It means so much to me not only because I get an overwhelming rush of passion when I perform, but also because it has taught me so many things. I have learned discipline and teamwork, and what it really means to put hard work into something I love.”

While guard has been an active participant in BCHS events for years, it has not received the exposure it needs to adequately fund the program.

While recent efforts to fundraise, including soliciting area businesses and participating in bake sales, have produced some funding, Coach Dresslar has been forced to find creative ways to craft performances. Dresslar has found herself often shopping for used equipment from various color guard sites, constructing magnificent performances using limited resources.

Guard is still in need of several items, including silks (flags), uniforms and rifles (props).

Regardless of funding, these girls will carry on the rich tradition that represents the heart of color guard. You can find them practicing at Brown County High School during the hot summer months, mixing with the marching band for hours on end, and in the winter months, working long after the school day ends.

For these girls, guard represents a lifelong sisterhood that Autumn Bryant, a BCHS junior, reinforces: “I am very appreciative of my teammates; they are my sisters and will always be my friends.”

Help the guard

For more information on how to support or donate to Brown County High School color guard teams, contact coach Lacey Dresslar at bcwinterguard@yahoo.com or send mail to Brown County High School, P.O. Box 68, Nashville, IN 47448.

Dustin E. Robinson is an English teacher at Brown County High School. He collaborated with color guard leaders and boosters to produce this column.