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Winter Guard Competes and Nearly Gets Swallowed Up By Their Tarp!

Katy Gilbert, Senior Winter Guard member and section leader, has volunteered to help me write the blog for all things Winter Guard this season as she can give a first-hand account of what really happens at the rehearsals and competitions. I am so grateful for her help!  Read on to hear Katy's account of their weekend.


It has been a busy couple of months for the Woodlan Winter Guard as they prepared for the beginning of the IHSCGA Competition Season, and did they ever have their work cut out for them! The guard has more than doubled in size since last year, now having 17 members, and the decision was made to add in a rifle line. After roughly 2 months of long practice hours and teaching 7 completely new members from scratch, the Woodlan Winter Guard finally debuted their 2024 competition show!

            On January 27th, the Winter Guard competed at Snider High School in the Festival Division! The day started out with the guard and the directors meeting at 8:30 in Woodlan’s elementary gym for a last-minute rehearsal. The guard ran through their show for the first time with their new show silks and quickly reviewed some newly added routine. It wasn’t long until it was time for them to fold and load the tarp and get on the bus to Snider High School. 

Morning practice before heading off to compete

              After arriving at Snider, the guard quickly unloaded, got dressed, and made their way to warmups. With the show reviewed and nothing else left to do, the guard quickly made their way to the gymnasium and were finally able to perform their long-awaited show, “As The Days Grow Shorter”. The guard dazzled and wowed the audience. (You should have heard those cheers!) They pulled off a great show for their first competition! After the show ended, the guard began moving the tarp (which nearly ate Izzy Lothamer alive!), and ran out of the gym. They ran immediately to load the tarp into Gayleen Fogle’s truck, which turned out to be quite the challenge. The tarp was quickly unfolding itself into a giant blob and had guard members getting stuck in it! 

              The guard was finally able to load the tarp into the truck and before everyone knew it; it was time for awards! Woodlan sent up three members as their representatives: Katy Gilbert, Katelynn Spencer, and Olivia Garrison. Woodlan Winter Guard earned a Silver Rating in the Festival Class, falling just 4 points short of a gold. However, it was all smiles for the guard that has overcome a lot to get to that silver! 

Warm-ups at Snider

Awards representatives Katy, Katelynn, and Olivia

Ah, the tarp fiasco!

When the guard finally arrived back at Woodlan, they had to deal with the issue that is their performance tarp. Help was called in by the Spencer family, and they were able to unload and move the tarp, although it was no easy task! Kids were getting smushed, the tarp was almost dropped a few times, and almost everything that could go wrong went wrong. Luckily, everyone in the guard was a good sport and could see the humor in the situation. Matters were made even more complicated when one of the members (looking at you, Miss Chloe Lothamer) lost her shoe while folding the tarp and had to crawl under the tarp to retrieve it. 

Umm... Chloe?!? Is that you??

Hide-n-seek with Chloe!

The Snider Competition turned out to be an exciting and interesting day for the Woodlan Winter Guard. But, there is no time to rest for these kids. This coming week they have a full week of practice and another competition, this time at Anderson High School! Congrats to the guard on your silver! 


Please come out and cheer on the Winter Guard as they compete this Saturday, February 3rd at Anderson High School. The Festival Class will begin at 11:00am with New Haven High School and conclude at 12:24pm. Woodlan Winter Guard will compete at 11:49am. Awards will be held at 2:16pm.  Good luck this weekend, Winter Guard!

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