Friday. 3:30 p.m. Shelby Farms Park. Rows of highschoolers twirl their green-colored flags, mats between them, masks separating them, each six feet apart. This is the widespread bleakness that has taken over reality. Yet, within this scene, there is a sense of community, a togetherness that is almost tangible. While these color guard members may be separated physically in every way, they still maintain a powerful unity.
For Alice Chao (11), a feeling of acceptance comes with being in color guard, and a feeling that the support and friendship made in color guard can withstand many trials.
“What I really enjoy about color guard is that no matter what, we are a very supportive community,” Chao said. “Anyone who joins, they’re automatically accepted, regardless of their background, regardless of who they are, everyone is able to have a very close bond with each other.”
Student leadership has also kept color guard connected. Chao, along with Molly Yuan (12), Rebekah Butler (10) and Sydney Scott (10), have stepped up as officers for color guard, and their dedication does not go unnoticed.
“I feel like the officers really push us to be the best color guard person we can be despite the circumstances and we really want to make the most out of what we have,” Harini Gopi (10) said.
Within the officers, Yuan has stepped up as a much needed leader. She is not only the captain of the guard, requiring her to create schedules and review dances, but she is also flag captain, which entails teaching the rest of the guard moves with the flag.
“Molly is fantastic,” Scott said. “She’s truly doing everything and doing amazing at it as well. She’s just making up itineraries while doing all her other extracurriculars doing dances… she’s really the do-it-all-girl.”
During these times, not only has color guard been a great social outlet, but members are appreciating the exercise and benefits for both their mental and physical health.
“I’m really happy about it because especially with all the virtual stuff going on, having that break sometime in the week just to talk with friends… [get] exercise [and work] with other people that you know, it’s really important to our health,” Gabi Clark (9) said. “I’ve noticed that since joining color guard, I’ve been a lot happier.”
Through all the darkness, color guard shines forth as an example of something good happening during the pandemic and a reminder that anyone can step up and continue to accomplish greatness. Most of all, it represents the many opportunities to step outside of a comfortable place and take back time from the virus.
“I really hope that this vaccine will clear some things up,” Clark said. “It’ll probably be well into 2021. I’ll probably be a sophomore by the time COVID’s gone, but I’m really excited to see what’s going to happen for color guard.”