A Look Inside the Winter Guard Community


Members of Winter Guard smile for a photo. Senior Isabel Guerrero-Lubarsky, freshmen Yalda Khodadad, Brooke Bettinger, Shawna Hui, Lauren Eaton and Abigail Adams, sophomore Everett Henrie and senior Ann Suzuki (clockwise from top right). Not pictured: junior Sashi Sharma and senior Chelsea. Photo by Meilin Tsao.

Take a second and imagine a plastic tarp large enough to nearly cover the entire floor of the large gym. Now take a second and consider how long it might take you to fold up the tarp and return it to its smallest size. It might take you about a half an hour to complete this task. At the November spirit assembly, it took the members of Winter Guard close to a single minute to fold.

With just 10 members, the Winter Guard program is more-or-less a continuation of its sister program, Color Guard, which ends after the regular marching band season in the fall. Students who want to continue building their color-guard skills take this opportunity to stick with a fixed practice schedule, as well as perform in a few additional competitions.

Like many of the other programs on campus, Winter Guard consists of students who come together to learn the fundamental skills that are exercised in group activities.

“This program has given me a very good work ethic,” Winter Guard captain senior Isabel Guerrero-Lubarsky said. “Scott Lang, a leadership coach and inspirational speaker, stated at one of his talks with the LAHS Marching Band that a marching band kid is probably going to be the person to cure cancer. This is because a marching band kid repeats something over and over until it is perfect. The marching arts strive for uniformity and perfection, so in order for that to happen we repeat things until everyone is the same.”

Aside from this development of skills the students benefit from as being part of the program, Winter Guard brings these 10 individuals together to do something they love and want to be a part of.

“It’s not a class or a club, it isn’t something to do for P.E. credits, and we don’t even practice at school on weekdays,” freshman Brooke Bettinger said. “It’s just for fun.”

However, what sets this program apart from many others at the school is the sense of community that resides within its members.

“I think the fact that we’re so small helps make us such a close knit group because you get to know everyone so closely,” sophomore Everett Henrie said.

Although this is a positive aspect in terms of the team’s unity, the low number of student involvement has caused some concerns for the program’s future as there is a very serious chance that Winter Guard might not exist in years to come due to lack of participants signing up for the team.

“I would definitely would like the program to be more recognized,” Isabel said. “Most people know that we are the people with the giant white tarp [that] we spin flags on top of it, [but they] don’t recognize how competitive of [an] activity it is.”

Although there are benefits to only having a handful of participants, it can be difficult not to have as many members to fall back on. However, despite all this, the group always comes together to pick each other up.

“The Winter Guard community is like a family,” Isabel said. “We push each other, sometimes get upset or annoyed with each other, but in the end we are there for one another.”

The members of Winter Guard huddle together, holding their flags. The Winter Guard program is somewhat of a continuation of its sister program, Color Guard. Photo by Meilin Tsao.
The members of Winter Guard huddle together, holding their flags. The Winter Guard program is somewhat of a continuation of its sister program, Color Guard. Photo by Meilin Tsao.