Let’s talk about your judging bag. This bag is your best friend throughout the season. You take it everywhere you go, load it with all your personal can’t-go-without items, and your trusted Manual and judging necessities. After your final competition of the season, what do you do with your bag? Many of us put our trusted bag away, not to be thought about until we begin preparing for the next season.
Well, let me tell you, it never hurts to take a minute to go through your bag before it is put away for the season! I was one that would put my bag away in a closet, not to be seen until preparing for the next cheer season. (Note: I would reach in and grab my Manual out before putting my bag away! Always do this to stay fresh on Manual contents!!) For some reason, this year I decided to “clean out” my bag before storing it in the closet.
I had to stop and ask myself “Are these really ‘judging necessities’”? Sure, there were items I deemed as necessary for “judging;” manual, scoring note sheets, pens, pencils (Are 22 pencils enough??), highlighters, paperclips, calculator, clipboard and stop watch (among other office-type items). The items I found that lifted my brows and made me go hhmmm…a greasy popcorn bag with some popcorn in it, a bag of what I presumed started out as fresh grapes, a couple apple cores (in zip lock bags, of course), almonds (here, there, and in every compartment), an empty hand sanitizer (if the lid had been secured, I doubt it would have been empty), an empty lint roller, and a couple pair of black socks.
All those nooks and crannies and compartments in your bag can hold many treasures. Just make sure you go through that bag to find those hidden treasures before storing your cheer bag. Failure to do so may have you discovering unidentifiable items that have changed form many times before you open your bag again to prepare for a new season!
*Watch for the next blog: Preparing your Judging Bag for the upcoming Season
Submitted by Paula Carroll-McAllister