Rat Program Traditions 
posted June 24, 2013

War Eagle, everybody! Darby here. Our ever-faithful blog readers read about the history of the R.A.T. Program a few weeks ago courtesy the lovely Lydia Allison, but this week I'm back to tell you about the traditions of the R.A.T. Program. The parents of one of my very good friends, Kaitlyn Burnside (who you will soon meet- she's clarinet section leader and librarian), informed me a few years ago that most of these traditions were around even when they were members of the AUMB, and even though both of them don't look a day over twenty-five, it's a testament to the culture of the AUMB that we keep these traditions alive and well throughout the years!

The first night of preseason camp for rookies is the night of the campus-wide scavenger hunt. During this scavenger hunt, you will search around campus while learning the rich history of Auburn University and learning the words to our cherished Alma Mater. Sound a little intimidating? Have no fear! You will be assigned a R.A.T. Group of roughly ten rookies and two or three veteran members. As a first generation Auburn student, I was completely overwhelmed by the history of our University during my first scavenger hunt; it's so incredible to think how many generations of Auburn students had been in my shoes, excited to join such a big family!

After the first rehearsal with both rookie and veteran members (which is one of my favorite nights- get ready, R.A.T.s!), the band partakes in an event called R.A.T. Adoptions. Each rookie member is assigned a veteran member; girls get R.A.T. Dads and guys get R.A.T. Moms. If you haven't felt a connection to the band by this point of camp, you will when you have your very own R.A.T. Parent! You get to celebrate your adoption with ice cream after a long day in the sun; could you ask for anything better?

The final tradition for this blog post, The Throwdown, was started this past year. One Friday night before a big home football game, the sections of the AUMB assemble for a night of competition in which the winner takes all: glory, bragging rights for the year, and a shiny trophy! The trumpets are the reigning Throwdown champions, but something tells me that the other sections will be stepping up their games this year to win it all.

That's all for now! Stay tuned for next week's post on How To Get Involved Off Campus by Matthew! As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email one of us. Can't wait to see all of you in a little over a month! War Eagle!

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