Since I had so many motivated campers in my interest group this week I set several of them to the task of interviewing each other and any camper they could convince to be interviewed about God related topics. Because of this I really got to evaluate what the campers had been learning about Jesus through the Beatitudes and the Inside Out theme as presented to them by some awesome shepherds that lead us through a lot of activities that demonstrated these principles. One such application was a foot washing. It was inspiring to see the campers really approach this humbling act with reverence and as a result better understanding “Blessed are the meek.”
Another of these activities that I had the opportunity to witness came at the end of the week as part of the last fireside. Each cabin wrote various worries they had on a flying lantern which they then released into the night sky to symbolize surrendering them to God. Here is a clip from that:
This week I made it a point to start meeting with my video interest group as soon as it was possible. This allowed for the first full coverage of a Messy Monday here at BBC. Haley and Morgan volunteered to be my assistants for the day and together we went around asking campers how they felt about Messy Monday, the different ways they were getting dirty and whether or not they felt their cabin had a chance if winning messiest cabin- this lead to some interesting stories!
I decided to continue the idea of having various campers shout words about the activity they were doing to show a wide variety of camp favorites. I asked my video interest group to try and think of their best camp memory and how they would want to capture that. After some brainstorming it was clear that each camper’s best memory was their first time doing a certain activity. So I decided to assign each of them one of the things that they’re passionate about or, if they had never been to camp even experiencing for the first time, to be responsible for recruiting their fellow campers to help them shout each word of that activity.
I was so excited to have Emily in my interest group week 2 as she is one of the campers whose passion for photography as a means to display the beauty of camp inspired me to make it a possibility to use a camera for the entire week, instead of one interest group. I was blown away by the questions she wanted to ask the staff, mainly about their walk with God. She could have asked to video anything else, fun activities, lighter, easier prompts to approach someone with. Yet God centered questions were more important to her. She wanted to have a way to remember the stories her counselors tell her every year about how God works in their life because her own faith has been encouraged by their testimony. She boldly, and often without my assistance, approached nearly every staff member and asked them tough questions on the spot. I think this is one example of how I’ve been seeing the face of God this summer –through campers that are desiring the things of God, things of eternal value over the things of this world. That’s pretty inside out.
Pamela knew right away that she wanted to interview her fellow campers about why they come to camp. She thought this would be a good way to show other potential campers why everyone comes here and keeps coming back, what they value most about this place and love most about the activities, and how they have even been changed by their experience and things they’ve learned here.
I think one camper had the right perspective when he said ” You get to meet new people, learn more about Jesus and then have fun while you’re doing it.”
As the campers build relationships and learn to live in community they are also learning about Jesus, the one that spoke about how to live in unity among one another in a way that was inside out compared to the world. Yet camp is obviously different than places like church, because you get to have crazy, ridiculous fun while you’re growing closer to you heavenly father !
Although I’m still learning how to implement this new format and how to run my interest group, this past week resulted in some exciting creations. This short segment was completely camper inspired and nearly completely camper orchestrated and filmed. One of the girls in the group had the idea of having a single camper say a single word and then editing multiple shots together to complete a sentence. This idea evolved into thinking of words that we felt were pertinent components of this camp and having pairs or even groups around camp shouting a word related to what they were doing. This was the first we really collaborated as video team of sorts and it was exciting to see the girls work together and follow my direction.
It was also inspiring to see how much the kids that come here value this place, for it’s community, fun, nature and so on, and desire to shout it out to others. This is good news, much like the gospel, and we shouldn’t be ashamed to exclaim about something or someone we love. God has provided a way for this camp to thrive and in turn this camp provides a way for God to be proclaimed.
“What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!”
Our first Wet and Wild day of the summer unfortunately had to be postposed to the unnatural day of Thursday due to some dreary weather on Wednesday. Riley had expressed to me almost immediately upon our first meeting that he wanted to be responsible for covering the WWW festivities. Although the delay made it difficult for me to be present as Thursday is my editing day I was blessed with some videoing assistance from Big Tuna and one dedicated Riley who faithfully wore the GOPRO, our waterproof head camera, throughout the day to capture some visual excitement from the best perspective– the middle of the action. I then threw this segment together, combing the view point of the observer with that of the participant to summarize the day in an all-encompassing display. I think this action-packed segment testifies to the day perhaps better than any amount of words could express. It is many campers favorite time of the week and I think Riley’s excitement to share this day with others through video is evident and speaks for many campers like himself.
Our camp shepherd for these first two week of camp is Roon. We are excited to have her back from last year along with her husband Bubba and their daughter Coco. She is very effective at communicating God’s truths and relating to the campers. I gave Jacob the mission of finding out what she had to say about her job and the Inside Out theme that she’s been speaking about. After this interview he went around camp asking kids and staff alike what the Inside Out theme meant to them and what they had been learning from Roon’s teachings.
This is one of the Chapters from the first week of camp. Max, one of my video interest group participants, immediately knew he wanted his segment to be about the staff here at BBC. So together we decided that he would interview counselors and every other position in-between to find out about their job, as well as some of their favorites and the stories behind their camp names. Max was quickly proficient at the interview process, holding the camera steady on his subject while simultaneously inquiring with poise. I was excited to see this segment come together as a great way for the campers to remember the counselors that made their week here possible. I asked some campers to consider what camp would be like without staff to get them thinking about why they appreciate them. One keenly noted that it would be chaos, that they were vital to camp functioning and others voiced their gratitude for how helpful their counselor had been.
It’s Pepper here! For those of you who watched the BBSee clips that I created last summer, I am excited to say I have returned this summer as the full-time videographer. This year the video program looks a little different. I have had the privilege of implementing my vision for involving the campers in the DVD making process. In the past, at the end of each week the campers had the opportunity to buy a DVD of their week that the video producer put together. Last summer, as I went around camp hunting down campers to be interviewed I realized that demanding they tell the camera things often became something forced and therefore false. Yet more importantly I discovered that they had a passion to capture what they were experiencing for themselves. One particular camper last summer would find me during every moment of her free time or even when every other camper was participating in an activity and ask to use my camera. I soon saw that she had an incredible eye for instilling the beauty and laugher of the camp community around her. This inspired me to find more opportunities to invite campers to take part in my job.
As I was thinking about returning this summer I began to see that the only way for this camp experience to be genuinely displayed through video was to have the story told by the ones who were living it. I guess I wanted to get away from documentary and move towards reality– from the eyes of the beholder. To do this we’ve created a video interest group that meets 3 times a week. During this time I teach the campers the basic of filming and how to use the camera and then we brainstorm together. I’ve been asking the campers to come up with something they are either passionate about, something they want to remember, or something new that they’re learning and excited about. Each camper is then responsible for creating a segment that is focused on that idea. I then take the footage that they collect along with footage that I have been collecting and edit it to create the chapters for the DVD.
This past week I experimented with this format for the first week of summer 2012. I was uncertain of how it was going to work out, and became discouraged at points, but in the end God was good. With the assistance and the creative input of five young and inquisitive minds I was able to put together a DVD with more than half the footage resulting from their purposed hands. The campers were dedicated to their filming missions and their capabilities exceeded my expectations. I have learned not to underestimate my God or his children. I believe having the campers help in this creation process will make the DVD personal to their experience, will be a more genuine way to preserve memories and will provide a means to keep the flame of what they learned about God ignited through a visual reminder as well as a spoken record. I also hope that through involving them I will be able to build up these children in their identity in Christ and point out their artistic gifts.
Here’s to a summer full of endless video possibilities! I hope you enjoy our creations.