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July 2012 - Bethany Birches Camp

Archive for July, 2012

Talking with the staff about “Why Camp?”

Almost every week the campers are excited about the prospect of interviewing their counselors and other staff members. Since this week was the first week having interns among us helping out, my campers thought it would be good to ask some questions about why they are here at camp. I was impressed by the questions they came up with such as “what inspired you to work at camp?” They said they wanted to ask these questions because so many of the staff this year have never been here before and they wanted to find out more about them. How neat that they recognized this fact and were curious to pursue the motivation behind spending an entire summer having crazy fun with children, cooking food over a fire, and talking about Jesus. I think the staff’s responses in this segment about what or who inspired them are a great way to pass on inspiration to campers who might want to work here in the years to come.

 

The BEST of Camp with the videographers of Pilgrim

Yet another week has passed. The summer is quickly slipping away. It’s time to get re-inspired, for some new ideas. I’m so thankful that our God is a God of creativity. This past week I had a smaller group assist me than usual, but this allowed for me to really involve the ones who were dedicated to videoing.  We worked as a team with each camper helping to gather footage for all the segments we decided to create. For this segment the campers and I asked other campers what their favorite thing about camp is. I love the variety of answers that resulted, especially as it allowed me to highlight so many parts of camp from the week.

 

Friendship Favorites

The campers this week always have a well of joy that is very contagious. They get excited by the simple things like swimming and never grow tired of catching frogs. If there’s one thing they are certain about that they can vocalize it’s their preferences. I spent some time this week just asking them about their favorite activities and then capturing them on video.

Although this age group did not allow for them to assist me with the DVD I still tried to let them in on my job whenever I could, even if it was just holding the camera for a few seconds. However, one interview you see in this segment was actually videoed by a camper – I think you’ll be able to tell by the low angle of the shot and the confusion of bodies mid-interview. Although at times this is frustrating because I feel there is a certain disconnect in what you’re watching as it becomes increasingly difficult to focus on what is being said when the camera’s dancing is making you dizzy. Yet I’m also realizing just how much the campers are receiving from being trusted with this important task as well as a certain genuine quality that is evident when the one behind the camera is coming from the same place/level as the one in front of it.

 

Experiencing Jesus

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:

lanterns

Messy Monday and some Tidy Reversal

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!

 

A Few Camp Favorites with the videographers of Explorer

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.

Seeing God with Emily

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.

 

Why Camp? with Pamela

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 !

 

Introducing CAMP with the videographers of week 2

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!”

         -Matthew 10:27

Wet N Wild Thursday with Riley

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.

 

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