In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Post Camp and Camp Out

The Naming Project Camp was, once again, a great success. We had a really good week. A highlight was getting to see all the new buildings on the camp site. Since we were there last summer, Bay Lake built a lodge with 12 bedrooms (and a bathroom in each bedroom), a new dining hall, staff quarters, construction shed, and manager's cabin. It was amazing to see.

If you watch Camp Out, you can still recognize some of the buildings, but the place looks totally different now.

Speaking of Camp Out, I got my copy in the mail yesterday. We got a copy sent to us by the producers. For everyone else, it's available now. Of course, I jumped right into the bonus features. They showed Tim and Christine taking a walk in the woods. They also showed more of our closing day, where we did a blessing for each of the campers. That was fun to see. The interesting part about watching the bonus features is that, over the last 4 years, my memory of the camp is pretty shaped by the movie. I've forgotten about a lot of the camp that wasn't on the movie. Seeing the bonus features made me think about the blessings, and the campfires, and the more casual times that didn't make it into the movie.

There was also a production commentary. At one time, I proposed to the producers that they let the three of us do a commentary. They said no, but then they did their own (!). It was cool to hear the two producers talk about their experience and their interpretation of what was happening at the camp. I got my shout-out from them as well. During one of the last worship services, we had them walk partway with rocks, and then sit in the woods to meditate. When they came out of the woods, we greeted them with a campfire and songs. The kids were pretty emotional, and it's a powerful moment. I cringe all the time when I watch this because I'm primarily the one you can hear singing, and a week's worth of yelling and singing had taken its toll on my already mediocre voice. So, there I am, singing "Sanctuary" in a raspy, broken voice. On the commentary, they were discussing how emotional the kids were. Then, to break the somber-ness, one of the producers said, "On a lighter note, nice singing, Ross!"

I'm pleased with the DVD, and I hope that people use it as a resource. My experience from this last week of camp has reminded me that there are still a lot of struggles out there for GLBT kids. We dealt with a lot of painful emotional issues, family conflict, and difficulty. Not all kids can come to our camp, for a variety of reasons. Many cannot come because they are not out to their parents, or their parents do not let them attend. Hopefully this film will find its way into a DVD player near them.

I'm hoping that J will post his thoughts on Camp and on Camp Out. Of course, that means that he will need to post, huh?


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