Capturing Life at Camp
Farm & Wilderness is an unplugged, technology-free environment for campers. When it comes to photos, we must balance the art of living in the moment with taking photographs of our campers. Photos taken by our communications team are posted on Facebook, Instagram and SmugMug, where you can download them for free and print them yourself. To respect camper safety and privacy while camps are in session, we email families with a password to the current album of photos. Once camps conclude for the summer, the password protection is removed.
Families are regular visitors to our photo site in the summer. Each family hopes to see a few pictures of their camper. It can be a disappointment to not see their digital image smiling back and reassuring you that they are having the time of their life. You may wonder “Why can’t I see a dozen or so decent pictures of my kid at camp?” Ah, if only it was that simple!
First, there are the logistical questions. A camp like Timberlake or Firefly Song has 120+ campers, and a dozen photos of each camper would add up to taking, organizing and uploading over a thousand photos. Our photographers try their best to capture a variety of moments and include as many kids as possible with each shot. Inevitably some campers would be more present, while others would be absent.
There is the cost to the campers. Summer camp is often thought of as a tranquil place but it is full of young people and is actually quite busy. The calmest moments are our Silent Meetings and other moments that recharge us and have a sacred quality to them. We don’t usually pull out cameras at that time, but take those moments to reflect and be in nature. Other moments are full of activity, games, songs, chores, spontaneous fun and all the necessary conversations and interactions that build and hold our community together. If you can imagine you and a friend taking eight of your friend’s kids on an exciting weekend, which included organized morning, afternoon and evening activities, you could imagine the difficulty in taking photos. It would be a distraction from caring for those kids and being present. We face similar restraints at camp.
Thanks for letting go of the momentary gratification of instant photo updates to allow your child to experience personal connection in an unplugged environment!
- Farm & Wilderness Camp Directors