This summer we were lucky to have the talented Deborah Daniels as both our Camp Photographer and Photography Specialist. In addition to documenting the Camp days and teaching campers the art of photography, Deborah is also a Camp parent. This offers her a unique perspective on Camp life and the power of the Camp experience. Deborah is also the owner of Dubville Designs, a local photography and design business.
By: Deborah Daniels
My daughter’s new thing is posing “What if” questions to me. “What if… we could walk in fire.. the moon were made of cookie dough… we could touch our bones… cars took one second to drive all the way to Australia” and so on. I try to answer thoughtfully and educationally, but sometimes I just get so overwhelmed and, quite frankly, annoyed that these CONSTANT “WHAT IFS” are so outlandish.
However, one day towards the end of the summer, I was walking through camp on a quiet, early morning with no one else around. I spotted a huge, black hose spread out 20+ feet long in front of me, and all of a sudden in my head I thought “What if that hose were a snake?” (The morning is peak time for appreciated, as well as unappreciated, wild animals at Everwood Day Camp!) I actually made myself laugh out loud at the surprising thought, since my daughter’s same questions had been kind of nagging me up until then.
So I have really been thinking about what brought up this surprising “What if” thought in me.
The best answer i’ve found is… Camp!
After being at Camp all summer I can honestly say it is life altering… for both kids and adults alike. Kids are usually pretty open (at least compared to their adult counterparts). I love watching them here, it’s inspiring really. Their freeness and excitability radiates uncontrollably. I can understand how, amongst the stark contrast of the typical schools year, Camp is almost a necessity for kids to recharge their batteries.
The final week of the summer in Photography I decided to let the campers be their own guide. They picked what they wanted to shoot. What they wanted to be a part of. Again, it was so educational and inspiring for me, as well as completely engaging for them. I loved hearing a giggly camper squealing with excitement as she professed “I LOVE taking pictures of someone taking pictures of something else…. Deborah isn’t that SO COOL?” Years from now, I may not remember her name, but I will NEVER forget her expression… 1 part knowledge, 1 part raw creativity, 2 parts pure joy…. that was it!
You know, she was right! Conceptually amazing on so many levels. I send a big THANK YOU to all our A-W-E-S-O-M-E Everwood campers, especially my photo students. I thank you for all you taught me, for reminding me the importance of cocking your head and looking at the world a bit differently than you typically do. To take off our everyday glasses we use to rush through our days, and really focus on how amazing our world around us, from a teeny tiny ant to the tallest solid oak tree. To embark on a journey and to call these thoughts outside the box propositions, smile inducing excursions, energy uplifting moments and to constantly ignite our imaginations by pushing limits of inspiration and always being open to the WHAT IFS!
Create your world…