Ignite Camp 2018

The animated Ignite 2018 Camp Logo used on emails.

We went to camp two weeks after having a baby…

2018 was a fun year. We had many things going on, including the biggest thing, the birth of our little girl. In the midst of that, I once again assisted with the youth camp I help with, Ignite.

Miscellaneous element from camp: “EyeSpy” from the Ignite 2018 camp booklet. Click for the larger version.

Some of the challenges I faced this year were the usual challenges. I created promotional videos, a Rules Video, camp recaps, game visuals, printed materials and more. I’ll discuss below some elements of this camp that were different from previous years.

The theme this year was “More.” When we think of “more” we perhaps think of going from less to more. So to represent that detail I did some research on the word “more” and what it could be. The look I came up with shows an “M” seemingly changing in size as you move across it - so we did that with our visuals. You can see what direction I took it in animated form above.

The recaps below show some of the elements I brought to the promotional pieces. We did some camp interviews, asking students what they want “more” of. We took that footage and strung it together. Then blew fans on them, laying over some camp footage, implying they are being blown away by camp.

Something new for the promotion was the idea I had to do a puppet version of the youth leader going through the motions of registering and heading to camp. I’ve done some puppet work on my film, Fistface, but wanted to do something more official, with a puppet that looks more professional and that is more interactive.

“Puppet Ian” as seen in the camp promotional pieces.

“Puppet Ian” (right) on stage with “Human Ian” at Ignite 2018.

I modeled the puppet’s face after the youth leader. I did some research on how to correctly build a puppet, though I added some of my own style and work-arounds to the project since it wasn't something that would have a lot of wear and tear. The clothes I found at Goodwill and the backpack I had from a previous project.

The idea behind the video was that “Puppet Ian” (as he was affectionately called) is traveling down the road feeling pretty good about himself, but everyone he sees thinks he is overrated. We posted each episode once a week leading up to camp, with the final video incorporating a couple of shots at the actual camp, which we filmed the day before camp started and posted that day. Puppet Ian even found his way to the stage at camp.

The Rules video for camp this year was a very obvious homage to Star Wars. Typically I work on the whole thing, but we thought we’d give some upperclassmen the chance to lead it. The students we used are big Star Wars fans, and had every intention of doing the video themselves, but I was brought in to help manage the production… 🙃

The goal of these Rules videos is to tell the students at camp what the rules are. So, taking the same rules we have each year and putting a new spin on them can be hard! We came up with scenes from the films that could relate to the rules and wove them together. We initially thought it would be a straight recreation of an episode of Star Wars, or a subsequent episode, but we went with the Ignite Story route, much like Solo: A Star Wars Story. We then brought in all the props we could, did some post production with scene extensions and movie shots and there we have it! We filmed most of the rules video in one day, bringing in some students to help with the project.

One other major element of camp that really adds to the recaps we use and future promotional pieces, was the use of a drone. We’ve had a drone in the past, but only operated by a student for a couple of shots or by a camp staffer that used it for a day. This year one of our counselors brought his personal drone and got all the shots we wanted! He got creative and wasn't afraid to put the drone to the test, taking it out over the lake and even the Michigan dunes that were a couple of miles away! These shots (along with our GoPro shots) really helped bring the fun of camp to life.

Screenshot of some camp drone footage.

In terms of capturing standard camp footage and images this year, typically in the past I would either get all the shots myself or have a student or leader help capture shots. This year, as with one other year, I had a former camper help capture footage and images. He’s an amateur photographer from Ball State whose dad is one of the camp pastors. He brought a wonderfully fresh approach to a lot of the shots, and especially the photos.

My wife and I with the youngest camper, our two week old daughter.

My wife and I with the youngest camper, our two week old daughter.

This year my wife also attended camp, as I mentioned, with our two week old daughter! Not only was the 5 hour drive both ways a challenge, the accommodations and routine for our little girl was a challenge; however, my wife was a superstar. She not only helped lead a group of high school girls, but she took care of our little girl, who was also the littlest camper.

Leading up to camp wasn't too difficult in the end. However, the task of bringing a little one to camp was certainly a challenge, but fun to let her experience everything!

- The Media Buff