Here's my annual ignite camp recap! Ignite is the Christian youth camp I help out with, and have helped out with now for 10+ years.
This year's camp theme was "LEGACY". The theme stemmed from the idea of what will you want your Legacy to be after camp has come and gone? What do you want to be remembered for after this life has passed? I thought the theme was spot on because many times students come to camp and are on this spiritual 'high' that passes soon after camp. We want our students to not just live life one way at church then go back to their old ways, we want students to grow from camp. Our speaker this year, Jeffry Dean, did a great job incorporating the theme on many different levels.
My main purpose at camp was to once again create various types of media, often creating elements way before camp even happens. This year (as with many years) I created several promotional videos, interview videos, a rules video and two recap videos. I also created several graphics including the camp logo, game slides, worship slides, and the camp t-shirt.
Some new elements to this year's camp included a new location! Camp took place in Mears, MI at Grace Adventures Camp. Our old camp, Camp Mack, had run its course for us. We wanted to give campers more, so we searched for a new camp and found Grace! Mack was in between our churches in Indy, Eagle Church/Crossbridge, and one of our partner churches, All Shores Wesleyan up in Michigan. However, Grace is only an hour north of All Shores... and 5 hours north of Eagle Church/Crossbridge. So the drive is a bit of a hike but worth it! Grace Adventures has so many things for campers to do it's ridiculous (but awesome). New things include horse back riding, a zip line, a rock wall, a water blob, tubing, and so on! They even host their own paintball in the woods. With all these new things to do it provided a plethora of new things to film!
Going into summer 2016 I had been urging our youth staff to buy a new video camera. We'd been using the same dilapidated (but trusty!) digital cameras for 5+ years... we were due for an upgrade. A week before camp we had success! For those of you that care about cameras, the youth group purchased the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ1000 Camera with 21.1 Megapixels, a 1-inch Sensor, 4K Video and Leica Lens. That not only allowed us to take 4K video (when the time comes) but to take high quality photos on a regular basis. The camera has built in wifi that connects to a smart phone and allows you to transfer images, making our youths' Instagram posts far superior to previous ones!
With this tech upgrade and new camp location, I decided to take a lot of shots myself at camp this year, for our recap videos and social media posts. We had people helping us take video, but on my own I went overboard with getting a lot of video of everything new, in HD. We use this footage not only for recaps, but for future camp promotion.
Other elements unique to ignite 2016 included the camp logo. I worked with a couple of our church staff as well as my wife, to create this year's logo. The logo was pretty simple, so part of the look of the logo was having it (in video) phase from white or black, to RGB (red, green, blue). For me, I felt like this effect conveyed a transition from now to the past and beyond. Echoing the 'Legacy' theme. Check out the recap videos below for a taste of the RGB effect.
Additional items new to this year's camp included interviews from past campers. Most of them are students that have since graduated High School and moved on. These videos were my idea and something I thought could help each session take-off with something that nailed home the theme of Legacy. We filmed 8 different people from those churches involved with camp: Eagle Church, All Shores and Crossbridge Church. We asked them questions about their life at camp, their life now and what they want to be remembered for. I then did my homework and found archived footage and images of them from past camps, something I really enjoyed doing! I think the archived items really helped enhance the fact that these former campers actually came to this camp. For the students still in middle school and high school, it helped them realize that there is life after camp and that what they will do with that time matters. Check out one of those interviews below, more on the Eagle Students YouTube Channel.
One of the remaining elements to this year's camp was the Rules Video. I typically alternate complicated Rules videos one year, with a simpler Rules video the next year. Last year's video was a 2015 Back to the Future style bit of awesomeness, so this year we kept the video to one room with a simple plot: soap opera. The idea was that two new campers were being introduced to "Grace Manor", which represents camp. Along the way these new campers would see the drama that is Grace Manor and learn the camp rules through that drama. The idea was my wife's and it was a well received one! The campers enjoyed the video greatly, even though many of them have no idea what a soap opera is... they at least have seen The Bachelor. The video even got the laughs we hoped for, which is always good.
Each year of camp poses new challenges and obstacles and this year was no different. I'm happy to say we came away from it successful and excited for what next year holds! We'll be back at Grace and a little wiser, ready for more fun!
-The Media Buff