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What’s it like to volunteer at Camp Reel Stories?

IMG_0473By Fiona Ryan

This year I volunteered for all three weeks of Camp Reel Stories and it’s official—this camp is fun, inspiring, and totally impressive.
As a volunteer, you are paired up with a production team of girls and you assist them with whatever they need to make their films happen. This can run the gamut from being an extra set of hands to restoring order and logic. It really just depends on the moment.
Our campers tend to be extremely smart, friendly, and creative; so as a volunteer you’re bound to have a great time with them, I know I did!
What we do here is hands-on, imaginative, and productive. The teams come together and conceptualize their films in a collaborative environment where everyone possesses the right to be heard; then once we know our game plan, we spend a day shooting the films and the rest of the week editing the films into the shiny finished products they always become.
As a volunteer, you learn so much. Sitting in on all the workshops schooled me on everything from storyboarding to sound to editing programs and equipment. Now I know what a slate is and why it exists! But in addition to learning a ton about film, I also learned a lot about the ways people can productively collaborate, the POV’s of others, the intricacies of the media and of course I got sped up to date with the constantly advancing world of teenagers.
Camp Reel Stories was extremely inspiring to me. Every day I left with something new to think about. I met so many cool women—in and out of the film industry. I found the workshops and speakers extremely thought provoking and stimulating.
We have a lot of amazing and knowledgeable people in the Camp Reel Stories community, many of who inspired me on a daily basis to further my creativity and expand my own point of view. Everyone here rocks! This camp has some serious heart and its mission is undeniably important. Camp Reel Stories facilitates progress through thoughtful discussion, informative education, and finally, the very empowering action of executing an idea… for all of the campers leave with a finished creation. The effects of these things may seem subtle at first, but I do believe every girl who comes to camp strongly benefits from their time here… be it consciously or subconsciously.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a volunteer and am so thankful that I got to be apart of such a cool program! All of the films turned out great and I was so proud of our campers. I’ll definitely be back next year for more fun – Fiona Ryan