Thursday, August 20, 2015

"Capturing the Magic of Rambling Pines"

As I near the completion of my 24th season at Rambling Pines Day Camp I am amazed by the many ways that one is able to capture the magic of the camp experience.  One of my favorite ways is to frequently absorb the natural beauty of this camp. This can be done upon arrival in the morning when the camp is at its most tranquil state. The many acres of lush greenery can be quite breath taking, as the sun peaks out above the many rows of majestic pines trees. Equally spectacular are the views which are available during the two overnight sessions if we are fortunate to have them fall in alignment with the full moon. The entire camp is illuminated as the campers gather on our fields to make Smores or listen to songs by for the campfire.

One of my favorite ways to experience camp is at night, at home. With myself, my wife and my oldest son working at camp, and my youngest son still a camper, we take the opportunity to discuss  our experiences, albeit from different perspectives.  I am sure many families have similar conversations about their daily experiences at the dinner table on a nightly basis. It's a great way to extend the camp day and to feel as if you were actually part of the experience.

Using a digital or a video camera is another great way to capture the camp experience. Perhaps a special moment in arts and crafts is preserved, or the competitions during our Olympics or relays, or just a humorous lunchtime interaction experienced by our children.  There are many opppotunities throughout the season to preserve the individual and collective camper moments as they develop. Using digital photos and videos are great tools to use to ensure that these memories endure over time.

This year, due to the creativity of Jr. Counselor Peter Ryseck I learned of a new, innovative way to capture the camp experience. This done from a " birds eye" view.  Ryseck a senior at Hopewell Valley High School created a remote control plane that includes a battery, three propellers a circuit panel, a Go Pro camera and a remote control. Ryseck can use this control to fly over the camp and take video images of the various things that go on during the camp day.  After filming, he lands the plane, then detaches the camera and uploads the images to a computer. Once uploaded, the images can be edited to create a new and unique perspective of the camp experience for the viewer.

Rambling Pines is celebrating a milestone 40th season this summer. There have been many ways to capture the special moments that have happened here, over the years.  Impressively, Peter Ryseck in his second season as a staff member, has found a new and innovative way to capture its magic.

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