Don’t Be Afraid to Unplug
My name is Lily Smith, I’m from Des Moines, IA, and I’m a double major journalism & mass communications and political science student at The University of Iowa. A combination of my photo and video skills and my desire to strengthen my connection with God brought me to Camp Wyoming. After growing up spending time every summer at a Christian summer camp in Iowa, the opportunity to bring these two large parts of me together into one job felt like the perfect fit for me.
Growing up both at camp and in this age of heavy technology use, I would always leave my phone at home when I went to camp. All my friends and family knew where I was and that my head and heart needed to be there as well, rather than focused on the events of home. They also knew that they were welcome to send me a letter, or just wait to see me when I came home.
Now that I’m older, I’m able to recognize the need to be tuned in and connected, but also to be present in a situation. My friends at school and I are news junkies, so I find myself checking social media often to read the latest news. I also recently purchased a smart watch, so I’m literally notified every time something new happens in the world. (So if you ever need to know the news of the day, let me know!) It takes a lot of discipline for me to tune the entire world out, and to be entirely present in a situation.
My photography allows me to present in situations, while also being able to document them. There are moments with my friends and family that I remember so much more vividly, because I had a camera in my hand. I’ve watched, and am able to remember, so many moments of my own life, because I saw them through a viewfinder. But I’ve been trained for a while to work this way; it’s a skill I’ve gained over years of working as a photographer. I can communicate the story of something to anyone willing to read my images, while also retaining memories about the event for myself. It’s a honed in multitasking, so don’t worry about your camper attempting to do it too. Leave it to me.
Don’t worry about not having enough photos of your camper’s week here at Camp Wyoming. Leave it to me to provide you with photos and videos of them in action, learning and growing. There are so many exciting and interesting activities that they’ll engage in here. They’ll have their hands full with archery, kayaking, and arts & crafts; they won’t have time to have their phone out, or they could miss out on a wonderful moment. They will be able to better connect with their new friends, and God, if they’re not connected to their phone.
So when they come home, being able to see their eyes light up when telling you about what they learned, who they met, and their connection with God, leaving that phone at home and letting them be present in that situation will be entirely worth it.They’ll tell you the story with their words, let me tell you their story in photos.