This month I was given the opportunity to film for the Lycoming County Camp Cadet program held at the Little League World Series International Grove in South Williamsport. I took the job mainly because I needed a little extra cash, I figured it would look good on a resume, and we’d get to film all week. That sounded like an all around win to me.
However, that week ended up being so much more than I had originally expected. Through this experience, I gained new perspectives, acquired new knowledge, and created new memories. In the midst of this project, there were three major things that stood out to me.
1. I was reminded of what it’s like to be passionate about a project again
It’s been months since I’ve actually had the time to be able to work on a major project, so this project has in a sense reignited that passion for film and reminded me why I chose to be in this industry. I never questioned my choice to pursue a career in film, I just forgot what it was like to be passionate about a project. I took the entire week off work to allow for me to devote my time solely to filming this project. With the commute and long days, we were exhausted by the end of the week. But I loved every second of it. When you wake up the morning after a long week of filming and feel a sense of sadness, but at the same time you need a day to regroup, but you’d still rather be filming, you know you chose the right field.
2. I was able to build community connections
During the week, I was able to make connections with a few officers that I can now interview and use as a way to include the law enforcement side of the rising drug epidemic in my upcoming documentary. Though, I think most importantly, it was just exciting for me to be able to meet new people and to be given the opportunity to begin networking with local law enforcement. In fact, many people in society today have a distorted idea of who the men and women whom carry badges really are. We got to see some of these law enforcement officers both in uniform and out of uniform and it only deepened my respect for them, as individuals and as those serving in the field of law enforcement. Community connections are important to me, so it was definitely an honor to work alongside men and women who are making a difference in our community on a daily basis, whether that be in uniform or through the Camp Cadet program, even if they don’t necessarily realize their impact.
3. I got to learn more about an outstanding organization
I’ve heard a little bit over the years about Camp Cadet and have even had friends and family who have gone. Although, I never really saw how much of an impact it was making in the lives of these 12 and 13 year old kids who were attending this camp. That was, until I had the opportunity to document it. The staff that runs this camp is absolutely phenomenal and there are numerous people who volunteer their time and efforts to make this camp possible. I was blown away by the sense of community they’ve been able to create over the years since the camp was founded. Those of us documenting this project were outsiders, however, the staff and the volunteers did everything they could to make us feel like part of the team. We didn’t deserve to be a part of the team, to be catered to, or to be called “ma’am or sir” all week, especially considering the constant sacrifices these men and women make on a daily basis, but we were treated like part of the team.
A friend also working on the project told me that I need to find my “passion project”. The reality of it is, I don’t want to. I want my entire career to be my “passion project”. I want to be passionate about every project I take part in. Passion is what truly drives projects and makes them successful. I want to continue filming projects and organizations that make a difference in the surrounding communities, like Camp Cadet does.
I apologize to all my friends who’ve had to hear me talk about Camp Cadet for the last couple of weeks, you’re the real MVP’s.
**Check out the Lycoming County Police Camp Cadet Facebook page!**