Gordons Cup

Today was arguable the biggest sporting tournament for Timber Lake Camp, the Gordons hockey seems to get a bigger following and more excitement than the Jacobs. Personally I prefer it as there is less scoring and more aggression as opposed to the overly fast pace of a basketball game. As with the previous tournament my responsibilities were to run the PA system in the Dome during every Timber Lake match. I would arrive 10 minutes prior to each match and start playing the Gordons playlist, as crowd arrived I switched this up to general stadium anthems.

Gordons Cup

During each game I had to stay on the PA system and cheer from the booth as every time Timber Lake scored a goal I would then play the New York Rangers goal song which the entire crowd sang along with. Throughout the tournament I was also on radio with staff placed at the other two rinks so I could provide live scores to Robbie to announce during his game commentary. After a well fought group stage and semi-final we managed to successful make the final against Starlight.

In the final we stepped up the team entrance to that of the pep rally the previous night. The smoke machine was placed by the entrance and the main lights turned off using purely the Dome spotlights, Robbie then announced each member individually along with naming the entire opposing team. During the interval Brett Kotcher (Teen HC) introduced me to a new stadium song which has proven popular with the teens, ‘Italo Brothers – Stamp On The Ground’ which proved to be popular with the entire of Timber Lake. I have a feeling this could possibly become a belated song of the summer, I have already asked Brett to send me a copy so I can play it at future events.

After a well fought final Timber Lake were victorious bringing back a second cup, only one more cup until we complete a season sweep (which hasn’t been done since 2000)! I really enjoyed the day having a perfect view from my booth to see Timber Lake walk through the competition and lift the trophy.

IMG_1825

 

Gordons Pep Rally

This past week has been relatively quiet, nothing differing from the usual day to day requirements from the Program Department. I’ve just been rigging various equipment setups for activities with Jordan and Alastair along with birthday requirements, fixing equipment, creating playlists, etc. We also had some prizes to “cash in” from Shark Tank, these included pizza parties, ice cream parties, movies, etc. For the Brio’s Pizza Party (pizza place in local town) Jordan decided to make a spectacle out of it to make it more exciting for the kids. We had Steve Bochian gather all the collegiate boys by the HC waiting for the pizza, myself, Jordan, Alastair and Steiny then drove a short lap through the camp with a stack of pizza boxes and sodas so the kids could see before delivering it, I think the added showmanship was appreciated.

As Gordons Cup is tomorrow the evening activity was a pep rally run once again by Danny Bell and Robbie. The Gordons Cup is the annual hockey tournament hosted by Timber Lake for boys, this year is the one of the biggest turnouts with 11 teams in total. Traditionally the playlist for Gordons is indie and rock music so once again I created a specific playlist with the addition of some classic stadium anthems. During the pep rally I played a combination of these songs whilst running the PA system in the Timber Dome. The captain for the team provided me a copy of this years Gordons team song which I played for the teams entrance into the rink and will do tomorrow for all Timber Lake home games.

Shark Tank Screening

Shark Tank was successfully exported today meeting our deadline perfectly. We were all so relieved to have this project off our shoulders as its caused a lot of unnecessary stress! Dan and I came to the decision to export it in four sections so that if anything crashed it would only affect a smaller portion rather than the entire show, this technique proved to be effective. I then compiled all parts of the show (including skits) into a VLC playlist so it would play continuously from my laptop. Jordan, Dan, Jay, Alastair and I all sat down and watched it through in its entirety to ensure there were no export issues, once this was done all of the Program Department focused on preparing for tonights screening.

IMG_1798

The video was put on my laptop which was then hooked into the 16:9 projector to match the video aspect ratio via a MiniPort – VGA cable. The audio feed went from 3.5mm to 1/4 Jack into a pre-amp, this then ran from XLR direct into the PA system in the Dome. We then tied the inflatable movie screen in position against the booth so that all the camp could sit on the bleachers and hockey rink.

Jordan came up with the idea to run a red carpet into the centre of the hockey rink so we could introduce each shark and all the teams making more of a spectacle of the event. Complete with some dramatic music (Oh Fortuna) everyone played up to the drama and having spoken to the teens they definitely appreciated having their moment of fame walking down the red carpet. The screening ran flawless without any technical hitches, everyone seemed to enjoy it and loads of positive feedback.

All the major parties who worked on Shark Tank met afterwards to discuss how it went – Jay (Camp Director), Dan (Video Instructor), Clare (Videographer), Nathan (Photographer), Jordan (Program Leader), Scott (Finance), and myself (Media Specialist). Jay was happy with how it went and pleased with what we achieved despite all the technical difficulties. This has become a call for improved technology on camp which Jay has now confirmed he wants to invest in, this is amazing news and exactly where I want to improve things on camp. So many times the technology goes forgotten and people have to work miracles with very little kit. Jay has specifically asked Jordan and I to compile a list of what needs to be purchased, Dan has also been asked to compile a list for future filming projects. I am extremely excited to get this clearance, over the next few weeks I will take notes and present an ideal purchase plan by the end of the season.

Jacobs Cup

Today was one of the biggest sporting tournaments for Timber Lake Camp; the Jacobs Cup hosted annual by us, a basketball tournament for boys. Jordan was focused on ensuring all the teams arrived and were guided around and cared for throughout the day. My responsibilities were purely focused on running the PA system for every Timber Lake game. I had already compiled a playlist of music for the tournament including various popular stadium anthems to get the crowd pumped (i.e. Seven Nation Army). Despite being such an important day it proved to be one of my easiest. I arrived 10 minutes prior to each match and started playing music, I would then give Robbie a wireless microphone to commentate on each Timber Lake game. I was able to get into the crowd with my teen bunk, cheering along and enjoying the game, I would then pop back just before each interval ready to play some pump up music.

Jacobs Cup

It was such a relaxed and fun day, really getting into the spirit of competition. The day finished perfectly for Timber Lake having won the cup and brought it back home!

Shark Tank Export And Pep Rally

Today was supposed to be the screening of Shark Tank, however this has since been postponed until Thursday due to technical difficulties. Dan has been working on the edit night and day ever since filming wrapped up but kept facing issues with the Mac used for editing running slow and corrupting parts of the footage. Having completed the final version there was a power cut which caused the Mac switch off, when it was turned back on the final version kept crashing whenever it was opened. Dan managed to find a way to export what he thought was the latest version through Adobe Media Encoder, however when the export finished a few hours prior to the screening we discovered that the final version had in fact been lost during the power cut.

We explained the issue to Jay and suggested the possibility of screening part of the program as a teaser. Jay decided to push the screening back until when the program was officially finished and instead increase the pep really for Jacobs and Melter cup. It was an unfortunate issue but I’m certain it will all be ready and even better than before for Thursday.

During the day Jordan, Dan and I had taken the opportunity to test the projector in the Dome for the screening. Having tested both projectors we opted for the older model as it provided better clarity and clearer in lighter conditions.

The last minute change to the evening activity meant Jordan, Alastair and I had to run around crazy to get it all ready. We rolled out a red carpet onto the basketball court for all the players to run on with a smoke machine placed at the end for them to run through the smoke. We also rigged a variety of disco lights around the court to work alongside the existing spotlight fixtures in the basketball court ceiling. Robbie and Danny Bell ran the pep rally coming up with some activity ideas, I spent this time running the PA system for their wireless microphones along with using a playlist I had specially created for the event with help from the Jacobs cup team.

Staff Talent Show

Today my full focus was on the Staff Talent Show, with Jordan and Alastair working on other tasks I had been put in charge of running the entire event. I met with all the acts during lunchtime to confirm the running order and check for all the technical requirements. I then explained everyone had the opportunity to come to the rec hall between 6.30pm – 8pm and run through their act on stage, however this will be their only chance.

Staff Talent Show With Technical Specs

The technical set up ran very smoothly, everyone gave me copies of their music and I was able to quickly organise everything. I kept the technical requirements a little simpler than the camper talent show, focusing purely on the acts as the age difference did reflect in the quality of performance. It was my own act that required the most complicated set up, as we were performing first I left our sound check until last, that way I could leave the sound desk prepped so it could run itself.

Our performance featured the following: two electric guitars, one bass, drums, keyboard and a microphone. I rigged the keyboard through the 1/4 Jack plug on stage, the vocalist used one handheld microphone, the drums were standalone whilst all guitars went through their own separate amps located at the front of stage pointing back into the audience. There was a fold back speaker but we all listened to the drummer and followed his lead, it wasn’t the ideal audio scenario but worked perfectly none the less considering available equipment. We kicked the night off with a bang doing a rendition of ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’ and ‘Twist & Shout’. Once we had finished our performance I ran back up to the booth and took over operations for the rest of the night.

The entire night was possibly the biggest success of camp so far, every act was sensational and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Despite over-running slightly nobody seemed to care because of how entertaining the night was. I was extremely happy with how the night went, I had no issues to report and for once I couldn’t pull out any minor unseen technical errors. Everyone was saying how it was the best ever Timber Lake talent show, receiving praise from Robbie, Jay, amongst others.

Animal Man & Peter Pan

I started off the day with a slight change from my usual duties, we had a special guest coming in to run electives over the next two days who I was responsible for helping to settle in. The guest brought in a variety of rescue animals, in his sessions he allowed kids to see all the animals and taught them about how to care and treat them. Prior to his arrival in the morning I got a housing key for Steiny and made sure his room was prepared ready for use, there were a few items Robbie had to remove from the room but it was otherwise ready.

When he arrived I directed him up to the canteen where he, Alastair and I unloaded all the animals and help to set up the presentation area. As he had been to camp previously it was more so the case of refreshing his memory. I showed him the room we had for him to store his animals overnight and otherwise left him to run his electives. Throughout the day I checked up on him and helped to cater to whatever he needed. All the kids seemed to really enjoy the sessions with larger turnouts than intended, thankfully everyone was accommodated for and I only heard positive feedback from both ends of the sessions.

The evening activity was a camp performance of ‘Peter Pan’ as directed by the drama instructors. Kendal had spoken to me yesterday concerning microphones and lighting, thankfully the requirements weren’t too complex as I had spoken to her at the beginning of camp about giving enough notice for special technical requirements. I went to the rec hall after dinner to sound check and give microphones to the performers, apart from running the microphones I had no other tasks during the performance. Kendal had hired a camper to run the spot-light on the night so I just helped to keep an eye of them during the performance.

The one disagreement I had with Kendal was over microphones, she only wanted to use the hanging microphones and clip-on mics so it doesn’t restrict the actors movement whereas I wanted to use the handheld microphones too simple to be able to hear all the characters. This is one of the instances where the equipment available really does restrict what can be done, it was the argument of artistic against technical. I fully agree with allowing the actors freedom to move but we simply weren’t equipped to make that so. As a result during the performance you couldn’t hear half of what was being said, only the voices from 3 actors. The play was enjoyable but a lack of sound definitely had a negative impact. Jay did pull me up on this and I explained the reason for the sound restrictions, hopefully this could lead to possible investments in sound technology to avoid these scenarios in the future.

Staff Talent Show Auditions

The main focus of today was pulling together the acts for the counsellor talent show, this event had already been postponed from the original date, it is now scheduled for July 20th. Word had already gotten out about the show as it happens every year, so when Jordan and I gave the announcement for auditions we expected a high turnout.

We held the auditions in the rec hall similar to the camper talent show, the aim was to get around 12 acts including the regular performers (this year being the Spanish Tennis staff). I too decided to audition again, last year I assembled a Ska band – singer, keyboard, guitar, bass, drums, saxophone, trumpet, tambourine – performing Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ mixed with ‘Walking On Sunshine’. This year I and the remaining members of the band recruited some new members and are aiming to entertain the audience once again.

The trouble Jordan and I had with the auditions was everyone was really good, there were no acts we could think of removing. The initial act count was 17, thankfully by the end of the day that number had reduced itself to 14 as a few had changed their mind and some had merged together. Jordan and I ran the list by Robbie and justified the additional acts, in order to accommodate we are aiming to start the evening activity at 8pm rather than the usual time of 8.15pm. The acts chosen are as follows:

– Connor – Opening speech
– Marlon/Lindsay – Dance
– Spanish Dance
– Shelby/Becci/Jill/Eve/Steph/Chanel – Dance
– Alexis/Emily/Clare – Dance
– Alice/Kate/Lala – Dance
– Brandon/Jonah – Sing/Piano
– Jonah – Sing
– Matt/Josh/Holly/Sam/Jonah/George – Band
– James – Sing
– Kirstin – Taekwondo
– Emily – Sing
– Fabio/Kendal – Tap
– Anthony – Clarinet
– Matt/Jason – Guitar/Ukulele

This talent show looks really promising, this time I can learn from the errors in the camper talent show (despite going unnoticed) and make this the best ever talent show.

Filming Shark Tank Skits

With Dan submerged in the editing for Shark Tank and having a relatively quiet day I decided it would be a good opportunity to film my skit commercials to accompany the Shark Tank screening. The idea of filming funny skits was an idea our entire film crew had toyed around with, it was just the case if any of us got enough time to shoot and edit them. I managed to film and edit two skits myself and helped collaborate on a third.

The first skit was based around the lifeguard Matthew Key (my bunkmate) creating a mock holiday commercial of all the water sport activities on Timber Lake Camp. This was mostly a montage of happy shots of children at boating and swimming to an upbeat instrumental track, complete with a cheesy sign off line from Matthew Key himself. This was an extremely quick commercial to shoot and edit allowing me room for further filming. The second skit was based around the gym instructor Tom Goulsbra who had become known by all the teens as the ‘Protein Guy’ due to his need for protein and gym. This mocked a fitness programme infomercial in which Tom made claims about his ‘Protein Program’ mixed with shots of people working out expressing enthusiasm for how good it was and how it helped them. I made the following production notes prior to filming each commercial:

Protein
– Montage people working out
– Vox pops about program
– Tom speaking to camera about program
– Tom speaking to camera as he helps people work out
– Tom forcing someone to pile protein on their plate

Keys Cove
– Establishing shots
– Matt talking to camera “Welcome to Keys Cove. Your place for a luxury getaway poolside”
– Shots of swimming pool and people relaxing
– “Whether you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon or something a little more exciting we have everything to get you water bound”

Once I had shot and started to edit these skits I spoke to Nathan White (Boys Photographer), Ryan Smith (Girls Photographer) and Clare Thurkett (Videographer) about the skits and we decided we had enough time between us to come up with another concept. We decided to mock accident helplines by creating a series of slapstick accidents that happen to a group of counsellors as they are slowly eliminated off the commercial. Alastair also decided to join it and we were able to film another skit and I edited it the same day. We now have three commercials to accompany the screening of Shark Tank, hopefully the others may have a chance to shoot some more, I know Nathan is planning a commercial with Reggie Jones.

Camp Olympics

Olympics Opening And Closing Activities

The olympics today proved to be a huge success, with Steve having planned out the entire event it meant we could take a backseat and let the day run itself. Jordan, Alastair and I did rounds throughout the day to check all the events were running as expected. Amongst our usual day to day tasks we had plenty of time to set up for the closing ceremony activities. We made a slight alteration to the ceremony replacing an event with a balance beam pillow fight as we felt it would be more exciting for the camp to spectate, this proved to be an excellent decision. The newly introduced event Danny Bell, Jordan and I had discussed proved to be a little too dangerous where we had loads of children running back and fourth on wet concrete. In theory it seemed like a fun idea and I think it was funny to watch, however it could probably be executed better next time.

IMG_1763

The entire day went really well and I am really pleased with how our opening and closing ceremonies went despite any minor hiccups. I think everyone enjoyed themselves, especially the victorious Netherlands Orange!