Friday, July 25, 2008

Camping Trip!

I meant to write about this last week, but I was both busy and looking for someone to give a first hand account of things. When I got to the EpiCenter last Monday, I thought that it may have been a little more hectic than usual but I didn't find out why until later. Apparently 20 teens, several mentors, easels, paints and cameras went up to Kensington, New Hampshire that morning. They were away for three days; camping in cabins, touring groomed forests, getting inspired and producing art. Everyone left in the city was at least a little jealous.

The teens who went were from one of the painting groups and from the photography studio. It was a chance for them to practice their arts in an outdoor (new for many of the painters) and natural environment (new for almost everyone). A benefactor of AFH owns the site and the cabins and allowed the teens to use them for several days. Although I, unfortunately, cannot give an eyewitness account, I can share some of the highlights that I heard about.

It was a phenomenal experience for some of the painters. Usually, they work with only their imaginations and some photographic references. To actually be painting from nature was new and "really great". It's very different to see "what's actually happening, not just a photograph." The photographers had new experiences working with natural subjects instead of their usual urban landscape. According to one of the photographers, the best part about the trip may have been seeing "a bunch of city kids running from mosquitoes".

And of course, there were some late-night bonding experiences. Sleeping in the cabins forged a special connection for those who stayed up until four in the morning. After dark, the painters played rummy and discovered some mean card players in unlikely people while the photographers tried taking pictures of each other and the cabin.

The few downsides: bathroom shortages, it rained, and some bee stings.

Summer Intern

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