The Gentle Art of Living in the Moment

Farm & Wilderness is an unplugged, technology-free environment for campers. When it comes to photos, we must balance the art of living in the moment with requests for photographs from all our camps.  Photos taken by our communications team are posted on Facebook, Instagram, and SmugMug where you can download them for free and print them yourself.

We find that many parents are regular visitors to the photo site in the summer hoping each day to see a few pictures of their son or daughter.   It can be a disappointment to not see their digital image smiling back and reassuring you that they are having the time of their life.   You may wonder “Why can’t I see a dozen or so decent pictures of my kid at camp?”

Ah, if only it was that simple!

First, there are the logistical questions.  A camp like Timberlake or Indian Brook has 120+ campers, and a dozen photos of each camper would add up to taking, organizing and uploading over a thousand photos.  Most importantly, it is unlikely a photographer would be able to organize the taking of those photos to achieve a balance; inevitably some campers would be more present, while others would be absent.

Finally, there is the cost to the campers from an adult being behind a camera instead of in front of them.  Summer camp is often thought of as a tranquil place but, as it is full of young people, it’s actually quite busy.  The calmest moments are our Silent Meetings and other moments that recharge us and have a sacred quality to them.  We don’t usually pull out cameras at that time, but take those moments to reflect and be in nature.  Other moments are full of activity, games, songs, chores, spontaneous fun and all the necessary conversations and interactions that build and hold our community together.  If you can imagine you and a friend taking eight of your friend’s kids on an exciting weekend, which included organized morning, afternoon and evening activities, you could imagine how taking photos, and making sure they were getting uploaded to the parents in a timely way would be a distraction from caring for those kids and being present.

Thanks for letting go of the momentary gratification of instant photo updates to allow your child to experience personal connection in an unplugged environment!

-Farm & Wilderness Camp Directors