By Helen Kennedy
Camp Discover is a two week summer day camp for kids from Grundy County, based at Tracy City Elementary School, that promotes community building and healthy relationships. Kids at Camp Discover, with the help of The Discover Together Collaborative (a partnership between The Yale Child Study Center and the University of the South) learn about important skills such as communication, literacy, and positive social behavior. During the first year of Camp Discover in 2012, they learned about the importance of telling stories through photographs. They were given cameras by generous donations so that they could further develop their project. In 2013, Camp Discover was able to develop the project with the theme of photography as a means of connecting with the community and finding one’s place. Each child was told to take a photograph of something meaningful to them, and then write a short paragraph explaining the significance. In 2014, the third year of the camp, the photography project was further developed under the guidance of Bea Troxel, C’15. This year, one girl decided to use a photograph of some flowers she had picked on a field trip with Camp Discover. The photograph brought back memories of the camp for her. Another boy, Samuel, took a photograph of his stuffed lemur named “Lime” that he got from a trip to the zoo. He writes, “Lime is very special to me.”
This project helped the students to express them-selves through photography, to tell stories through photographs, and connect to the larger community. This exhibit is now on display at Stirlings Coffee House.