When we walked into the room, the first thing we thought was “Oh my goodness, so many kids!” Originally, we had contracted to do LAMPcamp for the Prospect Park YMCA, we had figured on 12-15 kids (even split between boys and girls). Well, the room was brimming with 29 future LAMPers who looked at us with a little confusion. We didn’t have much time so we started right in (and so much we hoped to accomplish on our first day), passed out their LAMPackets for the week and moved everyone into a circle.
We showed them some basic interview techniques and then handed them the camera. They were supposed to switch back and forth interviewing the person seated next to them, then handing off the camera, and going around the circle. With so many kids, we pulled out another camera and got the other side involved in the same activity.
And even while this was going on, we still had kids idling doing nothing. So we chatted them up. Asking them about all sorts of things regarding media: Facebook vs. MySpace (“MySpace is so boring” “Facebook is for adults” etc.), Sidekicks vs. Smartphones (They all decided that DC’s phone needed a massive upgrade), TV vs. hulu/youtube/limewire (“Why would you need to listen to the song on your phone when you can get it for free at limewire?”), etc. Finally, we made it through the opening interviews, which meant it was time for our Media Scavenger Hunt.
Once out on the street, the LAMPers really engaged with the urban environment, trading off taking pictures and videos of different instances of media they encountered. And because we had such a short period of time to work with, we really had to cut short the full exploration. But every single kid had the exact same thing to say at the end of the Hunt: “I never realized how many advertisements and media there are in the neighborhood before we stopped to look today.” Score!
We broke into smaller groups (2 boy groups, 2 girl groups) and discussed the media projects each group will be working on for the rest of the week. Here we’ll really be able to engage in a deeper exploration and conversation about topics that really interest them. We’re looking forward to what these obviously creative LAMPers will come up with.
Some of the best lessons and interesting experiences from the 1st day:
– On the Scavenger Hunt, our LAMPers found a bodega that had a wall panel overflowing with cigarette ads (who didn’t know why they’d never seen a cigarette ad on TV), sitting next to another panel that was advertising NY State’s “Quit Smoking” campaign.
– When we broke into girls-only and boys-only groups, one of our male LAMPers asked why we did. It was stated to allow us the opportunity to explore topics and to talk about things that we don’t feel comfortable saying in front of the opposite gender. He replied “I don’t act differently around girls.” Really? Don’t you say things with other guys that you don’t say in front of girls? “Oh, yeah, i guess i do.”
– During a short discussion about “What defines a guy?”, after answers like “your father, your brother, your uncle, etc.” we got ‘Michael Jackson’. Someone replied to that “Michael Jackson ain’t a man, he talks like a girl.” Many were quick to defend Michael but it also led to an incredibly rich discussion about what makes a “guy” (deep voice, big muscles, anger, etc.) and how did they derive this image.
Already we can see that time is a very precious commodity, and we have so much to accomplish by the end of this week. On Wednesday, we’re getting a presentation from Daniela Capistrano on her work at MTV, and then we’re going to break back into our small boys/girls groups and really get to cracking on our media projects.
If any of you would like us to explore anything in particular with our LAMPers, leave us a comment on this site or drop as a line on Twitter: @thelampnyc
Catch ya on Wednesday!