This page is based on my experience of Camp America and what I make and do for Camp.
These are some test Renders for the instructional video that I am making for animation. The video aims to outline what the kids will be doing and how they will go about doing it. I want the video to be engaging, informative and quick for the kids and it has to be easily understood.
These are one of the little clips that we cut to this will be the example of the bouncing ball and mixing animation and live action.
This is the final video that outlines the objectives of camp.
Travel to camp
Our journey to camp was to fly out of Heathrow and land in Newark where we change plane to a fly to Portland, Maine and in Portland we are to be picked up by camp. The first flight from Heathrow to Newark was my first time flying so I was nervous but I watched the Lego Movie which was disappointing I was expecting more and then I watched Wolf of wall street and that was fantastic I loved it. Luckily (unfortunately) our flight was over booked and we were given a hotel in New York and $500 flight voucher for United airline flights. The hotel was in Newark and we went into New York, unfortunately the airport sky train was out of action so we couldn’t get to Newark international train station we had to get a bus to Newark station to get on the train to Penn station. Once we got to New York we went straight to Times Square but as we left the Penn station you could see the empire state building. In Times Square I have never been so amazed the lights the adverts and America. We then went to book a time to go up the Rockefeller centre and the wait was around two hours so we went to central station to pass the time and when we went in there my mind went straight to films Madagascar and that seen where they are caught, North By North West where Roger Thorn hill is trying to get on the train to Chicago. The famous clock and time boards on the side above the ticket office and the massive American flag. It was a truly amazing experience to come to such a famous place in what was a great city. We then went back to the Rockefeller and went to the top it was stunning the view it was night time by now and as we looked to lower Manhattan we could see freedom tower standing well above all the other buildings in New York. In the local surrounding area we had Times square in which there was one or two jumbo screens poking out above the building with a extremely bright glow. Then in the local are we had the Empire state building and the Chrysler building. Then up to the north we saw a huge black patch in the centre of the city which was Central park the scale was astonishing to see it in person in the dark you truly begin to understand the vast scale of the most famous park in the world and the scale of the city. In the distance we could make out the Yankee stadium in the Bronx. It was about 12 o’clock Midnight and we had been up very early in the UK around 6.00am so with the time difference we had been up for around 23.00 hours when we had started our way to Penn station when we got to the station we had just missed the train and we had a 45 minute wait for the train it took around half an hour to get to Newark station from there we looked for the bus and we couldn’t find it I thought they had stopped so we got a yellow cab back to the hotel and it was 2.30 am so by now we had been up for 25.30 hours and I was exhausted. My flight to Portland was a 1.00pm the next day so we left the hotel at 10.00am at this point I was bouncing about going to camp and we landed in Portland and we had about a 15 minute wait to be picked up were the people who picked us up where picking someone else up in 2 hours so we went into Portland to a burger bar and I had a huge American burger. When we picked up the other person we went to camp as we were leaving Portland on the high way we went past a base ball stadium home of the Portland sea dogs, But we passed a high school and I couldn’t help but notice that they had their own stadium which was a shock to see a high school with a stadium.
My first experience of camp was a strange one because we got there and it was a night of or something and the camp had booked the bowling alley for the staff and it was meant to be fancy dress so when we arrived everyone was dressed up, One of the owners of the camp was dressed up as Woody and another guy was dressed up as a baby so I was a little thrown I had a long day before (But I was too excited not to do a bite of exploring in New York) We put are bags in our orientation bunks and got on the buses and went to the bowling alley, It got late and I was getting tired when I got back I met some of the people in my orientation bunk one was a guy called Danny Hardwick and he was from Yorkshire one thing I noted was the Huddersfield town shirts which was weird but then again I’m a Blackpool fan. The next main event was bag moving where we move the campers bags that arrive to camp before the campers arrive and we have to take the bags from where they get dropped to the bunks that they will be staying in, after the bag moving we found out our bunks and then we are a loud to move our bags from are orientation bunks to our summer bunk. When I walked into my bunk I met one of my co-councillors called Jeremy and he was one of the nicest people that I have ever met he was an ex camper and he was giving me helpful tips to make the summer easier and what to look out for, We had our camper de brief where we would have the unit leader and the camper specialist come into our bunk to go through the campers that we have and there notes.
The next stage of camp was the campers arrival I knew names of our campers and a rough idea of how they were arriving and as I met them through the day we went onto pre planned activities. The next morning was one that I and Jeremy wouldn’t forget as all the campers woke up at 5.00am and they were not quiet and at 8.00am when they went down to the flag pole one camper looked at me laughed and said ‘I wake up at 5am every morning and I looked over at my co councillor and we said at the same time not now you don’t. I seriously don’t understand where they got all the energy from. Strangely every other morning it was this kid that said he got up at 5 am every morning that was the kid that was quickest to tell people that woke up early to keep the noise down. There were many things that made our bunk so much fun one of those things was the overall energy and positivity of the campers. They all had a great sense of humour and making jokes all the time I spent most of my time in the bunk laughing.
A big part of camp is colleague league were the campers and staff are put on four separate teams in this I had the opportunity to coach soccer.
There was a joke in my bunk about the queen of England because I was British and my campers convinced themselves that I loved the queen so every 4th of July the camp would hold a parade and then fireworks and for the parade I was Prince Phillip and I was doing the signature royal wave as that was part of the joke with the campers the royal wave.
Finally I was the computer animation instructor every morning there were instructional for three hours and for those instructional I would teach computer animation the age varied from 15 all the way down to 6 and 7 some seemed to pick it up much quicker than others. But overall I managed to keep them engaged and interested in animation I was very lenient as I world let them decide what it is that they want to make and let them design and come up with their own film.
Another experience out of the bunk was the time off which took me to Boston and one morning I woke up at 5 am to go water skiing on the lake that was a first time experience for me. I went to Boston on my two of my four days off the first time I went I looked around Boston and up the prudential centre whilst their and then went to a Red Sox game they were playing the Toronto Blue Jays.
On the second trip We had a tour around TD garden which is where the Boston Celtics and Bruins play. We went on a whale watching boat and we sore five or six whales. After that we went up the prudential building again where we could see Fenway park and the Red Sox were playing the Yankees.
After camp we chaperoned a bus to New York (Rochester) Once we got to Rochester we went to find the train station to get into the city. It worked out cheaper to get an out of city taxi into the city near our hotel. Once we got into the city we went and put our bags in our hotel after that we went onto the subway to go to lower Manhattan. We went to ground zero and walked around it was late and dark which meant that it was very quiet and it was unbelievably sombre the sound of the waterfalls and the sheer scale. You realise how big the towers were just by the foot print of these buildings and the new building is nearly the exact same height what hits hard most of all is the quietness of the site and how peaceful it is. After this we walked to the Brookline bridge, on the way we went to Wall Street and then walked over the Brookline bridge at night and into Brookline where we stayed to have a look at the skyline after that we went back to the hotel on the subway.
The next day we started by going through Times Square to the empire state building which we decided to go up we thought it would have been more expensive than it was so it was unplanned but when we got up there it was breathtaking no it wasn’t the altitude that took our breath away but the view that we had taken it away, We had been to the top of the Rock at the beginning of the summer but that was at night and now it was a clear blue sky and we could see for miles, We could see the statue of liberty and the airports it was a stunning view. After we came down from the empire state building we went to central park where we saw the famous clock from the central park zoo that appears in Madagascar so often and when we got there we saw it move with the music I didn’t know that it actually did that I thought that it was just something that happened in the movie. After this we went to the Yankee stadium to have a walk around a have a look at the stadium and the souvenir shop we had a quick dinner from Mc Donald’s across the road from the Yankee Stadium and in there were murals and drawings of the stadium and Yankee players. After that we once again headed back to central park and walked around the lakes and saw the house/ castle on top of the hill used in Stuart Little. We went back to the hotel as we went to comedy night in one of the local clubs and it was a real small comedy club that was a good evening of entertainment.
The following day we went to lower Manhattan to get the boat to the Statue of Liberty and then onto Ellis Island. The statue of liberty was amazing we walked around had had a good look at the statue after then we went to Ellis Island were we went to the immigration museum and saw a documentary about how immigrants were processed back when it was used to document immigrants. We then went for lunch on the island were we saw three ladies chucking bags at an apple tree to get the apples one of the bags then got caught and they spent around half an hour trying to get it down before the national park warden came and attempt to get it down after this rather humorous event we went to the Manhattan side of the island were we had possibly the view of the city which had the famous skyline the Brookline bridge, After we left the island we got the ferry back to lower Manhattan which was when we went to ground zero and the 9/11 museum. After the museum we headed back up to times square to spend our final night in New York.
We then got the mega bus to Philadelphia from NYC the next morning the bus journey wasn’t that long of a journey so we had a full day in Philadelphia. We arrived and got a cab to the hotel and then left to explore the city. We went to the city center and the steps that Rocky used in training in the movie and looked at the city center sky line. After that we went back to get something to eat and then the hotel to go to the top for the view after then we went swimming in the pool.
The Next day we went to Washington we caught the Mega bus outside of the train station were we had a pizza hut before we left. On the bus journey we went through Delaware and Maryland and went past Baltimore and sore the AT stadium which is where the Ravens play. Once we arrived we went for a walk to the white house and then onto the Washington monument, after that the capital building wear the air force band were performing the national anthem and other patriotic songs which set a fantastic atmosphere for my first visit to the US capital. Then we went onto the supreme court and then as it was getting late because of how big DC is and how far apart everything is we got the underground back to the hotel. The Washington DC underground reminds me of a Bond villains laree with the look and feel of it and there was a constant humming that added to that effect of the Bond Laree.
The second and full day in Washington DC saw us go to the Washington monument and then make our way to the Lincoln Memorial and on the way we stopped off to look around the World War 2 memorial. When we got to the Lincoln memorial we looked around and saw the speeches written on the wall and the statue of Lincoln. We spent time to look over at the mall at the top as we had the spectacular view of the Washington monument and the capital building. We then walked to the pentagon were we visited the 9/11 memorial there and then went for a walk around the pentagon to the subway and we got the subway back to near the mall so we could go to the Smithsonian National air and space museum and we saw an Imax movie about space and planets and then went onto do a fighter jet simulator that could do flips and was very accurate. When we came out it was raining and we walked to ford’s theatre and the house that Lincoln died in unfortunately the house was closed and the theatre was undergoing renovations so we called it a night and went back to the hotel as we had a early morning the next day as we had to catch a plane.
The next part was early in the morning going to Dulles airport in Virginia to get the plane to Orlando, we landed around 12 and went to pick up a hire car and after check in to our hotel. We went to Disney world and arrived there around 3.00pm we parked in the car park and we got to go on an old fashioned steam boat across the pond to get to the Magic Kingdom. In Disney World we went on rides and saw some famous places like the Hall of presidents. We stayed to watch the closing parade and then headed back to the hotel.
The second day took us to sea world, Sea world was the shock of the after camp travel because of how much better it was. we started the day by going on the rollercoaster’s and log flume which were exhilarating and enjoyable. Then we set our sights on the sea life the first place we went was the dolphin nursery were we saw them do tricks and get fed, We went to have a look at the penguins and then headed to the dolphin show, on the way we saw alligators and sea lions and many other wildlife. The dolphin show was great and impressive we saw some amazing tricks, After the show we went to an area you could pet dolphins and feed them unfortunately I didn’t get to and we assumed that it would cost way too much to feed them so we went to Shamu stadium but we missed the start so we decided to go back at 6.00pm for that show. Going up the Sea world tower we had a good view of the park and the city in the distance and then we went to the whale tank were we could see the Killer whales swimming in the tank. At 6.00pm we went to the Shamu stadium and the show started but then got called off due to weather after the whales had done two or three jumps so once the cancellation had been announced we went to the customer desk and they gave us tickets for the next day in the park
The next day we were going to Miami and we had tickets for the Miami Dolphins game so we went to sea world and whilst we waited for the first Shamu show by going to the dolphins and we went to see how much it cost to feed them and to our shock it was only $5 much cheaper than we had thought one of many wonderful surprises that Florida had and would give to use. Whilst feeding the dolphins I got to pet and stroke them and one of the dolphins even splashed me. After this it was time for the One Ocean show (Killer Whales) so we went to Shamu stadium. Needless to say the show was awesome and I loved every second of it the tricks that the whales did were spectacular.
We then drove to Miami to get to the sun life stadium we got there just before the teams got out. So that means that we got to see the national anthem and the teams coming out to the pitch and soak I n some of that famous pre match American atmosphere that we saw in Boston. The game was great and I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was just another new experience for me that I have had during the summer.
On the second day in Miami we started by going to the beach for a quick swim and then we went onto the Everglades and got onto a Everglades air boat tour where we saw a couple of alligators and then when the tour finished the tour guides let us hold a baby alligator that they had saved, But in the water was a wild baby alligator which was thrilling. We then went along a small path for a short while before we went into the city center. In Miami I went along the front which took us to a shopping center and then around the Miami Heat stadium American Airlines Arena.
The very next morning we had to get up early to get to Miami airport so that we could fly to Vegas. We couldn’t find the place to drop the car off so by the time we were in the terminal we were cutting it very fine, We did get there in time but they had over booked the flight so we had to wait three or four hours for the next plane to Vegas. We flew over Texas and Dallas and the flight had a lot of turbulence, Although we left at three because of the time difference we arrived in Vegas around three that meant that when we picked up the car we could go to the hotel and go straight down the strip. We went to the Venetian hotel and saw the water fountain show in Vegas. We went all the way down to the Pyramid hotel and past New York and then headed back to the hotel for next day.
The second day in Vegas we went to the Grand Canyon but on the way we stopped off at the Hoover Dam and we went for a tour around the electrical power plant and walked up to the highway bridge were there was a path across so you can have a view of the dam. The water line was not at the top which meant that we saw the massive white water mark along the canyon. We then went to the Grand Canyon and on the way we stopped at a service station in Arizona which was like no other service station I have ever been to as it had an old Army tank outside and around the back was a shooting range. When we got to Hualapai Range tourist centre we got booked onto the bus and lunch the first stop was a old western town where we had lunch and when we looked around we noticed the warning signs about the rattle snakes. We got to the bus and went to the next stop which was the sky walk the first thing that hit use was the fact there was no fence and the scale it was literally a straight drop and there was no fence. We were disappointed because it was so fake and the view was obstructed by this building for the sky walk although the scale was impressive there was one more stop and that was what we came for it was completely natural no building and there was a small hill that you could climb up and enjoy the most spectacular 360 view I have ever witnessed the true scale of this amazing piece nature. When we got back to Vegas we went down the strip once more and went up the Eiffel tower and enjoyed the volcano fire show which was very impressive.
Journey to LA
The next day we packed up are bags and got in the car and drove to Los Angeles, On the way to Los Angeles we spotted a sign for a ghost town so we came off and as we came off the highway there was a huge military base with thousands of tanks so we parked the car and there was a huge open space in the desert and behind us was this huge military base. When we went up to the ghost town we were disappointed because what we paid for was actually a themed shopping mall the road was newly asphalted. But the town was on a hill and at the top of the hill we were met with the amazing view of the desert and the open valley the highway sits. When we set off again we were met by many unexpected things like the biggest solar farm that I have ever seen and there were two of them then as we got deeper into California we were met with some pretty spectacular valleys and as we got closer to LA the plant life in the valleys grew and grew.
When we arrived in LA we went past the Disney Studios and then went over the Hollywood hills on to the famous walk way. We parked the car and walked down the walk of fame and we went on a tour which took us up into the hills where we had fantastic views into the city, Burbank (studios) and the Hollywood sign and then the tour took us into Beverley Hills and we saw Arnold Schwarzenegger’s house along with the house Michael Jackson died in and many other celebrities, After the tour we went and drove up into the hills and parked up on a street and we walked up this very steep hill (not a foot path) to the top and what we were met with was a stunning 360 view of LA and we could see the Hollywood sign, Telescope, LA city center and the dam that is on GTA.
On our last day in the US we flew from LA to NYC and when we got there we went into the city for one last time, we spent time in Times Square for one last time and headed back to our hotel we got up the next morning at 3.00am to get to Newark airport as our flight was at 7.00am we got back to London at around 7.00pm UK time and that marked the end to the best summer I have ever had. We arrived in London on the Friday on the Saturday it was back to normality as I went to The Den to watch Blackpool fc play Millwall away.
Looking back at the summer I did some amazing things that I thought I never would get to do in my life, Feed dolphins, Hold an alligator see whales in the wild and many other things but the highlight for me was camp I didn’t talk about specific moments in camp because I don’t want to name or talk about campers online but I can assure you that I have many fond memories of camp and I met some amazing people and made some great friends that will last forever. I met some truly wonderful people that were full of life and so much fun to be around and there were some fantastic personalities in my bunk and there was a lot of jokes and laughs. I feel that I have taken two things from 2014 camp the first is I dream about moving to America this has made me more determined than ever to accomplish that dream, The second is adding more positivity and energy in my life being around so many great characters and personalities does that to you it helps make you become more lively and positive.