Mentor Spotlight – NGPC Philadelphia Staff

National Geographic Photo Camp Philadelphia 2011 / Photo by Christian Figueroa

Photo Camp Philly exceeded my expectations as a first timer.  As an NG staffer, you hear about Photo Camps, see various blog posts, and occasionally meet someone who has volunteered for one of the camps.  From all of this information, gleaned by reading and hearing about the Photo Camps, I knew it would be an unforgettable experience.  And it was!  It was everything I expected;  kids came, kids learned, kids left.  However, it was so much more than that.

National Geographic Photo Camp Philadelphia 2011 / Photo by Meghan Tezik

National Geographic Photo Camp Philadelphia 2011 / Photo by Keira King

National Geographic Photo Camp Philadelphia 2011 / Photo by Dotty Brown

National Geographic Photo Camp Philadelphia 2011 / Photo by Gemanuel Parks

National Geographic Photo Camp Philadelphia 2011 / Photo by Maura Tezik

I  met  and learned about people from  different places and from  different backgrounds.  I was able to sit with a teenager and show them, hands on, how light changes as you move.  I was able to show them how capturing these moments can elicit a smile out of a stranger, or perhaps teach the world about the photographer’s space, their environment.   So many times, we enter into a situation and hope to reach just one person in a small yet significant way.  Whether it be inspiration or instilling self- confidence in a person, or even just making them smile,  maybe we are teaching them something they will use for the rest of their life.  Maybe we are teaching them something they will use for only one day.  Whichever it is, the expectation and the hope is that someone in that class will take something positive away from their experience.

National Geographic Photo Camp Philadelphia 2011 / Photo by Dotty Brown

National Geographic Photo Camp Philadelphia 2011 / Photo by Mariah Peal

National Geographic Photo Camp Philadelphia 2011 / Photo by Kyarea Smith

National Geographic Photo Camp Philadelphia 2011 / Photo by Stacy Gold (Staff)

National Geographic Photo Camp Philadelphia 2011 / Photo by Christian Figueroa

What I didn’t expect was to receive something from them.  Even for the brief amount of time spent with these kids, you can see their potential.  You learn their interests.  You feel their passion.   Their passion for learning, grasping, growing.  The fascination with the frame, recording events and making a difference.  And the pride in showing their peers and especially their families their work.  They showed me that if you work hard and listen and learn, you progress.  Even in a matter of  hours.  Seeing their passion and hunger struck a chord with me — they gave me that spark, that passion, that inspiration we all need every so often.

National Geographic Photo Camp Philadelphia 2011 / Photo by Iyana Jackson

National Geographic Photo Camp Philadelphia 2011 / Photo by Christyona Grier

National Geographic Photo Camp Philadelphia 2011 / Photo by Gemanael Parks

National Geographic Photo Camp Philadelphia 2011 / Photo by Christyona Grier

National Geographic Photo Camp Philadelphia 2011 / Photo by Mariah Peal

So thank you to Photo Camp and the Philly group for an amazing experience and a fantastic group of kids I will never forget.

– Stacy Gold / National Geographic Archives

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