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Youth Mental Wellness Reel Camp for Girls March 14-19, 2022

day-by-day + films produced

Day 1

After a few sign-ins, temperature checks, and sharpies on name tags, our first Reel Camp of 2022 took off once again within the embrace of Ka Waiwai. Once we settled onto our pillows or chairs, our facilitators Punihei and Makanalani began to welcome in and model for the participants the mana-ful process of pilina. For the first two hours of the session, participants had a chance to truly dig deep into what it means to hold space with and for a person; that listening, being present, giving gratitude, and thanking someone for their stories and the privilege to listen to them is all a part of that experience. With the help of Makanalani and Punihei, participants enthusiastically engaged in the braiding of this collective chord in real-time through these various exercises and with each dyad exercise. Much like the knots within a braid, participants grew stronger in their interest and care for one another. During breaks, people would walk across the room to talk to people they had just met and everyone seemed so interested in supporting and learning more about one another. As Punihei started the pilina process off with a quote from a poem, “we are our stories,” these two hours saw participants steadily embodying their stories, experiences, and feelings, standing firm in them, and others taking that in and appreciating it. 

The rest of the session focused on lectures concerning basic camera and lighting techniques as well as hands-on practice with cameras, sound, and markers. Before leaving, Vera gives the participants a prompt to think on a little more before the next day’s session. What kind of story do you want to tell? What would you need to make that story happen in a film? What matters to you?


I have a feeling after the pilina they all created together and the mana that let into the room, there will be no shortage of incredible ideas to hear and, eventually, see.

Day 2