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Supporting young people is the answer to keeping our world turning - by Serena Simmons

We had been planning for close to a month at that point. Or, rather, the incredible team I had the privilege of working with were planning. I was lucky to be able to sit there and eat cookies while a stacked crew of film mentors, instructors, and support staff outlined the packed week we had ahead of us in what was going to be the 2020 Spring Reel Camp for Girls at Ka Waiwai on University. Every Thursday we would meet for an hour and a half and I would watch as a dope team of women hammered out the details on lectures regarding film lingo, types of shots, lighting, storyboarding, genre, and everything in between. Everyone was excited for spring break to roll around; the participants would come in, we’d have our sharing circle, and then the camp would begin.


That is until the week before the camp was slated to start. While the COVID-19 disease had been spreading rapidly throughout Italy and Spain at that point in time, it hadn’t yet hit the U.S. in a manner deemed severe enough by the government to warrant some type of distress. This was the wrong response and yet, it isn’t entirely surprising when we consider that this system was never built to help us in the first place. The cases were rising, however, and it was only a matter of time before Hawaiʻi would be affected. The decision to postpone the camp was a difficult one but necessary. We wanted to have the camp but we also knew the importance of community and taking care of our collective, physical health; if social distancing is the way we help to ensure that, then we would be sure to comply. Given the increasing number of confirmed cases we have seen in the past two weeks, I am glad we made that decision. [....]

the films

Mental Wellness Camp Team

2020 Spring Reel Camp for Girls Planning Team March 12, 2020 (Last in person meeting)

In collaboration with

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Made possible thanks the generous support of the NoVo Foundation and Gerbode Foundation.

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