The last week in June I spent in Mount Morris, New York. That week was one of the craziest, most exhausting, most wonderful weeks of my life!! The 2016 Lamplighter Guild is something I will remember for a very long time. I’m so thankful I have all the pictures and videos from the week that I can look at and remember. I will post some when can.
Before I went, I thought about the people I would meet and how they were preparing to go to the same thing I was–I just didn’t know them yet. But now I do. And honestly, it feels like I’ve known them way longer than a week and it seems impossible that I didn’t know them before!
But then we had to say goodbye. I was left thinking, Why do I keep doing things like this if it always ends and I always have to say goodbye. Why do I keep torturing myself??? Then I realized that because if I hadn’t gone, I wouldn’t know the people I know now, and I wouldn’t have the experiences I have, and I wouldn’t have the inside jokes, or the constant bad puns, and you know what? To have all of those is worth all of the horribly hard goodbyes.
How do I even begin describing my experience with the filmmaking team? You all are the best. I think I speak for all of us when I say that I wish we had more time to work together. I miss being with you guys all day! Mr Garner was the best teacher, and I’m so thankful I got to learn from such a master. He knows so much about the film industry, much more than we could hope to learn from him in just a week.
The theme for the week was “Touching the Divine” so our team decided we would create a video to illustrate that, both the story behind the phrase, and what it means for us in the here and now to do so. We started talking about what our film would be on Monday, after lunch, and had an idea that we were ready to film by the time we went back to the hotel, which was earlier than everyone else, which was awesome!
One of the best things about my team, was that throughout the week, several times a day, we would remind everyone that we should pray, if we hadn’t already. I know that’s the only reason it went as well as it did, considering what we had to work with. It’s not every day you’re with a group of people who try to pray before they do anything.
Tuesday morning rolled around, and we were all up bright and early. When I say early, I mean we were out of bed at 5AM and in the lobby by 5:30 ready to load up into the shuttles. After the 30 or so minute drive, we arrived at Letchworth State Park, where we remained for the day. It was probably my favorite day. From the adorable Stone House (pictured above) where we spent most of the day, to eating meals outside, to getting to see my sister for quite a bit, to becoming bonded with our team, to going on little adventures and taking pictures, to real talk with awesome people… I could go on for a while, but I think I’ll stop there. I miss you guys!!
What was the biggest takeaway from the week? Well, there were several. One, I now have friends that I didn’t have before. Two, filming is so much more than what the finished product is (I already knew that, but to have it take four days to make a minute-and-a-half long video made it abundantly clear. Filming is hard work. But it’s also loads of fun!) and getting to work with some of the most amazing people who knew so much about filmmaking was such an incredible experience, one I hope can be repeated. Three, that there is so much more to the world than me, I’m not the only hurting person. Just because someone seems friendly doesn’t mean they don’t struggle with things. And the best way to heal from hurt like that is to care about others, and to see their struggle, and to help them in it. Four, that the learning doesn’t stop when you leave. Thinking about the whole experience and adding to it my life outside of that has taught me that. Will I have it down now, for the rest of my life? Not a chance. But I’m learning, and I’m leaning on God to help me to live it, every day.