In lieu of a Tuesdays with Topher post this week, we’re pumped to present guest blogger, Molly Sweeney! Molly was Camp’s photographer/videographer during Summer Camp 2013. She recently won an award from the American Camp Association for her photography work at Camp Gray. Without further adieu, the CG Blog Team presents, Molly Sweeney!  

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By: Molly Sweeney

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Molly’s love of taking photos is incredibly strong – so strong, in fact, that it was several weeks into summer before we actually saw her face!

I love quotes…. There is something about finding a sentence or phrase and writing it down that mesmerizes me. Whether or not you intend on looking at the sentence again isn’t important. The important part is realizing that something is significant enough to record.

I think that must relate to why I am a photographer…I go out into the world and become aware of those moments that are extraordinary and are too beautiful to pass up, I must capture them with my camera.

At Camp Gray those moments are constantly in front of my lens. I am definitely not surprised that I took over 20,000 photos this summer. There is something about Camp Gray that makes you want to remember every moment of every day.

I came to Camp Gray this summer from Corning, NY a small town upstate where I have lived all my life. I packed my bags in May and headed to Wisconsin (a state I had honestly never thought about outside of my 4th grade lesson on state capitals) to be Camp Gray’s first-ever full-time photographer/videographer.

This job came with a big responsibility, to capture the essence of Camp Gray’s mission with my camera. Luckily for me I was welcomed into a family of people that made it very easy for me to feel comfortable with this new-found position.

Quack! Quack! The goofiness of Camp Gray begins at an early age!
Quack! Quack! The goofiness and fun of Camp Gray is ubiquitous, and Molly’s job this past summer was to capture every bit of it!

Day after day, week after week, spaghetti dinner after spaghetti dinner, I found the love, faith and zaniness that was everything Camp had to offer. Each day was filled with an overwhelming amount of smiles and joy. (Pretending to be ducks in the rain, everyone stuffing their faces with hotdogs right before C.T.F. or laughing uncontrollably during the Sunday Night “Rip-Roaring-Foot-Stomping-Campfire,” how could you not smile?)

It made my job really easy. I wanted to show the world the beauty of the 225 acres in Reedsburg, WI that I was just introduced to. I also wanted to show how much fun camp is and how much fun living a faith-filled life is. Camp Gray is the best place to have fun being Catholic! I rode my bike around every nook and cranny of those 225 acres and used my camera to illuminate all the smiles that are and have always been on campers’ faces. It’s just pushing a button at that point!

There are so many moments at Camp Gray that are worthy of being recognized. The seconds right before the banner is raised at Lake Jake for the Cassidy Games, eating Apple Crisp on Sunday night with ‘No Hands’, or Ryan and Topher doing the jig after all items were returned from the Misplaced and Found all show the brilliance of Camp. Every second of Camp is special. That’s what makes it such a great place to be.

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It’s only a “photo-finish” if there’s someone there to take the photo. Fortunately for Camp Gray, Molly was always in prime position to capture the excitement of the Cassidy Games!

Each week campers would come down that long driveway and experience love in so many different ways and I was able to show the rest of the world this love. I may have been the first photographer/videographer that Camp Gray has had, but their story was so well told before me. The witness the campers and staff display is the perfect way to show God’s love. I just want to add to the beauty that Camp Gray already has.

One more thing before I say goodbye (for now). I may have taken over 20,000 photographs this summer, but I also created a plethora of videos that encompass the wonders of Camp Gray. You can check out those beauties over here at that Camp Gray YouTube Page.

I thank you all for giving me the opportunity to show how spectacular Camp Gray is and encourage you all to record moments in your life that make you smile, whether it be with a camera or a pen.

God bless!

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Molly recently won a photography award from the American Camp Association for this photo – a photo which required neither Photoshop nor an enormously large boots, rather a keen photography eye and fun perspective!
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