Patch.com: Capturing the Endless Summer

[I don’t normally like fussing with my old posts; I prefer to keep them up – warts and all. But with the recent closing of half of the nation’s Patch offices, I had to either find another place to store my (limited) supply of legit journalistic work or watch it be lost forever. So here it is, warts and all.]

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—Capturing the Endless Summer—

Madeira Beach’s Rec Center takes your children out of the dark (room), by putting them behind the camera.

One thing you don’t expect to find nestled between a nondescript fire house and a yacht club is a bastion of creativity, but that’s just what Madeira Beach’s Recreational Center is.

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From the outside, the Center’s three giant, domineering ball fields do little to evoke the energy kept inside.  Once you step through the Main Office’s door, though, you’ll find the Recreation Center’s Summer Camp in full swing, and things couldn’t be livelier.

Starting at $75/week for residents, and $100/week for non-residents, the Rec Center will keeps children (K-5th grade) playing baseball, celebrating “Pirate Week,”, and, most importantly, occupied, all summer. The schedule is quite varied, ranging anywhere from going to Armed Forces Museum to just “beat[ing] the heat inside, play[ing] video-games,” Sorenson said. 

One of the Center’s more popular activities is its Photo Club, saidProgram Director Carrie Sorenson.

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Meeting once a month, the Club outfits all of its junior Ansel Adamses with disposable cameras and sets them loose on Madeira Beach to see what art they can capture.

Paired into teams, the kids operate under one mandate: no photographing each other.  Everything else is fair game; allowing a glimpse into “the individual eye that makes each photo unique,” Sorenson said.  

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Giving individualism a helping hand, the club also visits to learn more about the uses of lighting, and angles in photographic composition.

One of the most impressive aspect of the Madeira Beach Recreational Center’s Photo Club is its vast scope, Sorenson said.  Kids learn more than just how to shoot, they also learn the vanishing art of processing film.  All the shots are developed by the same kids who took the photos in their own makeshift darkroom.  

Summer camp just got a lot more interesting.

Madeira Beach’s Recreational Center is open Monday through Friday (7:30AM-5:30PM).  Its Summer Camp will be running from June through to August 12th.  The Photo Club meets once a month, with a meeting next Friday (June 17th).  Call (727) 392-0665 or visit Madeira Beach’s Summer Program for more information.

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