Wednesday, August 13, 2014

doings | lamplighter guild 2014

My friend Anna was the connection to Lamplighter and Mark Hamby.

She first pitched the idea of going to London to work on the recording for Lamplighter Theater early last year and I jumped at the chance to go.  A live studio recording, London, time with my best friend,     sign me up!  I attribute my love of radio drama to many long hours on the road as a child.  To this day, that trip is one of my top favorite life experiences.  So far.

You can read more about our Lamplighter Theater adventures here...

It was there that I met Mark Hamby for the first time.  He's the man behind Lamplighter Books, a company that takes rare and out of print books and republishes them in beautiful hardbound copies.  Lamplighter is also passionate about the arts and for the past four years has put on the Guild for creative disicplines.  A way for students to spend a week studying under some of the best Christian creatives around. 

I was approached with the opportunity to work on staff for this year's Guild, confirming one of my favorite theories on life "opportunity breeds opportunity" and jumped on it.  I warned everyone that I'm not a creative, I'm an organizer.  Thankfully, they seemed to accept me.  Since I live so far away from the rest of the team, I mainly kept in contact through emails and the awesome invention that is "google documents".  After about four months of student registration highs and lows, and schedule updates, it was finally time for me to fly to Upstate NY for Guild week!

The challenge of the 2014 Guild, was that, we moved our location to a breathtakingly beautiful state park (see photo above), and by doing that gave up a full hotel of attentive staff.  It became a team of about 15 taking care of about 85 students and 9 teachers.  Our jobs included transportation, shuttling students to and from 6 different housing locations, no internet or cell phone coverage, massive rainstorms and constantly changing schedules.

The first official morning of the Guild, my mom texted me at 8:42am and said "have a fun day honey! we're praying for you!".  And I just started to laugh.  I was standing in the middle of a soggy tent, while the great deluge happened only feet away from me.  My shoes had about an inch of water in them and my hair had trespassed into lioness territory.  By 8:42 that morning, I had gotten about two hours of sleep in a rustic cabin with a bathrobe and borrowed pair of Anna's socks as my only blanket, our first shuttle run was a bit less than successful due to a change of locations, because RAIN, our cafeteria tent flooded and we'd moved the tables and chairs to higher ground TWICE, and one of our teachers had a hole in his car tire.  It wasn't even 9am!

Thankfully, things started to settle from there.  It was one of the busiest weeks of my life.  I literally ran from one place to the next, got about four hours of sleep per night and forgot to eat.

The week had so many highlights for me!  Three of our teachers worked with Adventures in Odyssey, it was so much fun quizzing them on different episodes or asking them for the story behind the story for our favorite plots.  Anna and I happened to schedule things just so we would be the ones to pick up Kathy Buchanan from the airport.  Shameless we are.  But it was so much fun!  One of the perks to my job was popping in on different classes and getting to see what the students were working on.  Creative people amaze me!  I chauffeured the filmmaking class around for a few minutes and ended up in the credits of their project. (you can watch it here )

My very favorite part was the people.  Oh my goodness!  Not only the teachers and the students, but these two, Katherine and Nolan (with "tired-eyeballs Abbe" in the middle) are the ones who made the crazy long hours absolutely delightful.  They were my bosses for the week and I was just amazed at their output.  By the time I left I felt like I was saying goodbye to my family.  The whole team (about 15 total) really bonded and it was so much fun to be a part of something with such a high level of camaraderie and trust.  We're already talking about Guild 2015! 

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