As Meadville area students return to school this week, a question that will continually be asked is “What did you do this summer?”
For Meadville teen Senna Camp, she grabbed her iPhone, traveled around town and hit “record.”
Camp, 16, who is now a junior at Meadville Area Senior High School, is the newest member of MeadvilleCalendar’s staff. You may see her around town in her media maker capacity.
Senna’s father, Simon Camp, started Senna’s interest in photography. He also had to make videos for his job, and that’s how Senna started to build her video-making knowledge — as well as watching some tutorials on YouTube.
“I kind of got interested in the whole editing aspect of (video creation),” Senna said. “Then I kind of continued it and just made videos randomly when I’m bored. Then I kind of taught myself how to make videos. YouTube sometimes is pretty helpful.”
Senna was born in Massachusetts but lived in the United Kingdom for most of her life after she moved there when she was 2 or 3 years old, she said. She has lived in the City of Meadville since 2018. Her mother is Nicole Gross-Camp.
The past few years, she participated in Grow Meadville Youth Leadership, a program organized by Creating Landscapes Food4Thought. The summers of 2018 and 2019 somewhat served as summer camp, she said, while this past summer’s Grow Meadville Service Corps was more like work. She was among five teens employed to manage Grow Meadville’s garden network.
Senna produced a few videos and took some pictures during her Grow Meadville summer. A few were published on MeadvilleCalendar.com and shared on MeadvilleCalendar’s Facebook page.
Her Grow Meadville videos caught the eye of Community Coordinator Lee Scandinaro, who is a shared employee of The Arc of Crawford County, Crawford County System of Care, and Meadville Neighborhood Center. Scandinaro offered her the media maker position, a paid gig that will involve Meadville youth doing creative things.
“I get to make videos about whatever I want — as long as it’s kind of related to Meadville and it’s kind of related to the youth of Meadville,” Senna said. “The point is really to get the youth of Meadville more involved in a way that they want to do it — in a creative way.”
Scandinaro, who has worked for years to involve Meadville teens in the community, is excited about the point of view that Senna will provide.
“Senna’s videos have the right mix of fun, thoughtfulness, and visual appeal,” Scandinaro said. “She is a talented and passionate public servant, and we are so lucky to have her!”
Along with focusing on Meadville area teens, Senna hopes to make videos of things around town that people don’t hear much about.
One of her most recent video projects is on the Environmentally Conscious Organization of People at Meadville Area Senior High, or ECO People. That group of teens most recently spent some time renovating the MASH garden space in order to make the school more environmentally friendly.
“In the future, I have so many ideas,” she said.
MeadvilleCalendar Director Jason Sakal is ready to share those ideas with the public via Senna’s videos.
“It’s important to see our community through the eyes of our youth,” Sakal said. “Working with them brings a fresh perspective to MeadvilleCalendar. We want to use our platform to showcase and promote local media makers.”
Senna is ready to hit the streets and press record.
“I’m very excited about this position,” Senna said. “I think it’s kind of perfect for me because it’s like exactly what I want to do. Basically, I want to make film. I haven’t really had the opportunity to do that in this kind of context.”
She’s also excited to include interviews in her future videos, something she hasn’t done much of previously.
“I think it’s really good practice for me and a very good position,” Senna said. “It’s pretty cool.”