In this episode we are going to look a wonderful story from Powhatan, Virginia. It is about a group of high school students who participated in a Veterans Video History Camp. The story came from The Richmond Times-Dispatch and was titled: Students film veteran documentaries and submitted by Laura McFarland News Editor, Lmcfarland@powhatantoday.com
The story first perked this writer’s attention with its location which was not far from Fort lee, Virginia where I spent two enjoyable assignments back in the 60’s. The story location was not far from the city of Richmond which is a history fan’s treasure trove of historical markers.
The camp was headed up by Meredith Perry, an instructional specialist in history and social science. It was held at Powhatan High School , where the students learned the basics of interviewing and filming. In addition to learning the techniques of producing interviews they were given historical background on the wars in which the interviewed veterans served. Rob Ritchie, a military historian, provided two days of instruction for the students. Mason Mills, senior producer/director for Community Idea Station provided technical instruction at the camp.
10 students participated in the camp. Each student 15 veterans, whose experiences ranged from World War II to the Iraq War and the times in between. The students were responsible for editing their own videos and organizing presentations and video history screenings.
The camp results were phenomenal. The students felt the experience was highly valuable because they not only learned interviewing skills but they were able to put them to use in a meaningful project.
The camp leader, Meredith Perry, said this about the effort: “I was pleased with how the entire camp went, but I was most impressed with how the students used what they learned in the beginning of the first week when they were interacting with the veterans during the interviews.
They were dressed professionally. They treated the veterans with respect and admiration. It was phenomenal from the first Monday, when they came not having done formal interviews, to Thursday stepping back and watching the kids not only with the camera work they had to do but with the interviews. The veterans were very impressed with the kids.”