GIRL SPEAK: Wilderness Adventure Photography Camp – GS Destinations

Our ATS instructors (left to right) Nick, Tiffany, Christine on top, and Lindsay in the Bear Box at Yosemite
Our ATS instructors (left to right) Nick, Tiffany, Christine on top, and Lindsay in the Bear Box at Yosemite

By Avery

This week-long camp not only taught me about the art of photography, and the joys of travel, but I got to experience this all with girls just like me; together we grew as photographers, individuals, and women. Every day was a new adventure for me, we learned, explored, and took countless photos of it all.

The girls and I with our cameras entering Yosemite :) (GSSGC Girl Scout Avery front row, far left)
The girls and I with our cameras entering Yosemite 🙂 (GSSGC Girl Scout Avery front row, far left)

It all started on June 6, 2014 when I was faced with my first test, flying by myself for the first time to get to Sacramento. This was only the beginning, in the following days we were challenged to do many other difficult, yet necessary, tasks; whether it was setting up a six person tent or having to wake up at 4:00am to photograph the stunning sunrise over Mono Lake.

Each day represented something exciting to do and experience. Some of my favorites being: learning how to finally properly use my camera, spending an afternoon at Bodie Ghost Town, all cramming into the trailer to eat tacos because of the rain, hiking trails up and down Yosemite’s enormous rock mountains/slabs, making it to the summit of Vernal Falls (which has a 1,000ft elevation), visiting an Ansell Adams Gallery, and – of course – expanding my skills as a photographer and sharing all these incredible experiences with my girls.

Looking back now, I cannot really say that there was a specific singular event that was my favorite, because honestly, the entire trip as a whole was unquestionably one of the best experiences in my life. Hiking, climbing, and being able to reach the top of Verna Falls did stand out to me personally. The trail was 2.4 miles roundtrip and had a 1,000 foot elevation. It was one of the most difficult physical challenges I have ever set myself to.

Many times after reaching the top of a set of rock stairs only to look up to see another cluster of unyielding stones, I felt like I couldn’t keep going. With the support and encouraging atmosphere though, I and everyone else, made it to the top. This was the first time every person in the group had conquered the falls in all the years of this particular ATS camp. We were all just so proud and ecstatic to be a part of such an accomplishment. In the end, it was the accomplishment more than any of the photos I had taken up there that put the smile on my face the whole way back down and the remainder of the day.

I will remember this experience forever and was able to bring home with me new artistic skills and styles, life changing memories, forever friends who I am still keeping in touch with today and so much more! From this camp, I have also found a newfound love of travel and exploring the outdoors.

Thank you for helping me to be a part of such a wonderful program and adventure. I am still expanding my photography talents and with my new knowledge and respect for this art I can keep doing so in the future.

Photography by Avery Lee.

Wilderness Adventure Photography Camp: June 6-12, 2014

Spend a week learning the art of photography with professional outdoor photographers. A fast-paced journey through the Eastern Sierra of California will produce stunning photos to last a lifetime!

Come join up to 11 other Girl Scouts to learn the art of wilderness photography. After landing in Sacramento, we’ll travel southeast into the Sierras to hone our craft. Starting in Yosemite, we’ll make our way through the famous valley and its huge granite cliffs, then off to domes of Tuolumne, the ghost town of Bodie, and the haunting tufa towers at Mono Lake.

This is an intensive program for a girl interested in photography or who wants to become a professional photographer.

Part of GSUSA Destinations:  More destinations available!


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