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Catskill, New York
Local culture
9 October 2018 10:39AM
G.E. Fox

Its me, Devon Gaillard again… remember me? I met that nice lady at the Catskill Community Center; she gave me an opportunity I couldn’t give up. I’m writing with G.E. Fox for IMBY magazine. Who’s G.E. Fox? Find out about that later in my upcoming articles, in the meantime, here’s what happened…

Cassidy told me about the pop up shop. First it was an idea. Now, here it is, in progress.

We’re looking for other people, such as Cassidy, to mentor the youth. People like me even – 14, first year of high school, and I’m ready to be a Junior Mentor with Camp Now so we can all finally do something about this crazy world we’re living in.

The pop up shop (called “Camp Now: Find Your Gift”) is a mix of coffee/snack/tea house, tiny theater, and gift shop, but… it’s also, a big sculpture you can step inside of! The whole thing is what my mentors call, “an arts cooperative model experiment that supports Community Centers, artists, students, and educational programming.” To me, Camp Now is a place where teens can come and hangout with other teens, and if interested, can find mentors to pursue their dreams or wishes; to me, it’s is a place where I can come and be myself, express my hobbies and don’t have to worry about being judged.

It’s all a work in progress. You can come see the artists and some of us who are working to build it, on October 10th, 4:00 – 6 PM at 344 Main Street, Catskill, NY 12414.

The Pop Up building process will be officially open to the public starting November 11th and will run until the night of December 12th, but the main Holiday Market will be up and running, starting Dec 13th – Dec 23rd.

This is about being made to feel like we matter, about giving youth access to a space that can be theirs. They feel like they have a meaning at the pop up.

I want you to know how great the pop up is going to be and how it is going to impact our community. This isn’t just one story, this is a series of stories about our community creating reality, about, Crealitation – how you can turn an idea, a thought, into something real.

I came to writing this article from my heart and for the community. A strong community is important because it’s the people you grow up around that influence you and inspire you to become greater than you already are. Camp Now is a very big step for our community.

See you on the 10th and I’ll explain more in person. Meanwhile, here are a few pictures that my journalism mentor, G.E. Fox, took, and some pieces of conversations that I’ve been having with some of the people making this project happen.

Until next time, I’m signing off. I’ll be working to get you a new story every week from now until Camp Now Pop Up ends on December 23rd. I’ll be collecting all kinds of interviews and tales from mentors and students as I go. Reporting on the Evolution with Fox as my guide, reminding us all that in the end, it’s about what’s happening Now.

- Devon

Roman, 14, Student/Junior Mentor Interview 10/8/18

Where did you hear about the pop up shop?
So I heard about the pop up shop from you, because I’m an artist, I draw and I paint, and I was told if I came and involved myself I would be able to get a mentor who would help me with my art, because I plan on at least majoring in art at some point in my life, so the thought f having a mentor who has already gone through that entire process and can teach me about it just makes me excited.

What do you know so far about the program?
So far I know I can come, and I can sign up and I can be matched with a mentor who can help me spread my skills further and learn how to grow my people skills. I also know that it’s a fundraiser basically and the money that is going to be raised, will be given to the artist who are selling the stuff and it will also be given to the community center, helping them, and basically just promoting some of the local businesses too so they can grow their popularity and gain some revenue.

Are you excited?
Very excited.

Why?
Because I’m going to get a mentor an I’m going to be able to build my skills and they’ll be able to help me learn to do things I like to do already but from a different perspective and on a different level.

Since this I your first time here do you think it going pretty good so far?
I do like what I see, I like the idea of helping teens grow their skills and I like the idea of supporting the local businesses because I know many people with businesses around here and I know they could always use extra help, and I honestly love the idea of getting myself out there.

Stephanie, Mentor interview 10/7/18

How did you hear about Camp now?
I heard about Camp Now when I was at the ‘RIP Awakening’ opening with Matt Bua at the top of Main Street. I didn’t really know what it was at that time but I knew there was something happening, so. I thought it was pretty cool when I checked it out. I’m trying to remember I think that someone mentioned me to Cassidy, I think he told her about my costume workshop, which is how she decided to ask me if I could be involved with Hope’s learning about sewing.

Are you excited for the presentation on the 10th?
I am, I won’t be able to be there because of my work schedule but I really excited about what Cassidy is trying to do in Catskill, there are a lot of amazing young people in Catskill, I feel they deserve to be acknowledged -they all mean something.

Why do you think we need camp Now in our community?
Because I think its really nice that its being recognized that these young people have very brilliant and ready minds, they really want to be given their respect or their challenge, and I think that’s really fantastic. I feel like it’s a very natural way for people to develop a sense of ownership for their community, you know if your community never reaches out to you and says “HEY, you’re a part of something here” then you might not feel a need to do anything positive in your community but if you feel like your community or a place that desires you and your input, I feel like it’s a natural beginning of a path that will be really, really great for young people. The community can only benefit by people feeling good, developing self-confidence, developing more skills, and feeling like it’s a good place to be. A lot of the times teenagers are like “Well this is where I am”, here instead Camp now is trying to offer “Well, this is where you are, but did you know you can still expand your horizon, you can still be involved in something exciting?”

From your understanding what services can Camp Now provide.
Well, I really hope that the mentor program can be documented well enough that it can be replicated. I hope that it can be an ongoing thing. One of the most important things is the mentor program. It’s a good thing in the Community that people can realize that money isn’t the only thing you can trade—you can trade skills, your time, etc.

How do you think that Camp Now is Progressing so far and do you think they are going in the right path?
Very good question Devon, well I feel like it is showing some progress. I feel that so far it is quite a complex thing to take on here, but I feel like some progress is being made, there are some connections being made, people re encouraged to help one another, it is going towards a good direction. I like that documentation is a really big part of it, without documentation it would be really hard to keep track of what’s happening and it would be very impossible to replicate it or show evidence of what good things we are providing for our community.

Hope, 14, Student/Junior Mentor Interview

How do you feel about the pop up shop?
The pop up shop I think is great but it needs work.

Are you excited for the pop up shop?
Yes

How did you hear about the pop up shop?
Well when I first came to the community center Cassidy told me about it and she was very excited about it.

How do you think the pop up shop is going to have an effect on our community?
I think a lot of teenagers would love the idea of a pop up shop and find it a more productive way to hang out and chill-out with other teenagers.

Do you think that the pop up shop is going to be successful?
Yes I do think it is going to be successful because if I saw the pop up shop I would probably love to hangout there like I don’t know about Catskill but in Saugerties there’s not a lot of places for teenagers and kids to hangout other than walking around town and stuff, and Catskill’s a small town and I know there’s not a lot of places for them to hangout so I think that teenagers would love to hangout there and I think it will be very successful.

Do you think the pop up shop is going into a good direction?
Yeah it’s going into a good direction, it can go really fast or really slow.

What is the pop up shop to you?
The pop up shop to me is a place you can go if your bored, or a place you can go to talk to people, if your having a hard time.

What age group do you think the pop up shop would best attract?
I’d say 11 to maybe 17, 18.

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