Age: 18 years
Location: 13th street
“Well one of the happiest times in my whole life was, um, when I was 16 years old, I was a councilor in training at a camp I had gone to since I was in the 4th grade, and out of 200 campers I was the only one to win the, um, the Little Chief Award. To win the award, you stay a month at camp, and you have to complete a service project and make signs, um, and have that, the… I don’t know what they are called- they are like qualities, so they said: caring, honesty, respect responsibility”
“Like those badges?”
“Um, no they are like, signs on a path, like up to, um, where the award was given and its called like the council ring and its like a Native American based tradition and its kind of like, there’s a stage and different, like, tribes that sit in different places like in a semi circle around and it’s kind of like an amphitheater in a way. Um, and then in front of you there’s like a fire that’s like 15 feet tall like a tepee fire and halfway through the ceremony like, it falls and all the little kids freak out like, ‘Oh my god, the fire just fell!’ but going back to getting the award, I was thinking about what the final day of my 4 months there- I mean 4 weeks there, I was like freaking out, I was like: ‘oh my god, I might not be able to do this, but I have been working on doing it the whole time”, and then like once they called my name, I was like I started crying and I walked up there and got like, I guess just like the recognition. And they put on the native feather hat and everyone was dressed as the Native Americans but they had just dressed in their sheets and made it into a dress and like have face paint on.
Another part of getting the award is to spend 24 hours in the woods and, um, lets see, you only get: a sleeping bag, a water bottle, 2 granola bars, a whistle, a journal, a pen and a matchbox, and you have to make a fire and a shelter. I collected wood for like 3 hours because I was like, ‘ I have to make a one match fire and get this done.”
“You get only one match?”
“Well you get a whole pack of matches, but my goal was to use only one match. So I collected a bunch of cedar and different sized wood and put little piles lined up and then I finally like made my fire and that was also like one of the happiest moments because I got it done. It’s like something I’ve been working towards since I first went to camp, like the first year. If you look up to these older kids and you’re like ‘wow I want to be a councilor one day’ and so that’s probably like one of the happiest moments.”
When i first heard the story, the one aspect of it that jumped right through was the part where she said she had to spend the entire night in the woods surviving on those limited supplies. I wanted to recreate that same ambience so that i could try to portray the same experience of fear as well as self exploration, as she tried to do something she had never done before. I chose to represent this part of the story during the night time so i could recreate the feeling of fear by using the darkness associated with night. This visual aspect of my box also happens to be the link between my neighboring box, Box no.12. Since the story revolves around a Native American themed camp, i have tried to include certain aspects of native american design, in terms of their symbols. Red ,Blue, Yellow and Black are the colors common in their culture and i have tried to include that in my designs. This choice of colors happens to be the link to my second neighboring box, box no.11.
Native American Culture was the main source of inspiration for me when making this box and i have tired to make it quite obvious by using certain elements present in their culture, such as the use of feathers, symbols (imagery) and designs.