Inspiration through the lens

Throughout LEAD 2016 I was fortunate to have a unique view of the week, and the incredible energy that filled the camp. As I sit here in Toronto going through all the smiling faces and funny moments we captured on film, I can’t help but reflect on the impact each of you have made on my life.

I have worked for the Award for just over three years now, and most of that time has been planning and strategizing different ways to promote the Award. In those three years I have never felt as inspired as I am now after spending a week with each of you.

In the days leading up to our week at LEAD, I didn’t know what to expect. Yes we had our objectives of what we wanted to film and bring back with us, but I truly had no idea how the week would play out. Then we started filming and both Alisha and I realized that what we wanted to showcase wasn’t just seven days at camp, but the energy each of you brought with you.

Now how can one describe this energy we all felt? We can’t, it’s one of those feelings that you can’t put words to, that makes you warm inside and always brings a smile to your face. This is what I felt every minute of every day for seven days. And this is what my focus of the week became.

I started thinking to myself, how am I going to bring the emotions and positive energy from LEAD and showcase that on film? Turns out I didn’t have to think much on it because what we were already filming was doing exactly that. Each of you were conveying that energy with one another, in the way you supported and encouraged one another. I don’t know how many stories of “I was afraid to try this like super afraid, but my friends helped me conquer that fear” I kept hearing each day.

Each of you made my job real easy, all I had to do was point the camera and press record (well it’s a little more complex than that) and you guys did the rest.

Now looking back through all the footage we gathered, my biggest take away is the fact that you guys made my job super easy. However, not in the sense of not having to work as hard, but the simple fact that you guys were there for each other and how naturally that came to all of you. Each of you share one incredible quality that not many people do. The drive and determination to push yourselves and your peers to become the best you can be.

Each of you have inspired me to really push myself more than I have been. To really throw myself into situations I wouldn’t be comfortable in and to push beyond my own boundaries to realize my own potential. You guys are family and have created a moment in my life that will always stay with me and I thank each of you for that.

I am truly inspired and humbled by the stories you’ve shared and the memories we created together. Just know we all have to leave to come back, and I am sure we will all cross paths again.

Forever grateful,

Andrew