I Saw the Children Gather
50 Years of Summer at Harand Camp
What is the film about?
The significant impact of Harand Camp on thousands of lives.
Harand was significant in my development and I know it has been for thousands of others. This year alone, there were children who came to camp to escape their world at home. For those few weeks, they gain something they don't get anywhere else in their lives and it lasts them not only throughout the year, but for the rest of their lives.
This teaching model has been successful for 50 years.
There are all sorts of new ideas about education. Our society and our school systems are continually searching for the best way to reach our young people. Harand Camp is able to reach children that others fail to reach. How do they do it? How can they take children with no theatrical training whatsoever and put them on a stage; have them singing, dancing and learning over 100 songs in less than 3 weeks? It's a miracle to see. It's also a miracle to see the pride in a child's face after this achievement.
We pay tribute and honor to the Harand family for years of service to children.
The family has certainly not gotten rich from running a summer camp. Their values are firmly rooted in the socialist, humanist beliefs they were raised with, that people, culture, education mean more than money. They have never taken anything for themselves and yet they have given so much of their hearts, their love, and their home to every single person that ever crossed their doors. That deserves some recognition.
Human values are not lost in our modern culture.
I believe that this place, this little village, like "Brigadoon", appears every summer for a few weeks and disappears again is perhaps salvation in this dangerous world. Children leave this place with a stronger sense of themselves in the world, with the knowledge that they can do things they couldn't do before, with a sense of social consciousness, with a life-line to a safe place that they know is always waiting for their return.
Having spent the past few months back among the Harand family, I have found that more than ever, it is the time to do a film about these people and this place. For me, it is profoundly moving that after all these years, they have taken me back into their lives and their hearts so completely and unconditionally.
I believe that this film will have an appeal for any audience: anyone who likes kids, has kids, or is a kid, anyone who loves the American songbook, anyone who has found a place like this, and anyone who is searching for a place like this.
What I can't express in writing are the amazing people behind this project; not only the campers but the counselors, 24 wonderful young adults; a staff that have been with the camp for over 20 years; and the family that keeps the dream alive.