Arriving in Mukwonago in 1994, as a bright-eyed eight-year-old kid, I had no idea what was in store. No clue about the friends I’d make, the songs we’d sing, and how my sense of self would forever be shaped by my time there.

After my first summer, I could no longer imagine a year without camp. Each and every summer, I loved the stories. The deep belly laughs. Rocking on the Blue Swing, talking about everything and nothing at all. After 9 summers of being a camper and then a counselor, I was pumped for my 10th year, which ultimately…never came. Instead, I moved to LA for an internship with NBC Universal, working with The Tonight Show. A dream come true, but bittersweet as Beber entered my rear view mirror, getting further and further away as each camp-less summer passed.

I hustled in LA for 10 amazing/fun/challenging years, moving up the career ladder in the entertainment industry. After working at Conan and the Game Show Network, I fell in love with video production. My friends and I built a company called Maker Studios, later to be acquired by The Walt Disney Company, positioning me as a Disney exec. It was all happening so fast, and I was loving every second of it. I then teamed up with Elisabeth Murdoch at Vertical Networks, to develop franchises and create original programming for Snapchat, all while still suffering from a Beber-shaped hole in my Brett-sized heart. My life was 90% work and 10% deep breaths. Earlier this year, my husband and I decided to finally leave LA in search of something greater. We moved to the Chicago burbs to take stock of our lives before embarking on our next journey: building a tiny house and documenting our travels.

Heading back to the Midwest meant I would be closer to camp again. Much closer. Several weeks and e-mails later, I was offered the exciting opportunity to be an artist-in-residence at Beber, which I proudly and promptly accepted. I spent this past summer helping oversee the movie-making hobby in both their curriculum and production.

I am awestruck at the sharp minds and creative people I got the chance to work with, campers and counselors alike. Seriously. Kids these days are, like…gifted. They’re passionate, tuned in and hungry to learn. Some campers were perfectly happy just being silly and acting on camera (which they 100% nailed). Others, though, wanted to know everything. These kids showed real promise, asking pointed questions about production, editing, and careers in the industry. At their age, I dedicated most of my time to thinking about chocolate and when I would get to have some. Meanwhile, grown-up Brett just lost 100 pounds, but that’s a story for another time. So, what I’m saying is…

Beber Parents: your kids are all very interesting and I’m still impressed by their positive attitudes and creative thought processes.

Beber Staff: your friendliness, patience, and resource-filled hobbies keep camp going. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And thanks for welcoming me back 🙂

 

Brett Lemick is a Beber Alumni, and we are very happy to have him back in the Midwest (for the time being)! Thanks for all of your amazing support this summer, Brett! You can see videos from this summer’s Movie Making Hobby on the Beber Camp YouTube Channel.