John Martin

laughing through grad school
(academic stuff) (hints of life beyond
school and work)
(Flying Moose videos, photos, stories, etc.) (observations)

Problem Definition/Description and Instructional Goal

The instructional problem I will address this semester is multifaceted -- revolving around my role as Assistant Director at Flying Moose Lodge (FML). Since 1993, I've helped run a wilderness canoe camp for boys, in Maine. Established in 1921, the camp has been the summer project of the director and his family for going on three generations. During the school year, Harrie III, then Harrie IV, and now Shelly Price worked in the schools, and spent what little time they had preparing for the next season of summer camp. Due partly to the amount of time they had to devote to the administration of the camp during the school year, there are many areas of camp that are less organized than they could be.

In this class I would like to address some of the needs of camp that would be served through the types of projects assigned. More specifically, there is always a mad rush for to get campers and counselors because FML traditionally advertises through word of mouth (and lately through tiny ads in the back of Backpacker magazine. My goal is to put together a campaign themed around the phrase Summer in Maine, comprising of the following components:

Assignment 1: a one page promotional flyer geared primarily toward male outdoor educators, but not to exclude anyone else who might read it and be interested in the FML experience for a boy in their life. The flyer would be posted in Schools of Education to attract Education students for summer employment, and posted at outdoor recreation equipment stores to attract the more skilled adventurers. We've found that in a mixed crew, the skills and knowledge of the educators and adventurers tend to intermingle and jigsaw with the others' knowledge and skills. The flyer should initially catch the eye of the target audience, then provide enough description to lure targets to the website. Traditional contact information will also be provided for those without Internet access.

Assignment 2: a presentational PowerPoint slideshow, initially designed as a component of a summer job fair recruitment display but ideally (eventually) developed into a Flash presentation for the FML website. The goal of this component is to present the beauty and romance of FML through large displays of lush pictures (some of which will be retouched in the near future), and simple captions that mimic and build on those in the flyer. Upon completion of this piece, the viewer should have elevated blood pressure and a burning desire to Summer in Maine. The website address will be featured on the slideshow, but since this is a component that will be presented as part of a larger display, other contact details would only detract from its effectiveness.

Assignment 3: a presentational video of "a day in the life" at FML -- again, as a component of a summer job fair recruitment display, but eventually to be streamed on the FML website. The one-minute length is appropriate for both a job fair venue, where browsing time is limited, and for an online presentation, where download size is an important factor. FML currently has a more in-depth 15-minute promotional video that we send out to prospective campers, and while it was good for 1985, it tends to spend a lot of time on winter ice-cutting (off-season preparation for the ice cream the kids hand-crank each week during the summer from ice-housed ice from the lake). The aim of my video will be to capture the romance of the camp and spin it in with the adventure of day-to-day life. This too will feature the web address, but since it is a component that will be presented as part of a larger display, contact details would only detract from its effectiveness.

Assignment 4: An FML website initially to supplement the existing professionally done site; perhaps later to subsume it. The nature of the site would be two-fold: promotional and informational. The promotional component, geared to potential campers and their sponsors, would largely be composed of the slideshow and short video, with a few pages of textual description to accompany them. The informational component would help prepare registered campers for FML by conveying to them what to bring and what to expect when they get to FML (a perennial problem is that campers come prepared for little more than a slumber party)