Indian Lake Central School
The newly formed Indian Lake Community Development Corporation is challenging middle and high school students with a video contest that will be used to market the town to visitors and people who are looking to relocate to the Adirondack Park.
Moreover, members of the Community Development Corporation Board are hoping that some of the students may think about settling down in their hometown after participating in this project.
“One of the things we’ve agonized over is young people grow up and leave because they don’t see any opportunities in the North Country, so we saw this as a way in which to build interest and see what the potential was in the Adirondacks for our future,” said Sally Stanton, chairwoman of the Indian Lake Community Development Corporation, which was formed from the Indian Lake Planning Committee in December 2012.
Stanton has seen enough children raised in Indian Lake and move away; she taught middle school math and English for 34 years at Indian Lake Central.
The Adirondack Park Regional Assessment Project (APRAP) report of 2009 showed that the population in the Adirondack Park is aging:
“Park residents average just under 43 years of age, older than any state for median age. By 2020, only the west coast of Florida will exceed the Adirondacks as the oldest region in America.”
That’s troublesome for town leaders, and Stanton hopes this video contest could help reverse the trend.
“That’s our hope, and that’s looking down the road, but we have to start somewhere,” Stanton said.
The theme of the video contest is “Live, Work, and Play in the Adirondacks.” That’s a theme many chambers of commerce — such as the one in Tupper Lake — have adopted to attract people to their communities. And that’s what Stanton’s group is looking to do.
“Certainly it’s a great marketing tool, but it’s also a way for kids to take a closer look at exactly what and who are here,” Stanton said.
After a committee judges the contest in the spring, Stanton hopes to use the winning video to promote the town of Indian Lake, possibly attracting families to relocate here.
The video could be featured on the school, chamber of commerce and town websites. It could be shown before feature films at the Indian Lake Theater.
The videos should be 1-2 minutes, basically a commercial. The standards are high; organizers want this to be a professional piece. And, the subject can be about the school or an aspect of the town.
“For individuals, that can be very different,” Stanton said.
Some may want to produce a video on hunting or fishing. Others may choose the hockey club or music program. In any case, there must be a “wow” factor.
“It leaves it open to whatever the student has been affected by,” Stanton said.
Indian Lake Central School Media Specialist (librarian) George DeChant has listed the contest rules on the library section of the school’s website. He’s been offering technical assistance to students, especially those in his “Wiki to Wacky” class, which has segments on the Internet and multimedia.
“It was perfect for me to teach the kids how to use the camera with the intentions of maybe doing a movie like this,” DeChant said.
Other teachers have been assigning the contest to their students. Music teacher Jason Dora, for example, is working with students in his video class.
Plus, the school is bringing in outside help from video professionals to provide assistance, training, fundamentals and theory to prep students for this contest. One camera was purchased specifically for this contest.
School board president Jon Voorhees — who has video experience — visited the school to show students about video techniques and how to tell stories through different camera angles. He used the famous 1979 Mean Joe Green Coca-Cola commercial as an example.
The school is providing hardware and software. And DeChant is showing students how to use the video cameras and how to tell a story.
“We’re hoping the kids realize some of the fun things to do here and they can make a nice little commercial about the area,” said DeChant, who is also a member of the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Students, however, may be more interested in the prize money than sharing their creativity. But that’s OK, according to DeChant. The $500 cash prize — funded by an anonymous donor interested in the economic development of the community — is great motivation, DeChant said, and it shows students that they can get paid for their creative efforts.
Who knows, it may even lead to a career opportunity.
“Personally, I think they’re going to learn how to tell a story, something they wouldn’t have had to do before,” DeChant said “and take a look at where they live and enjoy it, appreciate what they’ve got, because this is a good place to live ... Sometimes it’s good to look at the trees and not just kind of see the forest.”
Indian Lake video contest
The “Live, Work, and Play in the Adirondacks” video contest is sponsored by the Indian Lake Planning Committee (Indian Lake Community Development Corporation).
It is a student competition to develop a media presentation titled “My Indian Lake Experience with Successful Leaders” for the Internet websites in Indian Lake. There is a $500 cash prize for the winning entry.
•Choose a great program or experience which has been a “WOW.” Was it camping? A museum visit? An Art Center activity? A rewarding school or town program? Think “How do I wish to promote my community?”
•Use media via graphics, photography, and a presentation of a scripted interview to design “My Indian Lake Experience with Successful Leaders.”
•May be an individual or team entry
•Must be completed and submitted to www.ilcsd.org by Friday, April 5, 2013
•Eligibility: Indian Lake Central School students 6th-12th grades
Criteria for judging
•Is the design modern, creative, and fresh?
•Does the design demonstrate true spirited community pride?
•Does the design use new ideas, concepts, and methods to promote Indian Lake?
•Does the use of media and interviewing present a unique expression and imagination?
•Does it provide a vehicle to attract new private sector jobs and residents to our community?
•Video is to be 1 to 2 minutes long.
•All materials in the video are used with permission.