Organising Camp Lost 2023: An interview with project manager Noah van Staverden
09/25/2023 - 08:36
- Student work
Can you describe the project that you worked on?
Noah: ’Certainly! Camp Lost is the introduction festival for the Academy for Games and Media consisting of three bachelor programmes at Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUas): Creative Media & Game Technologies, Creative Business, Applied Data Science & AI. It is an exciting and immersive experience designed to introduce our new students to BUas and one another. We aim to create an atmosphere where they feel welcome, with a sense of mutual respect. To get to know each other, the city Breda, the academy and, a place to have fun!’
Can you tell us about the journey that led you to your role as project manager?
Noah: ‘My journey to become project manager for Camp Lost began when I first attended the event as a freshman in 2019. I was immediately captivated by the organisation and thought to myself, "I'd love to be a part of this someday". So, I started networking with people from the organisation, learning about their paths, and how they got involved.’
‘I strategically planned my third year of studies to align with the goal of organising Camp Lost. I joined the events organisation team at Production House of the Media programme and applied for the position of volunteer manager at Camp Lost in February 2022. In September of the same year, I applied for the role of project manager for the 2023 edition.’
Could you walk us through the process of organising Camp Lost?
Noah: 'The process of organising Camp Lost is extensive and involves various phases. We review the previous year's edition, identify areas for improvement, and outline our goals for the upcoming event. In February, we began assembling the team.’
This year's Camp Lost team consisted of:
- Noah van Staverden - project manager
- Jens van Loenen - sponsor and entertainment manager
- Emi van Oskamp - sponsor and entertainment manager
- Milo Verhaar - volunteer and marketing manager
- Maud van der Aa - production manager
- Tom van Appel - facility manager
The supervisor and accountable one of the project is lecturer Sabrina Uytenbogaart.
‘Once the team is in place, we dive into the concept development, where we define the story, theme, design its logo, and plan shows and decorations. This phase includes brainstorming sessions to foster creativity and relevance. Simultaneously, in April and May, we begin recruiting volunteers, conducting interviews, and making selections. Sponsorship efforts also commence during this period as we reach out to potential sponsors and form partnerships.’
‘Throughout this process, we attended masterclasses by lecturers such as Oscar Bastiaens (transmedia storytelling), Mathijs van der Kroft (marketing) and Thomas Buijtenweg (games). By May, we begin strategising how to incorporate themes into videos for marketing and during the event itself. Additionally, we collaborate with Cultief. Cultief consists out of volunteers who support us in executing the festival. They lead the technology in the right direction. Entailing set construction, lighting and sound engineering, scaffolding, interactive LED- and video installations. Together we produce the outcome of the festival.’
‘Our team keeps the momentum going with weekly meetings, ensuring everyone stays aligned with their respective responsibilities. As summer approaches, we intensify our preparations. This includes organising a volunteer gathering, finalising entertainment-, facility-, production arrangements, and ensuring everything is in place for the festival. In June and July, we compile a list of all accepted participants, sending emails and making calls to first-year students who have not signed up yet. We asked if they would like to join.’
‘One week before the event, we focus on final preparations and troubleshooting, making sure every detail is in place. We transport everything to the event location in Ulvenhout. A few days in advance, we begin setting up and transforming the festival grounds into Camp Lost with the help of volunteers.’
‘On Tuesday afternoon at 13:00, the gates open, and the freshmen arrive. That is when it all starts. I remember thinking how beautiful this moment was, the result of months of challenging work. We did it! We welcomed 320 freshmen to Camp Lost this year.’
What are your favourite memories of Camp Lost 2023?
Noah: 'The barbecue on Thursday was fantastic and went very smoothly. We had a great DJ, many lecturers joined in, everyone came together. It was a delightful gathering, offering a moment of respite for the organisation to enjoy. The weather also cooperated. Afterward, we had the traditional playback show, which was reflecting the enjoyment everyone encountered while participating Camp Lost.'
'On Friday, Arnoud gave a closing speech during the final show. He thanked everyone, including us, the Camp Lost team. It was the moment of recognition for what we had accomplished, and the freshmen also witnessed it. We all stood on the stage, and everyone was applauding and singing along with the anthem. It was a moment of realisation that we had succeeded. They were leaving, and everyone had a great time. We pulled it off.’
What are your future plans following the completion of this project?
Noah: ‘My passion lies in becoming an executive producer for films, series, and events, particularly in live production. I envision a career where I'm involved in the organisational aspects of television and events, working on a project-by-project basis. Camp Lost has been a unique experience because it brings together elements from these various fields you learn in the Creative Business programme, making it a valuable learning opportunity.’
‘Right now, I am focussing on my graduation project. I am writing a thesis, where I try to answer the question: “How can the Camp Lost introduction festival deal with media psychology of stereotyping within their marketing, so that partakers feel welcome and able to express their gender identity?”’
Connect with Noah on LinkedIn to stay updated on her professional journey and future endeavours.