The First Day of WJMC in D.C.
The first day of camp (Washington Journalism and Media Conference) was the most inspirational, welcoming experience I have had in a very long time. Everyone here is so kind, and I was greeted with hugs from strangers. Some people connected over social media prior to this week, but they were still open to adding people into their online chat and connecting with new people. The funny/sad thing that happened on Sunday, opening day, was that I ran into another girl at the airport who is also here for WJMC, and we decided to walk to the meeting place together. On the way there, we stopped by the bathroom, and when we finally made it to the designated location, the leader informed us that we just missed the shuttle by TWO minutes! So we had to wait an hour and a half for the next and final shuttle going to campus. Which means that when we arrived, we had ten minutes to put our luggage in our rooms, change into professional clothes, and make it back downstairs in time for dinner. We also missed the campus tour and the welcome activities, but dinner was amazing, and we were able to listen to the very experienced Jamie Smith, the Global Chief Communications Officer of The BitFury Group.
Today, Monday, has been a very busy day. Breakfast starts at 7 a.m. and we met with our color groups at 8. From there we loaded the buses and headed to the Newseum, where we explored the various floors for hours. Not only was it educational, it was also extremely enjoyable. Everything there was so fascinating, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting D.C. However, some floors would not be the best for a younger audience due to the graphic images and stories. After reading countless headlines, browsing the Pulitzer Prize winning photography, and going through hands-on simulations, it was, unfortunately, time to go. But we had the chance to listen to Eric Felten, the Managing Editor of The Weekly Standard, and then go get dinner. I could have stayed at the Newseum the rest of the day, but I also had a wonderful time visiting the Lincoln Memorial and the World War II Memorial (both pictured below) around dusk. The interesting obstacle of the evening occurred at the White House where were rushed off the street by the police. It was chaotic as they maneuvered us towards the sidewalk on the other side of the street and directed us to leave. They said that the street was now closed and we were to make our way to H Street. It was not easy to corral nearly 300 National Youth Correspondents away from this historic attraction, but somehow we managed. I’m not exactly sure what happened that caused us to leave, but I plan on researching it more when I have some free time (who knows when that will be though).
So as you can probably tell, today has been a very eventful day, but I have had such a superb time so far. The wifi is pretty slow, so it may be difficult to upload my personal accounts of the week, but trust me, it will happen when I get the opportunity. The mornings may be the best time to check for updates.
I am an aspiring photographer, writer, and adventurer. I love the outdoors and I love to tell a great story with pictures!