Camp Jabberwocky continues to be a source of pure positivity for the Vineyard community after taking its own approach to socially distanced Fourth of July festivities.
Normally, Jabberwocky puts on an incredible show for the parade that happens every year in Edgartown — with the community usually donning elaborate homemade costumes, playing instruments, or dancing.
This year, although there was no big parade or fireworks, Jabberwocky took it upon themselves to create a virtual experience that included anyone from the Jabberwocky community who wanted to take part.
Last year, the camp wowed the crowd as they traveled down Main Street dressed as mermaids, seahorses, and fish for an under-the-sea themed parade. This year, folks made their own mini video clips that were compiled into one fun video to be shared with the Island community.
According to the development director at Jabberwocky, Kelsey Cosby, the camp wanted to keep some of the main events that they normally hold annually, and knew early on that a virtual alternative to an in-person parade would be a good way to get people involved and connect with one another. “We thought a parade video would be cool because everyone can just do their own thing and express themselves in any way they want,” Cosby said.
The theme for the video compilation was superheroes, and the Jabberwocky community went all in to dress up as their favorite Marvel and DC superheroes, while many dressed up as everyday superheroes, like doctors and nurses.
Longtime camp counselor and Island drummer Rick Bausman put together a drum loop of him playing a common parade beat that he would normally play for the Fourth of July, and sent it out to the entire Jabberwocky community. They then put on their costumes and danced their hearts out in front of the camera. Others decided to debut their favorite superheroes in their own way — one camper put on an Incredible Hulk T shirt and showed off his super-strength as he smashed Styrofoam containers and eggshells while yelling, “Hulk smash!”
Another camper dressed up in nurses’ scrubs and held a sign that said “Superheroes, doctors, nurses, healthcare workers.”
“Some went as classic superheroes, a lot of campers made up their own superheroes and their own costumes, while some went as activists, nurses, doctors, and public health people, because they are all the superheroes of today,” Cosby said.
The video includes around 30 individual clips that were compiled using iMovie.
“Everyone really loved it. We met live on Zoom on the Fourth and premiered the video to about 50 people online. It felt almost just as magical as all being together again,” Cosby said.
According to Cosby, the camp wanted to make sure that everyone still had an experience they could share with their family and friends for years to come, while being safe at the same time.
As of now, Cosby said things are still uncertain as far as what Jabberwocky events will look like for the rest of the summer, but they are already planning on continuing some things virtually.
The Run, Walk, or Roll for Jabberwocky 5K race will still go on virtually, as participants run separately wherever they are in the world, and have a chance to win fun prizes.
And the Jabberwebby virtual camp has been a huge success, according to Cosby. “We just want everyone to be able to interact online, hang out with their friends, and make new ones,” Cosby said. “There have been lots of friendships made between the August and July campers on Zoom who might have never even met each other before the virtual camp.”
Going forward, Cosby said Jabberwocky will continue to find ways to be creative and connect with the community that looks forward to time at camp every year.