Element X Polo Skate Camp Experience

14 Vitoria Mendonca bs smith stallIf Vítoria Mendonça back Smiths in the woods and nobody's around to hear it…

The Element team and Polo invited 13 skaters from around the world to one of the most epic pieces of concrete nestled in the Pacific Northwest. Our first stop was at Seek Skate Camp, a skater's paradise located in Mt. Hood National Forest. The goal was to expose skaters to a week of four-wheeled and wilderness adventures. There was a hiking trip and a nature sustainability course with Oregon's finest, Silas Baxter-Neal. We also got a natural clothing-dye class with Emi from Rain and Shine Textiles, where she taught us how to use plants, flowers and pine cones to color clothing. Then I had the privilege of teaching an analog photo class. From camp to the woods and out to the city, we eventually made our way to Portland's crown jewel under the Burnside Bridge. All the campers enjoyed the elements the Pacific Northwest could offer and left with memories they will have for a lifetime.Thanks to the Element Family and Polo for this amazing opportunity. Get a look at what all went down. —Joe Brook.

Photos by Joe Brook and Conny Mirbach

1 Jaakko Ojanen BS ollieStraight off the plane, Jaakko Ojanen boosts a backside ollie as his teammates look on

2 Vitoria Mendonca nollie heel DSC3770 brook copyNew pro Vítoria Mendonça with a hefty big flip on the bank

3 Alexander Wex camper from GermanyAlexander Wex seeks out a rainbow grind

4 Donny Barley pivot to FakieDonny Barley pivots to fakie in nature's solitude

5 Jaakko Ojanen and Gabriel Fortunato Two rippers, Jaakko Ojanen and Gabriel Fortunato, setting up shred sleds to get down

6 Hiking with SilasA SOTY in his natural habitat, getting ready to take the team and campers on a nature hike

7 SOTY Silas BN gave kids tips about mushrooms and environmental awarenessSilas teaches the campers about the diversity of Oregon forests and introduces them to a few edible species of plants along the way

8 Camp nightimeThe Element squad and campers getting ready to stargaze

9 leo turner kf brook copyCamper Leo Turner flicks a fat kickflip over the hip

10 Jaakko Ojanen Back lipJaakko Ojanen back lips a full-size picnic table with a little help from the tree roots

11 Greyson Beal bsnb rt DSC3811 brookGreyson Beal understands the vibes of skating rocks, backside noseblunt

12 Wannes Derycke wallie tail grab rt DSC3729 brookWannes Derycke pole jam one-foot tailgrabs a long way from Holland

13 Rafaela Costa wallie bs 180 rt DSC3735 brookRafaela Costa, back 180 pole jam 

15 Joe Brook speaking to kids about skate photographyThe author teaching the campers about analog photography

16 Vitoria Menonca listening to Joe copyVítoria listening to me tell skate stories from my early days at SLAP up to the present at Thrasher

17 Joe Brook and Greyson BealMe and Beal looking at Greyson's photos he shot around Seek Camp

18 printed photos from campersPhotos from the camper's reloadedable point-and-shoot cameras. They did an amazing job. I hope they continue to document their lives after camp

19 Elisa Martini checking photo printsElisa Martini, checking out the flicks she got

20 Genshin Harada looking printsGenshin Harada getting ready to exchange some prints with the fellow campers

21 DIY warm up rt DSC3830 brookNext we got a DIY warmup with the Element crew

22 Donny stand up five O East Coast beast Donny Barley is not afraid to front 5-0 on some fresh Northwest concrete

23 Vitoria Menonca bluntside rt DSC4109 brookVítoria busts a bluntside

24 Tankaosuke Hashimoto fs flip rt DSC4177 brookTakanosuke Hashimoto with a proper frontside flip

25 jaako Ojanen vh rt DSC4114 brookJaakko snaps big v-heel on a tight bank

26 Westgate KFWestgate comes correct with a textbook kickflip

27 Natural Dye teacher J000788 015 07890Emi from Rain and Shine Textiles teaches the campers her natural dying techniques

28 natural dye class J000788 015 07818Class is in session, ya'll

29 plants used to make prints J000788 015 07901Some of the plants were used to make patterns on natural-cotton bandanas

30 cotton plants rocks J000788 015 07938Campers hard at work using rocks to make the plant colors bleed into the cotton fabric

31 dye vats J000788 015 08022Then they used vats of hot water and pinecones to naturally dye the shirts

32 rock plant J000788 015 08051Rocks + plants to make art on fabrics was a very primitive and enjoyable process for us all. It's fun to learn new things

33 dry area J000788 015 08001Previewing some product on the drying rack

34 joe brook dye J000788 015 08054 RTI’m not just a photographer, but also a certified natural-dye guy

35 Greyson beal alley oop in BurnsideOf course we had to pay homage to our local, humble bridge park. Greyson Beal kicks it off with an alley-oop FSO at B-side

36 Genshin Harada camper pen pen bs huricane in BurnsideGenshin Harada aka Pen Pen backside sugarcanes a long way from Japan

37 Leo Turner FS blunt rt DSC4260 brookBack at camp, Leo Turner front blunts the natty QP

38 greyson beal bs nb rt DSC4264 brookGreyson Beal follows up with a back noseblunt

39 Moses Nour melon grab rt DSC4292 brookAnd finally, Moses Nour shut down the scene with a serene melon grab

40 group photo J000788 010 05161 1Element and Polo Camp's last day. Like I said, everyone was walkin’ away with memories that will last a lifetime. Thanks to the Element family and Polo for this amazing opportunity. Hopefully see y’all next year
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