This Skateboard Photographer Found An Unexpected Gem At A Boy Scout Camp In West Virginia

West Virginia isn’t the first location you’d think of for skateboarding… or landscapes worth photographing. Born and raised in the forgotten state, 26-year old Mick Posey is a photographer and videographer whose eye has captured the people and scenery of a place others might not think to visit.

A desire to merge his twin passions brought Posey to a Boy Scout camp in Fayetteville, West Virginia where he taught basic skateboarding techniques to kids and captured these moments behind the lens.

I had a chance to speak with Mick about his summer experiences in the rural areas of the state, working with kids on wheels and capturing all the moments in between.

What sparked your interest of photography and videography?

I was obsessed with skate magazines and videos and just wanted to do all of that same stuff with my friends.

Was there any particular work you admired?

Yeah, definitely. I looked up a lot to filmers like Ty Evans and Greg Hunt.

What came first – skateboarding or photography?

Skateboarding came first and photography was an unexpected perk of being involved in the skateboard culture.

Your passions are both skateboarding and photography, how did you decide you wanted to be behind the lens and not the subject?

It just kind of naturally happened. I was an okay skateboarder, but I made some friends through skating who were really talented, and I just wanted to document their skating, so I was always down to just sit there and film them trying tricks over and over until it happened

Tell us a little about what exactly the Summit Bechtel Reserve is? What was your job there?

The Summit Bechtel Reserve is a 10,000 acre “High Adventure” complex in Fayetteville, WV. It’s run through the Boy Scouts of America and gives kids a chance to participate in activities that they either haven’t been exposed to or haven’t had the confidence to try. My first year I was a skateboard instructor but by the next year they made a Media Director position for me.

So they created a position because of you?

Yep. I did a lot of photo and video work on the side the first year, and I guess they took note of it and wanted me to do it officially the next season.

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Mondays in the ice chamber. #stickynotesdontstick

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That must’ve made you feel pretty important.

It felt good that’s for sure. I always wanted to do something like that and to be able to do it in West Virginia meant a lot.

You were born and raised in West Virginia — West Virginia isn’t exactly known for its skateboard culture — how do you think other skateboarders from around the country would react to this park? How do you think they’d react to this part of Southern, West Virginia?

That’s something I think about a lot. West Virginia is far from being on the skateboard culture’s radar. I think most people at first would be really confused. It’s the second largest concrete skatepark per square feet on the east coast and it’s located in the middle of the woods pretty much.

Sounds like the location of a skateboard horror movie.

[laughs] The camp definitely has its quirks to it but that’s what makes it so interesting. Scariest part is waking up with spiders on you when you’re sleeping in your tent, but even then you get used to that.

I happen to know you are not actually a Boy Scout – how does one get started in the Boy Scout industry without being a Boy Scout?

The camp is relatively new and has been a private facility since it opened, so when I found out this massive skate park was being built, but that it wasn’t going to be public, I had to figure out how I could get in to skate it.

So it wasn’t apart of the requirements to have been a Boy Scout?

Not with this one. This camp has more non-Boy Scout affiliated staffers then any of the BSA camps. A couple of the guys I worked with grew up to become Eagle Scouts but most of just wanted a reason to skateboard all summer and get paid to do it.

Can you describe this park and how it’s different than others you’ve skated?

It’s built to learn, built for kids to be able to progress quickly. For every large feature, there’s something a quarter of its size.

Who were your favorite “scouts” to photograph and teach?

Definitely the kids who were there that didn’t come from much. They would have to get sponsorships from donors, sell baked goods, and basically just do whatever it took for them to pay for their trip. Those were the ones who appreciated their time there the most. They would go from sun up to sun down and kept us there, closing the park up well after we were supposed to be gone.

Living in tents all summer, you would assume you’d either get really close to the other staff or get really annoyed with each other. Can you describe the staff and other instructors you worked and lived with in three words?

Talented, outgoing, stinky.
Is that the name where Team Stinko came from in one of your videos?

Oh yes. Just a bunch of 20-something-year-old skate rats living off of Doritos and cold showers all summer.

Do you think your photography and videography grew from this experience? If so, how?

Absolutely. Putting together a skate video isn’t always easy. Traveling and trying to keep everyone together is always a hassle, but here we were just kind of stuck for almost three months so it’s like, what else are we going to do?

What were you surprised about from your experience?

I was always really shocked at how much some kids will listen to you. My first year it hit me pretty hard when I was teaching a bunch of campers how to drop in and just saw them all staring at me straight in the face.

Like a “you’re crazy” or a “I respect you and am listening intently” stare?

The latter. They were listening to every single word I said. I could tell that they really wanted to learn how to skate, and I thought that was the coolest thing.

With that being said, how does it feel to have had a job where you can capture these moments?

It’s awesome. Those kids know that we do a weekly edit during the season and will want to be in it so when I film a clip or get a photo of them they get really excited. It gives them something to look back on to keep the spark alive to continue skateboarding.

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Skater Trainers. #teamstinko

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Perks of the job 002

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💩Team Stinko family photo 💩

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HOME 004. #findhornell

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Austin Stroks //FS Stink Air. #teamstinko #freshparks

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Most nights 🌩 #gotowv

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