11-year-old publishes 200th issue of Boulder community newspaper
Eli Boardman started his paper five years ago
By Laura Snider Camera Staff Writerdailycamera.com
Residents of one south Boulder neighborhood can get the Boardman Camera personally delivered once a week by the publisher (who is also the editor, reporter, illustrator, ads salesman, circulation manager and distributor): 11-year-old Eli Boardman.
Last weekend, Eli, who started the paper when he was just 6, celebrated the Boardman Camera's five-year anniversary and 200th edition with a neighborhood party.
"It's hard work, but it's fun," said Eli, who works on the paper for about an hour a day.
Eli got the idea for a community paper on the morning walks he took with his family because he was interested in getting to know more about the people he saw out in the neighborhood.
"He said, 'We see them all the time, and we don't know who they are, and I want to know them better,'" Eli's mom, Karen Boardman, recalls. "He said, 'I want to build community.'"
And he did.
"What is really remarkable about the Boardman Camera and Eli is that he set out from the very beginning to create community," said Laura Backus, a neighbor who has been getting the paper since the beginning. "He has succeeded. I think he has made a difference in this neighborhood and people knowing each other."
The Boardman Camera is Eli's second attempt at running a newspaper. The first incarnation, the Boardman Enterprise, began when Eli was 3 and fizzled out after a bit. But the Camera has gained a strong following.
Eli delivers about 65 copies by foot every Saturday, puts eight copies in the mail and delivers another 10 copies via car. Another 140 or so people receive the Boardman Camera via email, including readers as far away as Italy, Israel and Australia.
The issues are filled each week with a variety of stories about whatever has tickled his curiosity. He writes about plans for a neighborhood pocket park, about his family's travels, about local businesses and nonprofits, and about wildlife on the nearby open space land.
"I write about all sorts of things," he said. "Sometimes (I write) spotlights on different people such as a neighbor or a fireman. We're trying to get a postman to do one, but he's not so sure."
Artist Gina Blickenstaff, who also lives in the neighborhood, said she enjoys learning local news tidbits from the paper as well as reading the "Boardwalk" section, a nature column about what Eli has seen on his daily walks.
"I've learned a whole lot about little things I never knew I was interested in knowing," she said. "And the Boardwalk -- it's just really delightful. I'm a real nature person and I love to be outside. I see them walk by my house practically every morning."
With 200 issues behind him, Eli says he has no plans of closing up shop, though he says he may have to change his printing schedule a bit, depending on what other activities he has going on.
"The plan is to keep it going," Eli said. "But I might have to slow it down to once a month."
Contact Camera Staff Writer Laura Snider at 303-473-1327 or firstname.lastname@example.org.