Many of us grew up attending summer camp, whether it was sleepaway, day camp, sports camp, or countless others. I spent almost all of my childhood and adolescence going to camp, waiting for camp to come, and talking about camp. In college and afterwards, I spent five summers working at a summer camp in Hocking Hills, Ohio as a counselor, and then on our leadership/director team training new counselors, overseeing our outdoor adventure program, and working with youth ages 8-18. When I began to think more long-term about my career, I knew I craved an environment that encompassed many of the things I learned at summer camp and wanted to use the gifts I strengthened while attending and working there. The tech world called to me for its constant innovation and diversity. When I started at InfoTrust I never looked back and found the culture I was seeking.
The number one thing I learned working at a summer camp is that communication is key. Encouraging young people to try new things, be open to other beliefs, and strengthen their sense of community would be impossible to do without open dialogue and practicing that myself.
At InfoTrust, we strive to be clear, honest, and build trust with our internal team members and clients. I bring the camp mindset into my conversations at work whenever I can. Opening up the floor to different ideas, being transparent about project status, and working collaboratively have all come much easier to me after attending and working in a camp environment.
As a consultant for InfoTrust, I have found that we are constantly evolving to our clients’/the markets’ shifting needs. Similarly at camp, we were often kept on our toes about the day’s activities, weather, etc. Is it storming and all outdoor activities are canceled? What can we do indoors that will be memorable and fun for the kids? Did you spot a new event on a client’s website worth tracking in Google Analytics 4 to give better insights into user flow? How can we best share our thoughts and tag this? The ability to be flexible, open to new possibilities, and take things as they come has given me the mindset that we can figure everything out.
Sharing messages with different audiences
Working with many people at camp really showed me how each individual learns in a different way. I helped lead staff and volunteer trainings and gave messages to campers which showed me how to adjust my message based on the audience. At InfoTrust, we often give trainings, especially as we are in the midst of the Google Analytics 4 transition. The passion for educating and helping others I gained at camp encouraged me to be myself and lean into my gifts in crafting messages for an audience.
Have fun at work
Overall, my love of summer camp gave me a lighthearted approach and reminds me not to take myself too seriously. Events like InfoTrust Week, Columbus remote worker meetups, and even some of our slack channels encourage us to be ourselves.