New Camp Director Pro Tip

Embrace Your Inner Camp Nerd

Written by Patti

So, I’m a camp nerd, obviously. 

But it’s not just that I want to talk about camp all the live long day (I mean, I DO, but that’s not the point), it’s that I want YOU to talk about camp too.

I want to learn from others and get excited about chatting with people who have had different experiences than me. I get so impressed when I’m speaking to someone who’s been doing this their entire life and who is just a fountain of information. I’ve even gone so far as to describe myself as a “fangirl”.

I gush. I make a fuss over people, I compliment them, I ask their advice, I get giddy about talking to someone who is so impressive to me. Some people might find me embarrassing to be around… and I’m totally ok with that.

A few years ago I was at an event, there was a group of us there to learn from people who had been doing this much longer and VERY successfully. There was one person there in particular who is kind of a camp legend (and by kind of, I mean big time).

I. Was. Giddy.

At one point I called them over and asked them to sit next to me, they sat down and I asked for their story of how they got to where they were and if they had one piece of advice for someone in my position, what would it be.

My “super hero” costume – Super Dork

BUT there was someone else at the event who had about the same amount of experience as me, and they kept interrupting ‘camp legend’. I guess they thought what they had to say was more important.
I’m sure it was very important, but if someone’s been doing this for more than twice as long as you, you likely have something to learn from them. (And they have things to learn from you too, but for the love of God, wait your turn.)

I was at another event, and was sitting at a table with someone, introduced myself and told them I knew who they were and I was so excited to be meeting them, then I later asked them to share advice for someone like me.

I do this all the time, I ask people what they would have wanted to know when they were starting out, or 20 years in, I listen and I learn from them.

That’s what I’m challenging you to do, as conference season plays out, make a point to introduce yourself to people you’re impressed by. Tell them you’re a ‘fan’, ask them questions, fangirl or fanboy out! Be a camp nerd and don’t be embarrassed about it.

Even if they think you’re a little weird (I’m sure lots of people think I am) they’ll be flattered. And that’s always nice.

Let me know who your camp heroes are in the comment section below.

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