Monthly Archives: June 2011

The week of lasts – First Days

Today was the first day of camp. Anticipation and excitement for the summer oozed from our staff. They are ready.

I remember that feeling when I was part of the Day Camp team.

As a counselor, was I ready? Yes, I was! I trained for a week to learn skills on working with kids. I sang the songs, played the games, and somehow had unlimited energy. I was ready.

As a program director, was my programming good enough? That was a tough question. I knew what was successful before, I knew what the campers liked, I knew how to improve each activity… But, was it good enough? The bar was high and summer after summer we continued to raise it.

As director, was my team ready? They were, but I never slept the day before camp started. I was always too excited.


The week of many lasts

Being that this is my last week at camp, I thought I’d reflect on some memories that have made my time unforgettable and so special.

I got my first job at camp through a friend in the kitchen. It was March 2002. My responsibilities included washing pots, dishes, the floor, and helping to serve food. Come June I knew I wasn’t going to make it through the summer.

My supervisor suggested I talk with our Day Camp director. OK, I liked working with kids. That summer was the beginning of my tenure at Day Camp, which would eventually lead me to one day becoming director.

Here are a few moments I noticed today. No I haven’t teared up:

  • I introduced for the last time my very close friend who presents the week’s slideshows. The staff loved her work, as they should.
  • I took my last all staff photo. It went much smoother than years past.
  • I posted on Facebook for the last time the annual “When will the first camper arrive?” question.

My mission to put a local florist on the Facebook map

There is a wonderful florist and greenhouse in my hometown. They are very likeable and very liked, but aren’t on Facebook and missing a huge opportunity to engage their fans.

Why aren’t they of Facebook already?
Being afraid of the unknown.

My first goal is to present enough relevant information so the owners can make an educated decision about creating a page. My hope is that they say yes. Here are some notes I’m suggesting we sit down and chat about. Please add your comments below.

What are the opportunities for a florist and greenhouse to be on Facebook?
Facebook will provide a new form of communication that will build brand recognition with current and potential customers. Relevant, timely, and engaging conversations will position this florist and greenhouse to be always present when current customers are ready to make a sale.

Huge opportunities for word of mouth marketing; the best type of marketing.

We know Facebook success doesn’t happen overnight, so let’s strategize.
A strategy will need to be developed and implemented over time. Focus on  A. building relationships, and B. engaging customers.

There are some key items to include in this strategy.
1. The voice.
2. Responding to comments, questions, and concerns.
3. Appropriate responses to concerns, and dissatisfaction of customers
4. Ability to commit long-term.

You’ve got plenty to share! You are a truly enchanting place and your customers are already on Facebook.

  • It’s a great time to plant ________. They like partial shade, and plenty of water.
  • Share with us your top gardening tips.
  • What are you growing in your garden?
  • Share your garden photos and be entered to win a planting consultation with the owner.
  • Weekend sale!
  • Photos of the greenhouse
  • Don’t forget Thanksgiving centerpieces. If you order by November 1st and mention you’re a fan, we’ll take 10% off you’re entire order.

How much is this going to cost?
Supporting a Facebook page does take time and money. The florist should be prepared to spend 30 minutes a day responding fans, posting messages, developing engagement, measuring engagement, and tracking analytics.

My dad is smarter, stronger, and braver than yours

In grade school isn’t that what every child says? But it isn’t until we grow up that we find that we all were telling the truth.

Dads are the true superheroes.

Thanks dad for everything.

I don’t want just a job. I want to change the world.

My current move to NH has brought much talk about jobs.

Where am I going to be working? Currently no where.
Does that bother me? Not as much as it does my parents.
When are you going to start looking? You don’t think I already have?

Here is something I just realized. I want a job that changes the world. I want my work to be great, and to somehow have a positive impact on the world. I’m talking culture, environment, civil rights, etc…

I’m not really sure where this idea is taking me, but I am aware that my soul finally agrees with something my head is saying.

Because who wants to watch a 5 minute video?

One of the most important things I’ve learned on YouTube this year is keeping things short and sweet.

Yes, there are key videos that need a storyboard, but as I walk around camp with my trusty Droid X, video opportunities such as this one seem to appear from every angle. I find my creativity peaks when I’m looking at the entire picture, not just small sections.

Making shorter videos also allows creative content to be shared almost instantly. The above video is a great example. Thursday night we had a staff beach party. People danced, they had a great time. Thursday night I was able to upload this video to YouTube and Facebook.

When I’m talking to other camps about videos I give them three pieces of advice.

1. 2-5 minutes
2. Storyboard key videos, let everything else come naturally
3. Take it, edit it, publish it. Never sit on material, it will most likely be forgotten.

NOTE: If you do happen to visit New York YMCA Camp’s YouTube Channel you will find videos that are longer than 5 minutes. These longer slideshows are posted for participants of weekend programs. I doubt anyone anyone other than the participants watch them in their entirety.

Lease signed, the move begins

This weekend, Ash and I signed the lease for our apartment in Dover, NH. One big step that will lead to many smaller steps, such as, gosh I hope our insurance doesn’t go any higher than it already is.

Ash has already started to pack, and by next week our living room will most likely be filled with boxes, labeled of course. All of her craft supplies have already been packed and I just noticed today that our pictures have disappeared from our shelves.

With all this movement, I’m taking in as much of camp as possible. Already I’ve experienced a few “lasts”. For example today was the last time I’ll help the lifeguarding class.

Last night I had a profound realization that in just a few weeks I’ll say goodbye to one of my longest friends I’ve had. Camp. I cried for the first time in a long while.