This weekend I went to camp.
At 7,000 feet in San Bernardino National Forest, I slept in a cabin, shared a bunk bed, drank mountain spring water, made s’mores over a crackling fire, supped with fellow campers in the lodge, and enjoyed one of the best personal and professional experiences so far in my life. While I can, and will, wax poetic about my time at Camp Blogaway, one phrase captures the atmospere of the weekend perfectly: “Knockers up!”
Catchy, don’t you think?
Patti Londre, our Fearless Leader at Camp Blogaway, put together an amazing event that engaged me at every turn. From the panel discussions, to the hands-on demonstrations, to the food and drink, Patti nailed every detail. Perhaps the most compelling evidence of her skill can be found in the way she handled the group photo.
Imagine a slender, petite blonde herding roughly one hundred noisy bloggers, PR reps, resident experts and staffers down a rocky mountain path to a flagpole encircled by elevated benches. Then picture the scene as she organizes the boisterous bunch into neat looking rows–“Rachael, sit on your knees; Gwen and Adrienne switch places.” She carves out a space for herself up front, sets the timer on the camera and right before the shutter captures the chaos, Patti yells, “Knockers up, people!”
And you know what happened? All one hundred of us threw our shoulders back and straightened our spines while the most uncontrollable laughter spread from cheek to cheek, from camper to camper. Patti got the shot she was looking for.
That is how the learning was served up at Camp Blogaway. All weekend, both in personal interactions with Patti and in the content she delivered to us, we were treated to straight talk laced with plenty of humor and wisdom. There was no playing favorites, no watering down the subject matter and no hesitation on her part to stop the program and address any disconnect she sensed among the campers. Nothing but a clear example of professionalism, even in the most casual of settings.
She treated us all to hard-driving content from seasoned industry professionals aimed at elevating each blogger’s presence in and impact on the world around them (much of which I will go on to share with you in subsequent posts). And she did it without calling out discrepancies in the attendees’ levels of experience and without micro-managing the learning process. Quite the opposite, she encouraged all of us to think of ourselves and our blogs in terms of legitimate businesses and brands, and to carry ourselves as such. Shoulders back, back straight, chin set, smile genuine.
Stay tuned for the recap of my weekend at camp. While I was there I never stopped thinking about how to bring what I’ve learned back to benefit you, my friends and readers. There will be inspired photography and styling tips, simple advice for connecting with PR professionals, and specific tools for increasing your blog’s traffic and visibility. I also have a cross-promotional blogging event series in the pipeline to give you a chance to put all of this invaluable information to work for you.
But if you do one thing today to bring a little Camp Blogaway (and Patti) into your life, I highly recommend taking whatever your next step is, knockers up.
Patti Londre can be found, among other places, at Worth the Whisk.
Also, there are so many great articles being written by fellow campers, I want to make sure you read them all. If you visit the Camp Blogaway Testimonials page, the comments on that post have links to other bloggers write-ups. Enjoy!