10 and 2

Posted June 23, 2015 by

By Dan Baer, Camp Operations Officer

u3008196_p14731554Picture an ad for a watch. Better yet, use a Google Image search for “watch ad”. You’ll notice that almost without fail the hands of the watch rest at “10 and 2”. It has become the norm and the industry standard.

Switch to the auto industry and Google “hand position for driving”. The standard there has (until recently) been the same, your hands should rest at “10 and 2”,

Let’s do one more: Google “10 to 2”. The first 3 links are all about part-time placement agencies for those looking for work with flexible hours.

Here in the camping industry, “10 and 2” has a completely different meaning: months spent at home vs. months spent at camp. Yep, that’s right, Josh and I spend over 80% of our year preparing for the two months of summer while we have our campers and staff here. Most of our year is spent on email, phone, and, if we’re lucky, Skype preparing for the summer. Our year doesn’t have a typical cadence like many others. We thrive on interaction with our stakeholders. We love what we do and we love the people that we do it with and for. Nights and weekends are the best ways for us to connect with our campers and families.

We move through the year longing for a greater connection with our community. Our hours adjust to better accommodate our campers that come from almost 20 states and 4 countries. We look at time zones to figure out when the best time is to post on Facebook and Instagram, or send an email that won’t get lost in an inbox. We move through the months trying to find the best time to visit a city to visit our current campers and find our future campers. We work hard to be convenient for you.

As summer arrives, excitement builds. The shlichim​ (staff from Israel) that I have been texting with since March in a Whatsapp group arrive. It feels like I know them, yet we have only just met face-to-face. The preparation begins to pay off. Adjustment is easier for all of our campers and staff, and for me, because we spent the time in the off-season to be ready.

Moving through the summer, we encourage our campers to walk up to our guests, shake their hands, and introduce themselves with name and a bit about themselves. While all our campers may not fully grasp the concept, we are teaching them how to lower the barrier for entry into a meaningful conversation. A hello and a handshake are how business is meant to be done.

We stray from “10 and 2” in as many ways as we can. We don’t want to be standard. We want to provide the best customer service experience. “10 and 2” is normal, it’s average, and it’s part-time. Providing the best customer service for us is about being outstanding. We want you to feel like you’re always the most important and that we will always make time for you and your camper. The Camp Inc. brand is about doing and sharing. We live our values day-to-day and we hope that your camper returns home exemplifying them as well.