Epiphanies and Advice from Campers (Video)

Every two years, Ketchum sends our most promising young leaders off to Camp Ketchum for what we hope will be a transformative educational experience. Founded in 1986, Camp Ketchum is well recognized and celebrated as one of the most innovative training programs in the communications industry.

This year, 80 campers assembled at Abbaye de la Ramée in Belgium for the coveted opportunity to learn cutting edge approaches to our business, engage in a competitive client challenge and experiment, co-create, collaborate and build relationships with a mix of more than 100 colleagues and counselors from 16 different countries around the world.

In stepping back to think about the experience this year, I am reminded that it isn’t just the Campers who learn something, those of us who have the privilege of attending as counselors and perhaps even those inside and outside of Ketchum have a chance to learn something too.

While nothing beats the experience of actually being there, here’s a video that captures the sights and sounds of Camp, along with a collection of key takeaways from our Campers across the globe (click to tweet).

Key Takeaways from the Campers

Deep, Attentive Listening – Emily Coy, managing account supervisor, San Francisco
I learned the art of real, active listening – not just “waiting to speak again” – but really listening to my team members, the client and the Camp counselors. I’ll take this learning with me back to my office and use it in my day-to-day work with my clients and Ketchum teams!

Storytelling & Peer Counseling – Kent Lau, senior account manager, Hong Kong
My key takeaways from Camp Ketchum were the importance of storytelling, as well as peer counseling, which are both quite important to me, my career development and office growth.

Fundamentals + Magic – Sven Kleibrink, consultant, Duesseldorf
You’ve got to get the fundamentals down because otherwise the fancy stuff isn’t going to work! It’s the right usage of all our tools combined with the “magic” that propels a great team – the “me” becomes “we.” Without losing the individuality and strength of each person, a greater community is created. And the ideas that come out of that community are – and will be – mind-blowing.

Stepping Back During Planning – Haiwen Lu, managing account supervisor, New York
“Would you care? Would you share?” These words of wisdom from a client were imparted to us at the very start of Camp Ketchum and ones we need to remember to ask ourselves during the planning process. If the answer to both questions is no… well, isn’t that kind of telling?

Reaching Across the Globe – Constanze Bauer, junior consultant, Munich
I learned to look over the rim of my local office and not hesitate to connect with colleagues from across the globe. New perspectives will add great value both for the client and my team.

The Value of Liquid Teams – Alexander Mazanov, senior consultant, Moscow
I’ve learned what an international liquid team is really like: resourceful enough to give results within 24 hours for a demanding client, and truly connected and caring, allowing each other to face future global challenges and opportunities.

Tapping the Right Expertise – Stephanie Tennessen, account supervisor, Chicago
It’s important that we know and understand that experience and expertise of our colleagues within our own walls, and across offices, so that we can provide the best results and counsel to our clients.

Giving Tough Counsel – Jessica Frost, managing account supervisor, Washington, D.C.
I learned the importance of providing solid counsel to your client, even when it’s tough; dreaming up the big ideas, even when you don’t know if the client will be interested in them; going down the alternative path because it’s the right way to go, even though you know it’s going to be harder. I hope I can live these lessons and inspire my team to do the same.

Experiencing Bravery – Ana Moreno, account supervisor, Madrid
I have experienced bravery. I can be brave enough to do things that I was not sure I was capable of. And, best of all, I liked it! Now I can contact colleagues all over the world and ask them for advice, expertise, etc., to help my office clients. I cannot ask for more after an incredible week!

Respecting Differences – Drew Warren, vice president, New York
The most important thing I learned at Camp was the gentle reminder that all regions/cultures work differently and need to be a consideration when working across borders. This simple insight is something that I plan to take with me directly to my client work to strengthen what we do internationally.

Getting Out of My Comfort Zone – Bianca Ferreira, account manager, Sao Paulo
I learned so many things! I went out of my comfort zone, worked with people from many different cultures, took risks and, in the end, realized that these actions make great things happen. I’m back in Brazil more engaged, motivated and inspired – willing to take risks for my clients’ success.

Coming Together – Varun Chopra, assistant vice president, Delhi
We have a lot of expertise and synergy between all of us, and it was great to bring everyone together to the same place and share all of our learnings with everyone, which will help us grow.