This past weekend I attended my first New England GiveCamp. I went in and talked about it the first night. I liked the idea of using something I love like Graphic Design to help someone, and multiple people through a non-profit. But I learned a lot this weekend about my personal boundaries and exactly how I can push myself to be better and stronger of a designer. And then I realized that I don’t want to do it anymore, but that is a blog for a different time.
Today I would like to bring you a fun post: The 10 things I learned at GiveCamp. And while there maybe more, I am to exhausted to think past 10. So here they go:
1. Expect no sleep. I was shocked to see people leave and go to sleep at 10:00. I last both nights with little sleep and I was okay with that.
2. Expect great food. While most of the events I attend at the Microsoft NERD center are nicely catered this was no different. From Naked Pizza to Green Mountain Coffee this was no different. The food was moderately healthy, yes there was candy, but for the most part it was healthy. it only led me to Number 6, but don’t skip ahead.
3. Overflowing Karma. This is a given. To see all those non-profits getting help so they can help more people. It is the Kindness movement to the tenth degree.
4. Learn Something New. No matter if you have a set plan when you walk in the door or if you have to fly by the seat of your pants, you will have to try something new. I couldn’t believe how many teams learned Drupal and WordPress all in a weekend. The designers had to work outside of dreamweaver, and even onto the web for the first time.
5. Don’t Forget Your Pillow. Some people forget power cords and books and passwords. I did forget a book, but I missed a pillow the most. I did have an extra sleeping bag in my car, so that helped.
6. Request Milk. I had a few things I would request for change for GiveCamp, but the biggest is that I loved having a glass of milk on Saturday night when we were up at the 11th floor. The next morning I searched for one and found only juice and coffee.
7. Scoop up Swag. As with any get-together I was at in the past few years there was a huge chance to get free things. Books, Stickers and t-shirts, OH MY. Plus a raffle and free toys just for playing a game or writing a blog post. Big kudos for the fun stuff. I am really enjoying my Photoshop Cookbook.
8. Remember Books: I forgot a WordPress book. Plain and simple. Although they had a huge online book library to research whatever we were working on. I still wanted my book.
9. Ask for Help. This is to stop the stress, but it is great to make new friends. I gave a cry for help out over twitter, I also asked other teams for help. In the end I appreciated the people who helped me at 2 am more than anyone else.
10. The MOST important:
This is without saying. Have a bit of fun. Laugh. I had a blast playing infection because I tried to infect tow people I know. How funny is that. I chose to be there and yes it may have been stressful and hard and out of my comfort zone of design, but I liked being there. I liked doing something good. I liked seeing those non-profits happy with their new ideas and ways of doing things better.
Like I said it was a crazy weekend. Some of us ended up with a cold, some of us still haven’t caught up on sleep. Others of us had a life changing experience. Again I will go back next year, and I want to wear the shirt when I go to Podcamp this year.
Kindness moving forward.