Something very interesting happened to me last month. I received a new invitation to connect on LinkedIn because of my 30 year relationship with Camp Carolina. I’ve previously used social media to connect with friends from Camp, but this is the First New Connection I’ve made. Why is this fascinating?
My relationship with the Thompson Family began in the early 1980’s. I attended Camp Carolina as a camper in 1985. During the off-season they would travel the country to promote Camp out of the home of current/past campers. For 10 years we hosted Camp Carolina night at our home. I can still remember the sound of the slide carousel, as it shuffled through images of campers and high adventure while Nath Thompson captivated us with his campfire voice. They know how to build and nurture relationships. I have many great memories and developed life long friendships at camp. The Thompson’s philosophy played a major role in my personal development.
Carolina is a camp which boys learn to feel with their hearts, do with their hands and live together in the spirit of brotherhood. Our boys are taught to appreciate the simplicity of life, values of human relations, wonders of nature, importance of self-reliance, respect for each other and our natural environment and the thrill of high adventure. A special effort is made to send every boy back home stronger in body, keener in mind, more appreciative of nature, nobler in character and more confident in themselves.
Do you know the first question the Thompsons ask when they meet someone from or near Columbus, GA? “Do you know Reynolds Bickerstaff?” Relationships are the foundation of all businesses. Social Media is a tool we use to leverage the time it takes to effectively build relationships and strengthen them.
Before Social Media, how would Alex and I meet? Would we meet unintentionally?
- If we were dropping our boys off at camp I might scan the parking lot for other GA License Plates.
- Maybe our boys become friends and mention each other in a letter they send home.
- We might meet each other through a mutual friend or at a networking/social event.
But Alex has been living in Columbus, GA for several years and I didn’t know he existed until 30 days ago. When Alfred mentioned my name in the parking lot at camp, Alex intentionally invited me to connect with him. Social Media offered a simple platform for us to connect. But it is our shared relationship with Camp Carolina that has made the connection meaningful. Thank you for reminding me to keep up my end of the relationship Alex.
Nath, Cha Cha, & Alfred Thompson taught me about the values of human relations, how to give someone a good firm handshake and look them in the eye while doing so. Good relationships last because each side intentionally works to bring value to each other, not to themselves. Thank you Thompson Family for continuing to help me develop relationships.