A FINE Summer Camp Retreat

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[caption id="attachment_14175" align="aligncenter" width="800"]See our fun on Twitter #finesummercamp @wearefine See our fun on Twitter #finesummercamp @wearefine[/caption]

The FINE team hopped on school buses from San Francisco to Traverse City to all meet in Portland at McMenamins Edgefield for a weekend of summer camp fun. (Note: those school buses looked an awful lot like airplanes. Weird.) The whole crew was finally together again, and after many exclamations over how great everyone looked, who got a new haircut, and who looked best in a visor, we got down to work.

We started the first day by talking about our favorite subject: ourselves. After a personality test that somehow ended up testing our math and reasoning skills, too, we were each grouped into one of four “types”: Leader, Task, People, and Free Spirit. These “types” ended up defining the retreat in many ways, and the way we all work together. We discussed the strengths and weaknesses of each, and what we need in terms of a working environment and from our coworkers.

Here are the Basics:

Leader: Visionary, Self-Confident, Result-Oriented

Task: Dependable, Detailed/Structured

People: Connector, Listener, Creative

Free Spirit: Adventurer, Fun-loving, Spontaneous

With these thoughts in mind, we moved on to an Aikido presentation, where we all learned to redirect conflict and change the energy. Balloons were involved, as were slow-motion punches.


There was only one thing to do next: a three-hour wine tasting. For research. Of course. It served as the perfect transition to our FINE 20-year birthday party, where we all celebrated like it was 1994.



Day two brought morning yoga, but no eggs, much to the chagrin of just about everybody. But our next speaker brought some food for thought (see what we did there?) to keep us moving, as we chatted all about Creative Momentum. We set some goals, individually and as a company, and decided that On Monday we will…

  • Leave 10 minutes on either side of a meeting for breaks/prep
  • Consider smaller chunks of time, be on time, and send documents ahead of time to allow for considered input
  • Block out time for self/my work
  • Have ‘global office hours’ (‘open door’ vs. ‘headphone time’) for collaboration
  • Create a ‘solution garden’/knowledge sharing forum

We also chose some mantras:

  • “Let go”
  • “Raise a hand, lend a hand”
  • “Trust yourself/each other”
  • “Feed yourself”
  • “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.”
  • “Having an idea is only as good as following through.”

By the end of the retreat, while we weren’t singing Kumbaya, we were more aware of who we were as team members, how to best interact with each other for better work, and how our individual strengths—and weakness—fuse together to make up this thing we call FINE.

Attendees of FINE’s next 20-year anniversary, though, may look a little different…

old men

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