Setting UP Camp


This week my boys and I will embark on our annual camping trip in Mt. Washington Valley of New Hampshire. Every year the men and boys of our church have this get together to pull away and enjoy the goodness of where we’ve been planted.

Over the last days and heading into this week, I’ve been planning, listing, and staging everything we need to make the time as enjoyable as possible.

I realize this time around that my approach to our vacation is very much a correlation in our approach to leadership in certain circumstances. When we are embarking on a new mission, establishing ourselves in a new team or company, or founding a new start-up venture, these following strategies for Setting UP Camp will be helpful:

  • Set the Mission – Make sure everyone knows the mission. While ours is the same every year – break away for vacation and fellowship – we make sure every one of us is reminded to enjoy our selves, and be safe. Reviewing the mission and purpose with your people is a key first step to getting the initiative rolling.
  • Make Goals – Having clearly defined goals is essential for making sure your team is readied to go forward with the mission. Every year my boys and I have some very definitive goals (softball, ice cream, devotionals each evening). Yet some are loose in their scheduling but objectives nonetheless – reading, games, sitting by the fire. Some goals can be in the waiting ready to be folded in at the best opportunity. But have each goal communicated so everyone knows what to pursue when the time arrives.
  • Procure Resources – While it may be firewood, tarps, food, and coffee for me and the boys, it may be raw materials, market analysis, new technology, or a training roll-out that is needed in those first critical weeks and months. Know your resources, where you’ll draw from, and have them in place beforehand.
  • Clarity of vision – Do your people know the concept of teamwork, have the “Why” down of their purpose, or the value parameters that keeps their focus congruent to the mission? My boys know to watch out for one another, not to trespass other people’s sites, and how to tag and communicate to know where someone is so everyone can have a safe and enjoyable time. By setting up and clarifying the vision, you will stage a strong base for your operations.
  • Contingency planning – For the past 11 years without fail, we have seen rain of some kind. So we prepare for rain each year. Last summer my youngest boy fell and broke his arm, so I had to rush him a half hour away to the hospital. What are your contingency plans if you fail to get established or off track? Or if disaster happens? Prepare as best you can for those back-up plans to salvage the beginning of the mission.
  • Bring Allies – The boys know that the other men and boys, as well as the park rangers, can be trusted for questions or help. This allows them to explore more of the camp area and have an another person to lean on besides me, such as when I had to run to the hospital last summer. Having allied partners as support, whether mentors, business partners, or vendors externally, or reliable people internally from your own organization, can give a huge boost for morale and a needed lifeline if the going gets rough.
  • Give Roles – Empowering your teams by giving them specific roles in the initial stages will not only make them more engaged but give them a sense of ownership in the process. Each year the boys know to help set up camp, help each other with the tents, gather firewood, and give a hand to anyone else as they arrive. They feel like they’ve earned their time to bike and explore when these have been accomplished.

When embarking on a new mission for your organization, how prepared will you be to Set UP Camp? How can you establish your new mission for culture change, the innovative product roll-out, or that dynamic market strategy? Getting set up properly ensures a base for success in any mission.

(image courtesy of

About Paul LaRue

My goal - To encourage you to lead & influence others with positive impact.

Posted on July.13.2014, in Leadership. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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