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Inside Alpaca

Small Teams, Big Dreams: Alpaca Goes to Camp!

Karen Borchert
December 26, 2023

When your team road trips together, cooks together, builds life-size data visualizations together, and has an epic Wes Anderson photo shoot together, you learn some big things. 

In Q4, Alpaca geared up for 2024 with a retreat at Camp Wandawega, a fantastic creative retreat in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. The camp famously requires all guests to sign their Manifesto of Low Expectations, and the entire place feels like you’re at summer camp in 1965. For our team of old souls, vintage enthusiasts, and nostalgic nature lovers, it was perfect.

We made care packages for each car’s road trip and set off on an adventure together. 

We queued up audiobooks and podcasts and shared our ideas.

We got far, far away from home where we could think big, big, big about Alpaca.

We went grocery shopping together and learned how each person solves problems. 

We made banana pancakes and watched the sunrise with people we usually only see after morning commutes.

We made meals together and took care of our team. 

We wrote down “what we know” and “what we don’t know” on 580 post-it notes.

We built a life-size data visualization out of camp sporting equipment. 

We took canoes out at sunset and cheered our teams on.

We played the piano and a game of pool at midnight.

We went running in a forest and talked about strategy.

We dreamed big about our company, wrapped up in blankets outside.

We built marketing budgets over shared meals.

We found the costume closet and capped off our days with a hilarious photo shoot.

As a company, we spend a lot of our days in the operations of selling and delivering our product. I don’t know if every team would take the time out of production and operations to go to camp together. But I know that we returned with new knowledge about each other, new confidence in our future, and new alignment as a team. 

And I know that our small but mighty team is the one thing that we need to achieve our big dreams. That, and more banana pancakes.

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