Being the SHiFT

“If you are not willing to take the risk where are you going to go? -Jenn D’Eugenio

You’re in college, why do you go to summer camp?

To all of the people who do not know about SHiFT Camp…read this. To all of the people who say well I have a job or an internship I cant go…read this. To all of the people who complain about not getting an internship or a job…read this. To all of the people who love the outdoors and camping…read this.

SHiFT Design Camp is more than just summer camp. Its more than just camping in the woods with hmm I dont know 100+ strangers that could possibly and will possibly become your best friends, co-workers, mentors, bosses or more. The first question on the first night was:

Why do you keep coming back? What does SHiFT mean to you?

So I wrote down my answers to share:

  • The meaningful conversations that happen every. single. day. I always wondered why I am an Industrial Design Major and a Service Design Major. I had this epiphany a couple of months ago. I love industrial design for the creative output. I have the ability to design a product for 1,000 of people to use and in silly and ridiculous terms I get to make it whatever color and material finish I want. (At least while I’m still in school). I also love the design thinking methods. Working all the way through a problem in a creative way. Which is also why I love service. I love creating whole systems and I LOVE the research. Ethnography, anthropology and the whole nine yards of design research. The in-depth conversations about design, life, and strategy. But why cant I get those conversations in both majors? Well because simply it takes the right people. and those people are at SHiFT Camp. I mean seriously, some conversations lead to tears. Eric Stevens spoke this past week on being humble and walking into a situation completely being you. I mean holy manoli talk about the power behind that. (a post will definitely come when I can transcribe the video on his talk).
  • Meeting students from other schools. Some of my greatest friends are from different schools (cough shout out to Natalie and JP). The greatest thing is we met at SHiFT. Where no one wears make up, we all kinda smell just a little bit, your hair is a hot mess, and you are just being yourself. Its amazing the honest friendships that are built in an environment like this.
  • Gaining confidence. Every SHiFT Camp I set myself a goal to make 10 new friends, and talk to every single professional the staff brings in. Why? Because I am a pretty shy person at first. But, it is so important to gain the confidence to speak to professionals and to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
  • Collaboration. Each camp I have been to has been completely different, the teams change, the challenges change and the personalities of the people change. 1. that makes it so difficult to plan how to attack the situation (because a. I’m a planner and b. I’m shy). The challenge is amazing though because my leadership grows every single time. I grow as a collaborator and my patience is growing too!
  • Strength to Accept. Sometimes I have a really hard time accepting to lower my expectations of how things should turn out. SHiFT helps me accept that things are not always going to turn out how you want. Especially in the woods, with limited tools and materials. I mean it is pretty challenging to create an instrument from random scraps and natural materials that actually sounds pretty decent. But, some how we always pull through!!
  • Finally, finding about about your personal strengths and weaknesses. I mean my weakness definitely is my emotions, I get let down, and I have little patience. But I work on them every time. My strengths are being able to see the whole picture and the small details to create the best outcome, and even this improves every camp.

It is hard to say SHiFT has not change my life. It is so much more than a summer camp and yes a college student attends a summer camp. Yes, I will be attending this summer camp even if I have a job or an Internship, because this “summer camp” is making me a better designer and a better person.

I’m not a designer, I cant go, I can’t contribute.

My friends back home always say this to me. like Hello!!! Yes you can! Some of the greatest contributors to teams and to the camp are not designers, not creatives. Last summer I had a business major on my team, and this past winter we had english majors and engineers. To everyone who thinks they are not creative I challenge you to come to SHiFT Camp. Because we will find your creative bone and make it one of your best qualities. You will be amazed at what you can contribute and create in the environment of creatives and limited resources. COME TO SHIFT CAMP! STOP SAYING NO!

be the SHiFT!

I love this. Its written in all my sketchbooks and I probably say it to myself 10 times a day. Be the SHiFT in design! Be the SHiFT of the future! Be the SHiFT in someone’s day, make it better. Be the SHiFT in your life. Be the SHiFT of your community. Be the SHiFT in the negatives & turn them into positives! #BetheSHiFT

Thank you to everyone who is behind SHiFT Camp. The creators, designers, sponsors, and participants. You are being the SHiFT in my life and in my future!


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