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Today's Marketing Cookie - Saving Douglas Camp
"Look up an old friend if you're feeling down."
Today's fortune came from Vic Beck of Boston, MA. Mr. Beck is a Managing Director of Public Affairs at Burson-Marsteller. I had the privilege of working with Mr. Beck on the Board of AMA Boston before he was called by military senior leaders to run the international news and public affairs teams, during crucial times in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Vic takes his career very seriously, he loves his family, and he is a wonderful person. I encourage you to follow Vic on Twitter: @vicbeck
Today's Marketing Cookie is about the power of marketing.
We all have a special place that we enjoyed as kids during the summer. It was a place we loved, that will always stay cherished in our memory. However, with the passing of time, we grew up, got busy, moved away and we've never been back. Maybe it was your grandparent's farm, an old drive-in theater, a roller skating rink or perhaps it was an amusement park. Unfortunately, no one else from the good old days has been back either, and it's been abandoned, condemned, torn down and forgotten.
There was one special place in particular that I remember from my childhood, with such fondness called, Douglas Camp. My family went there every summer and I made more friends than I could count. I went off to college, got married, moved away, started my career and had three children. I guess you could say that life happened. I got busy, and never returned.
Three years ago, I began reminiscing the joys of my childhood. I was really missing the my old friends from camp, and being a "marketing guy", I decided to start a Facebook group. The word spread quickly. More than a hundred and fifty people whom I have not seen nor heard from in twenty years began joining our camp reunion group. They started uploading old photos and sharing stories. It was just like we were kids again! I felt like a piece of me that had been missing was restored. The next summer, we announced on Facebook that we were having a reunion at Douglas Camp, and again, the word spread.
When I drove over the old bridge and onto the camp grounds for the first time in twenty years, I was heart broken. The program for teens had been shut down for at least fifteen years, the grounds were neglected, the buildings were falling apart, and most of them needed to be torn down. The only people still working to keep the camp were now seventy and eighty years old. Where were the younger generations? Didn't anyone care? Our beloved camp, where so many cherished memories were first created, had somehow been forgotten.
For the past two years, we have been raising money, coming back to the camp on weekends, and working to restore our camp. We had been away far too long, and now it was our turn to care for our camp. Our goal is to bring back the youth program, so future generations will once again create memories of their own. We've made excellent progress, and yet there is so much more to be done.
At the end of the day, the reunion happened because of marketing. We spread the word, we shared stories and people came. We connected them with the wonderful memories they had forgotten, and we connected them with one another. Luckily, we started the work on Douglas Camp before it was too late and in the process, became best friends all over again. That, my friends, is the brightest side of marketing. You too have the power to connect with people with the important things in life, and you can do so in a very meaningful way! All you have to do next... is start.
Click here if you would like to help our project to restore the youth program at Douglas Camp.