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Lessons Under Canvas

Lessons from 7 Nights Under Canvas.

Having just returned from spending 7 nights under canvas there were some definite lessons learned that I want to share. The opportunity arose to attend a festival called Rivercamp just outside Evesham last week with 2,000 other festival goers. To keep it all running smoothly 250 volunteers had jobs from stewards to first aiders, from working in the crèche to security.  I found myself on the 17 strong catering team which turned out to be a lot harder work than I had imagined it would be. With 7am starts and finishing at 8pm I have a new found respect for people in the catering trade.

My experience of camping is limited with having only camped twice in 5 years so I was pleased how easy pitching the tent was. The weather was extremely positive on the first day with clear blue skies and the warm breeze almost felt Mediterranean in climate.

Fast forward 3 days and the good old British weather struck with howling winds and driving rain causing havoc on the campsite. To be fair the poor weather was forecast and everyone had an opportunity to secure their tent with extra pegs and tighten the guy ropes. It truly amazed me that not everyone took this opportunity and found themselves worse for wear the following morning!

Having time to reflect, here are some of the lessons that can be transferred to business.

  • Awareness – are you keeping abreast of what are the latest developments in your industry?  Or are you just going with the flow and hoping for the best?  (the weather forecast gave a warning of the incoming weather front)
  • Be Prepared – what additional resources do you need if things start to go wrong? (the extra tent pegs proved invaluable)
  • Take Action Early – are you the one who acts or are you the one acted upon? (tightening the guy ropes made all the difference in keeping the tent steady in the high winds)
  • Having Good People Round You – who is there to help you in the down times?  (the campers helped each other to overcome the situation.)
  • Sense Of Humour – do you moan and groan when things go wrong or do you try and keep upbeat and even see the funny side of a situation? (we had a great laugh at the situation which helped keep spirits up)

Hindsight is a wonderful thing – Kipling wrote – “If you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs and blaming it on you”

Whatever you’ve been up to this summer I hope you’ve had a great time and found this short blog of interest.

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