woman chatting on computer wearing headphones

Manager of Business Relationships/Development Coordinator

Building community connections is what I do every day. I work with businesses, teachers and organizations to create the perfect off-site experience to foster learning and deepen understanding – of nature, of one another and communication.

I think everyone can agree that this year emphasized the importance of connection and relationships. For many, it was a time of complete isolation outside the norm. Suddenly, people all over the world were having to adjust to being home and home only.

The immediate shut-down of so many businesses and schools impacted me, too. I wasn’t facilitating these incredible experiences to connect students and teachers or coworkers, but I knew how valuable they are for short and long-term.

While COVID was changing the face of da- to-day communication, people all around the world were realizing the impact every day socialization had on their lives. Numerous studies have proven the importance of community and interaction for overall mental and physical health.

With many facing complete isolation for the first time, the emphasis on social media became more prevalent. Overall social media usage saw an increase in usage by 25% amongst men and women in the U.S. For the first time, people were having to rely strictly on socials to stay connected.

It spurred creative movements across platforms like Zoom, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. Many people took to “going Live” on platforms to connect with their friends and family at home for special occasions. We also saw the power of connecting via virtual (and drive-through) graduations, happy hours, birthdays and more.

People found that coming together virtually (though not quite the same) did make an impact and helped them cope with the changes brought on by COVID.

Staying connected and expressing affection has been linked to decreasing stress and high blood pressure. Creating a network of neighbors outside the physical has been proven to be just as essential to our overall wellbeing. By reaching out and keeping up, we all help create a stronger community in a time of uncertainty.

Working within Camp Fire, I have learned the importance of having a solid community of support around you. The very nature of non-profits thrives on that principle. Having a foundation of support and accountability has been critical to keeping things turning everywhere.

If you haven’t, take some time to connect to someone important in your life today. Whether it be via email, text, call or social media – Connect! It’s the small, daily interactions that can boost us up and through these lonely times. And when we can return to group gatherings and community building at Camp El Tesoro, you know we’ll be there to boost you up, too!