Four Days of Reflection, Planning, and Awesome

Lydia Toupin

Our slogan for this year’s company retreat was: “AtenCamp 2013: 4 days of reflection, planning and awesome.” And it was all that. Check out our pictures on Flickr.

Nineteen of the twenty-one Aten team members headed to Breckenridge, Colorado, for work sessions, socializing and a lot of fun. We missed front-end developer, John Ferris, who is wrapping up his remote year in Australia, and Erin Holloway, our Senior Designer and newest addition, who officially started the day after AtenCamp.

Since AtenCamp is one of the few times the main crew from our Denver office gets to have face time with our remote team members we were all excited to be out of our offices and hanging out together. We kicked off our time on Wednesday night with a company dinner in the Village of Breckenridge, just a stroll away from our condos. Dinner was followed by cards and parlor games.

Thursday and Friday our leadership team led us through discussions on Ideal Clients, The Funnel, Estimates, Budgets and Innovation. There were small group discussions, large group discussions, and lots of coffee. Everyone had a chance to speak, brainstorm and collaborate. We’re excited to implement some of the great ideas that came out of these discussions.

And no Aten get-together is complete without swag! This year was over the top: we each received a personalized backpack made by Colorado’s own Topo Designs. Customized with the Aten logo and everyone’s initials, our packs sport Colorado colors and plenty of room for laptops and wires or rain gear and crampons. Awesome.

Between and after AtenCamp sessions we enjoyed lunches, dinners and evenings out at local Breckenridge restaurants and cafes. I think everyone had a chance to spend time with everyone else. And, although we did not have a spontaneous arm wrestling tournament like at AtenCamp 2012, this year a large part of the team enjoyed a pac-man competition in a nearby bar.

On Friday night families showed up; we had a pizza party with partners and children. Long time Atenaut, Joel Steidl said it best: “Aten is a special place. I don't think many businesses are so respectful of family. I think we have a unique thing going where all the staff and friends/family get the opportunity to hang out.” I couldn’t agree more!

And perhaps my favorite part of AtenCamp was our Saturday morning hike. Me and a few others had checked out some nearby trails on solo time in the days before, but on Saturday about a dozen of us headed off for a group hike. It was sunny and crisp with a few inches of fresh snow on the ground. We took Burro trail into the surrounding national forest. After a few miles of easy hiking, Rob Ballou instigated AtenCamp: Adventure Mode, including ridge scaling, bridge building, creek crossing and general trail blazing. It was a great time.

Sunday morning we packed up, checked-out and said goodbye. Another AtenCamp come and gone. We’re still growing and learning; honing our processes and expanding our creativity. This is a great team to be on with so much to offer. Thanks Atennauts, for your work, focus, and friendships.