Having Fun: a Way of Life at Camden

When’s the last time you were greeted in your cube at work by a homemade Taco or Ice Cream Truck? Ever gotten to play a Game Show at lunch with your co-worker BFF? At the Camden corporate office, these events are not out of the ordinary! We take our value of having fun very seriously.

In 2015, our Strategic Services Department formed quarterly Culture Committees tasked with organizing events that would bring the whole corporate office together and result in “departmental cross-pollination” as we fondly nicknamed it. Our goal was to get people out of their cubes and offices and interact with each other by breaking up the day with a little bit of fun and activity. Our goal for committee members was to form new and better relationships with co-workers.

Everyone involved spectators, participants and committee members, agreed this was a success. Mission accomplished!

The first activity was a TV-style Game Show during lunch called Who Knows You Best that paired “work besties” together in a competition to find out how well they knew each other.

Some of the contestants knew each other very well while others were left wondering if they really knew each other at all. David Oden, a representative from Business Services, was a member of the losing team, but still loved being part of the game. David shared, “Anytime I can create laughs with Camden team members it really energizes me!”

Who Knows you best

Who Knows you best2

Evelyn Bartish, a District Manager in Houston and a member of the winning team, said, “It was amazing seeing what facts Diane and I know about each other! We had so much fun participating in the Game Show.  Until this game show, I didn’t know that you can work close with someone and not know them at all.”

Kathy Hernandez, the Marketing representative on the Who Knows You Best committee said, “While planning the successful Who Knows You Best game, I loved getting to know co-workers that I don’t work with daily.  I had so much fun sharing laughs on a normal Tuesday and turning close work relationships into TV-style entertainment!”

taco truck

The second committee built a homemade Taco Truck (aka a rolling cart and cardboard). They ordered breakfast tacos and rolled around all 4 floors of the corporate office in the morning “selling” tacos to eager employees. Camden employees excitedly waited for the Taco Truck to arrive on their floor. The money earned from taco sales went to purchasing houseplants and landscaping for our Camden Cares efforts.

Camden Cares

Employees present this beautiful houseplant to one of our Camden Cares homeowners.

Camden is a company of people who love to eat and love even more to give back to the community, so you can imagine how many tacos the committee sold that day. Jennifer Cox, the Contact Center representative for the Taco Truck committee said, “As a new employee I loved being part of this event because I got to meet other people from different departments and really get a taste for the Camden Culture.”

Yadira Ibarra in the Marketing Department said, “The Taco Truck was so fun and valuable. This event allowed me to collaborate with people outside of my department and showed me how successful we can be when we’re having fun.”

Finally, the third committee made the Taco Truck over into an Ice Cream Truck and toured the office handing out ice cream bars and also collecting donations for Camden Cares. The ice cream truck workers made the experience complete with traditional ice-cream-truck-music announcing its progress through the halls. In true Camden fashion, employees lined the halls like little kids waving their money in the air and screaming for ice cream.

ice cream truck

Emily Lanclos, the Business Services representative on the Ice Cream Truck Committee said, “Seeing everyone’s face while turning the corner with the ice cream truck and song on was priceless! Definitely a great way to bring everyone together and to get to know others we work with, but may not see often.”

With our three events in 2015, the Strategic Services department met our goals for spreading Camden culture: we reached all 200 Camden corporate employees, we had fun, and we formed better connections and relationships not only within our own department but with others as well.

Kristy Simonette, Senior Vice President of Strategic Services and Chief Information Officer, summed it up the best: “I knew that we achieved our goal of bringing fun and excitement to the corporate office when, on the morning of Taco Truck Tuesday, I got phone calls from all floors wanting to know where the taco truck was and when it would be stopping by their desks.”

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