When my twins were born in 2014, I remember connecting with many friends who had become parents before me. Regardless of their kids’ ages, most expressed the same sentiment:
“Relish these days, because before you know it, your kids will be all grown up and moved out of the house.”
The thing is, by the time my kids were born I’d already given life to another “child” thirteen years prior.
I wrote the first lines of code for CampMinder on July 4th, 2001. I was so inspired by the idea that I cancelled my evening plans so I could hammer away at the keyboard. I’ll never forget the sound and sight of fireworks shooting off in the distance of my New York City apartment, not realizing I was in the process of launching a company that would become my labor of love.
Somehow, today marks CampMinder’s 20th anniversary. Building and growing this company has been one of the great joys and honors of my life, and I have to pinch myself to make sure this isn’t a dream. I’ve not lost sight of how lucky I am to get to do what I love, with people I love, every day. We’ve reached this milestone because of your daily efforts to help today’s children grow into kind, thoughtful, and community-oriented adults. Supporting the work you do creates meaning and purpose for our team members, inspiring us to no end. Simply stated: Thank you, because there would be no CampMinder without you.
Like many stories that unfold over long stretches of time, the journey of founding and leading CampMinder has been filled with ups and downs, and with trials and triumphs. In particular, the experience of navigating through the challenges of the pandemic has been the greatest obstacle and learning experience of my professional career—as I know it probably has been for many of you.
Last April, when it became evident that COVID-19 was going to throw a major wrench into not only the summer, but also CampMinder’s financial well-being, we embarked on a mission. We needed to find a way to keep CampMinder healthy, strong, and well-positioned to double-down on our investment in our beloved clients and industry. We knew that your needs coming out of COVID were not going to subside and that addressing them would only become more crucial. We also knew that after many years of investing heavily into building a world-class, award-winning team at CampMinder (not to mention the product itself), undoing this company-building work was not an option.
We’ve reached this milestone because of your daily efforts to help today’s children grow into kind, thoughtful, and community-oriented adults. Supporting the work you do creates meaning and purpose for our team members, inspiring us to no end. Simply stated: Thank you, because there would be no CampMinder without you.
During the second half of 2020, we began to seek a financial partner with the hope that we would find a special, values-aligned individual or firm. A team with not only the financial resources to help us come out of the pandemic stronger than ever, but also the ability to add a tremendous amount of strategic value. Our goal was clear: we wanted to find the ideal partner to help CampMinder—the company and the product—become the best version of itself so that we could maximize the value we deliver to you.
I’ll spare you all the details of the search (it was thorough), but I’m delighted that the journey led me back to my own childhood. Through a twist of fate, I became reacquainted with Andrew Saltoun, who had been a good friend of mine in elementary school more than thirty years ago. Andrew, a former camper at Camp Winadu, had since formed a network of individual investors with incredible experiences leading businesses that range from JetBlue, to Asurion, to Bonobos, and the Boston Celtics (which is pretty awesome, even though I’m a Knicks fan).
I’m thrilled to share that in December, Andrew and his firm (creatively named “Saltoun”) became a part of the CampMinder family. The ability to work closely with Saltoun has been an absolute joy for me and the team. We are so excited to embark on the next part of the adventure with them by our side, and we have already experienced some of the ways they can help us level-up our game to become an even better partner to you. For those of you wondering, I’m not going anywhere, and our management team remains fully intact and more committed than ever.
Andrew and our other investors share our deep belief in the importance of camp, and they bring long-term commitment, vision, and resources to help us accelerate our plans. We are now poised to confidently invest in the product improvements that will benefit you the most and look forward to delivering new and innovative solutions for our mobile, integrated world.
So, here we are. Twenty years have passed, and my child is venturing into “adult life.” Despite that, it feels like CampMinder is just being born and that the next chapter will be even more meaningful and fulfilling than the last. And it all starts now: working hand-in-hand with you to make sure that this most important summer is a huge success and a launching-off point for you and your camp. We are energized, reinvigorated, and here for you. Thank you for your continued support and partnership, and please reach out if there’s any way we can help.
Founder & CEO | CampMinder