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Lessons Learned At Bird Camp

Lessons Learned At Bird Camp

Oct 24, 2017

oiselle running steph wiliett volee team manager
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Well before starting at Oiselle as the Volée Team Manager, way back in February, I had signed up to attend the California edition of Bird Camp. Having originally planned to attend alone, the introvert in me was little nervous at the thought of joining over 50 women for a weekend running retreat.

Fast-forward to June 2017: I’ve accepted a job offer from Oiselle. I am exactly 10 days into my new job and I find myself in a cabin at a summer camp somewhere in New Hampshire with the famous Dr. Lesko, Volée Leaders from four different states (Hi Ashley, Holly, Tracy, Trax and Jana!), an Olympian and someone called Jungle Chicken. What is a Jungle Chicken, exactly? (A wicked fast runner and dancer extraordinaire, that’s what!)

Over the course of the summer, I travelled to 5 different Bird Camps, met over 300 members of the Volée and learned some fun lessons along the way:


Photo-1.jpgMeg (Marketing Director) and I at DC Bird Camp Photo-2.jpgJenn (Graphic Designer) and I at Texas Bird Camp

1. Traveling with coworkers is the best way to get to know them.

I was lucky enough to travel with a different member of The Nest to each of the camps I attended. There is no better way to become fast friends than to travel cross country together, run together, conquer fears together and, of course, dance party together. As the summer wraps up, I’ve got several new office besties!

Photo-3.jpgThe epic blob at Texas Bird CampPhoto-4_2.jpgMorning run in Michigan

2. The Haute Volée – They’re just like us! (Except faster!).

Having at least one (sometimes two or even three!) members of the Haute Volée at each camp was amazing! These women are running at the absolute top of their game and they took time out of their busy training (and life) schedules to spend a weekend with their team. Whether leading warm up drills, strength training sessions or running alongside teammates in a marathon relay, they were always accessible and willing to share their incredible knowledge and experience.

Screen-Shot-2017-10-23-at-1.07.03-PM.jpgMichigan Bird Camp relay in actionPhoto-6.jpgSome casual cross training in Texas

3. Volée members have really cool jobs.

With so much talk about running, BQs and PRs, it’s easy to forget that every single one of the women I met this summer has a life outside of running and that life includes a really cool job. From patent attorneys to large animal vets to sport psychologists, the Volée is made up of very smart women with awesome careers. 

Photo-7_1.jpgMorning run in Wisconsin

4.  It’s about much more than running.

While our love of running might be the thing that initially brought us all together, it’s clear to me that it’s about much more than that. The Volée and Bird Camps bring together the kindest, most generous, funniest and most thoughtful women in our sport.

Magic happens when we all come together. 

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