On the morning of May 1st, 12 brave 'Stackers from all over Texas embarked on a journey with one goal in mind: Having the best Glamping weekend possible. I, Matthew Aguirre, was one of the lucky ones who got to participate in this adventure.
After a long year, it had finally become safe for us to congregate. We were excited to reunite for some fun and team bonding, as well as to simply see each other outside of a Zoom screen.
The plan was simple. We would meet up at the Geronimo Creek Retreat campgrounds and have fun for a couple days. The site itself was very impressive. Each 'Stacker had their own cabin with beds, TV’s, and even bathroom/shower facilities on site.
The planning for this trip started back in early February and had everyone involved very excited for the chance to have our own little “TinyHands”.
Did you know? The "TinyHands" name comes from the Formstack tradition of Small Hands, where each team does a retreat together during the second half of the year.
Mother Nature Flexes
For many of us, our drive started a little wet. There was a pretty intense rainstorm that was covering the entire area of the campsite as well as a good chunk of Texas itself. I personally got a little nervous driving through construction and heavy San Antonio traffic all the while only being able to see 20 ft in front of me. But hey, once we got to the campsite things would just chill out right….Right?
Not exactly. For a moment, I think a few of us thought the trip might be ruined. There was more rain in that one day than I had seen in a long time. Especially for Texas. The good thing was, we were glamping. We had cabins that were made for just such weather conditions. Plus, we're 'Stackers, and one of our core values is "Get to Work on Solving Problems". So that's what we did!
The Fun Begins
Despite the weather, we were determined to have a good fun weekend. Late that afternoon, the rain stopped, and the BBQ began.
Have you ever tried James Allen’s ribs or Evan Stenmark’s brisket? Both are worth the admission of a little water on the ground. It wasn’t too long after that we started settling in and getting down to some serious good times.
Wondering Walter, Formstack's donkey mascot, enjoyed joining the team for this TinyHands glamping trip. Learn more about the real-life Walter here.
Lot’s of good food, great conversation, and many laughs followed. We also learned quite a bit about each other. Like Jens Clayson knows his way around a Dutch Oven, or Soolin Withrow is amazing at paddle boarding. We had s'mores, brownies, and the very first High Tea Time I had ever participated in.
Fun Fact: Soolin hosts Remotie Tea Time every Friday as a way for our fully remote employees to bond and have some fun. Get inspired to host your own with these 10 Fun Games to Play Over Video Chat.
A New Stacker Approaches
On day two, everything was perfect. The rain had mostly dried up and everyone was outside enjoying the sun. Then we heard some fun news! Our very own CEO Chris Byers had decided to bring his son and come check out our little gathering.
Chris was welcomed with open arms as we all talked about the important things going on in our company. We also covered slightly less important topics, like “Who’s going to win the Tournament of Fruits” to “Does this place have a ping pong table”.
Spoiler alert, it did. I had never actually played a game of Power Struggle with coworkers before. Definitely a lot of fun.
Future Friendships Forged
If there is one group of people on this trip that I was truly jealous of, it was the kids. With all of our 'Stackers came 10+ kids. The fact that kids were integrated into the trip plans shows how much Formstack values families. When else have you gone on a work retreat and been able to bring your kids along?
I watched as the parents all had huge smiles on their faces as their children started making quick friends with the other 'Stacker kids. They basically occupied the hot tub on site the whole trip. They provided quite a few laughs the whole weekend.
Living Out the Formstack Culture Values
One of the overarching culture values at Formstack is "Relationships Matter". This TinyHands trips truly represented this core value in action! It's great to work for an organization that believes in building relationships and supports employees finding unique opportunities for team building and bonding.
One thing is for sure: We all had fun and we can’t wait to do it again. Maybe this time it will be a little less rainy.
Want to experience Formstack's unique culture first-hand? See our open roles here!
About The Author
Matthew "MattAg" Aguirre has been with Formstack since December 2019. He started as a Tier 2 Customer Support Specialist for Sync, and is now Tier 3 for both Sync and Sign. Matt is an avid D&D player and lives in San Angelo, Texas.