Blakely (Blake) Holman
Tell us about you and your family’s experience at Camp?
I spent 9 years as a camper at Lincoln. I started as a Gopher in 1993 and worked my way up through the LT program. My mom, Jan “Skip” Freeman (1963-1973, 1982, 1991-1996), was a long-time camper so it was always a matter of when not if my sisters Barrett (1997-2004, S2009-2010) and Chandler (1995-2003, S2006-2007) and I became campers. Between the four of us, we spent 50 years at camp!
Mom/Barrett/Chandler (11 Years): 8-9 years as campers, 2-3 years as Summer Staff.
Blake (17 years): 9 years as a camper (1993-2001), Staff for 8 Years (3 years as Summer Staff, 5 Years working in the Winter Office. 2004-2011)
What are a few of your favorite memories from Camp Lincoln?
Cabin: Oly Club
Food: Cabin Cookouts: 2 burger patties, grilled onions, with Mayo-que
Dining Tradition: Andre’ is going to kill me for saying this, but leading random chants in Senior Dining Hall is the greatest thing ever.
Day Activity: TOUCH FOOTBALL SUPER BOWL (duh)
Evening Activity: Gopher & Senior Ball
Favorite Memory: When Dave Edwards (S1995-1998) and Fletch Justice (S1992-1996, S1998) surprised Brendan Murphy (1992-2000, S2004) and I by retiring our Baseball numbers.
What are some of the things you learned at camp? Favorite activities?
A standard activity block for me might be Frisbee Golf, Baseball, Loon Jumping, and then Football. Mike Motch (1993-2002, S2004-2005) and I were in a constant battle to see who could attend Camp for the longest and earn the least total awards. But Camp for me was never about awards. All I wanted to do at Camp was hang out with these awesome life-long friends from all over the world.
You mentioned life-long camp friends earlier. Can you elaborate on any of these lasting camp friendships?
My Post-College Roommate and one of my best friends in the world Kevin Hulbert (S2002-2007, S2009) was a camp person; over half of my Groomsmen Kevin Anthony McGuinness (S2004-2008), Joey Shannon (S2004-2009), Hans Bengtson (S2004-2006), and Zac Brien (S2006) were camp people; the three most important people I’ve ever worked with Andre, Ruggs, and Sam are obviously camp people. While the total time you spend with Camp people is small in the grand scheme of things, the depth of the relationships you build are like no other, and you only truly understand if you go to camp.
Where did life take you after your camping years on the shores of Lake Hubert?
Family: I live back in the homeland (E-TOWN: Edina, MN) with my wife of 9 years Beth and our two kiddos (Harrison and KJ). Counting down the years till Intro camp!
Work: I left Camp to attend business school Full-Time in 2011. I earned my MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, and I now work as a Senior Brand Manager for General Mills leading the Yoplait and Go-Gurt Brands. I feel incredibly fortunate to have this great job at a company I care about, and I know I never would have gotten where I am today without Camp.
Parting thoughts on Camp?
An internal challenge most Camp people deal with is “how long can I stay at Camp before entering the real world.” It happens as both a camper and counselor. Kids are pressured to invest more and more time in Sports and Academics, College students are told by career counselors that they should look for *insert random internship* to improve their job prospects, and all of this is required to be successful in “the real world.” Reflecting on my life, I can say confidently that, delaying entering “the real world” is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I spent 17 years at Camp learning how to be a better human. I learned how to understand people who are different than me, how to compromise and interact with others, how to put myself out there and build friendships with people I’d never met. Camp made me a better leader, team member, and now parent and I’m so thankful for every second of it.