Green, yellow, red

May 5, 2012

Over the course of the 48 hours’ worth of work at New England GiveCamp, the team leaders for each project gather every few hours at a corner of the work floor. The meeting is simple; GiveCamp co-organizer Kelley Muir calls out the name of each of the 30 non-profits represented at the weekend, and the respective team leader lets the group know if there are any barriers they think may stop them from completing their project by Sunday afternoon. They also give a one-word status: green, yellow, or red. Green? Everything’s going great. Yellow? Cautiously optimistic. Red? We have a problem.

It’s fun to listen to how the team leaders respond. Some you’d expect for a weekend of web development (“we need Drupal developers”). But some show what sets GiveCamp apart. Last night? “Everyone’s been so helpful.” “We’ve got a team of rockstars.”

For me the team leader meeting is a great summary of the weekend as a whole. It shows how eager everyone is to make sure everyone’s project is completed in time. And it shows how a devoted group of passionate people can accomplish amazing work in a very short period of time.

There’s an energy from the first hours at GiveCamp that lasts through the end of the weekend. Seeing people coding at 2:00 a.m. Watching a non-profit representative smile as they see their project being built before their eyes. It’s those moments – and those team meetings – that make this an unforgettable weekend.