Thursday Getaway: Enjoying The Places We Help Preserve

Klean Kanteen Co-Owner and Director of Human Resources, Michelle Kalberer, shares her reflections on a great Klean Kanteen tradition–the family camping trip.


Every year I delight in the chance to escape the summer heat of Chico and head into the neighboring Sierras with co-workers and their families during our annual camping trip. By simply unplugging and connecting with our families in nature, we come alive and are reminded of that which is important to us as people and as a company.

I woke up on the first morning of the trip, not to an alarm clock, not to the auto-brewed coffee pot, and not to the urgency of life. I awoke in the warmth of my sleeping bag, to sun rays making their way through evergreen branches, and to the giggles of Klean kids already enjoying the day!

We've spent so much time inside the walls of Klean inspiring and encouraging humans to make choices that care for the environment. It’s a treat when we get an opportunity to enjoy the same natural world we’ve worked so hard to preserve.

To recharge our internal batteries, we used our imaginations to become children again. We fished, kayaked, paddle boarded, played friendly games of Spikeball, and connected in ways that are impossible to do at work.

I made a pile of pinecones with Ryker (age 4) and learned that it was really a pod of whales we were creating a home for. I pushed Eisley (age 2) in a swing, and she told me how she was a blue bird. I basked in the relaxed smiles of our families as we chatted and told stories around the campfire. It was in those moments that I was reminded the staggering importance of our mission: to respect the places we live and play, to be responsible human beings, and to have a lot of FUN!!!

My heart expanded (once again) as I enjoyed friendships that go beyond the workplace, and with the peacefulness we received from a world that is ours to cherish. Every day I am thankful for the people I work with, people truly committed to what matters. This trip was the perfect reminder of just how much I am inspired by them! Monday is just around the corner…. Bring it on!!!