Build a Community, Build a Home

“I’m new here, but already I feel at home.” That's an accurate summary of the feeling we hope to create for every HR- and talent-leader who joins our new Campfire Community.

Jenn Iwerks
Community Development Manager

“I’m new here, but already I feel at home.”

As one of Campfire’s newest employees, that sentence pretty accurately sums up the feeling of joining such a small-but-mighty team of doers, overachievers, visionaries, and just down-to-earth good people.

It’s also an accurate summary of the feeling we hope to create for every HR- and talent-leader who joins our new Campfire Community.

“I’m new here, but already I feel at home.”

Of course, that brings up the obvious question, “Just how do you plan on doing that?”; and while that’s a good question, I don’t think it’s the right place to start. Instead, let’s talk about what the Campfire Community is and why we’re building it in the first place.

What is the Campfire Community?

The Campfire Community is a space for forward-thinking HR- and talent-leaders to connect and find ways to better support each other and their people. It’s a space to meet other HR professionals, to receive help with common challenges, to ask questions, and to share ideas.

It includes things like common connection spaces, 1:1 member-matching, exclusive events, content and resources, and plenty of wonderful surprises sprinkled in between. Of course, every aspect of the Community has been given a healthy dose of Campfire magic, making it unique to any community you’ve been a part of previously.

Why create a community?

This question is infinitely more difficult than the last one, not because it doesn’t have an answer, but because I could give you a dozen different answers and each one would be true.

“Because HR-leaders deserve a space that is uniquely theirs.” “Because we think it will help our business grow.” “Because we’re passionate about helping both HR-leaders and the people they serve.” “Because people-people need people too.” “Because these people know so much and can teach and help each other in really meaningful ways.”

All true. 

But I think the right answer is…because we have to (*inserts shrug emoji*).

Let me explain what I mean.

The Campfire mission is, “To provide universal access to deeply connected experiences that inspire people to live better lives, together.”

In other words, the Campfire mission is to create a community. 

Managers experience that kind of community through our Campfire sessions, but we recognized a need for community for the HR leaders who care so much about those managers to gather and connect. A place where any HR-leader, Campfire customer or not, can connect with others through shared experiences and be inspired to improve.

We also have the technology, the people, the research, and the resources to make it a reality right now.

Oh, and before you get it twisted, we didn’t create the Campfire Community just because we felt like we had to. We also really, really (really) wanted to.

One of the earliest things we did as we began organizing the Campfire Community was to brainstorm what some of our guiding principles might be. Here are just a few of the words that emerged from those conversations:


Campfire was founded by a small group of deeply empathetic individuals, which means that by default, Campfire is a deeply empathetic company towards both their employees and customers. There is a deep understanding of the problems each of those groups face and a relentless willingness to work together towards positive outcomes.

The Campfire Community is no different. Every member who joins either arrives with that same willingness and understanding, or quickly develops it. It’s an infectious, almost palpable feeling within our Community spaces and events.


The most incredible museums in the world are visited by millions of people every year. Yet somehow, they manage to provide a beautifully unique, personal experience to anyone who is willing to walk just a bit slower inside their walls than they normally would outside.

We are adopting that same standard of curation to create a space that feels intentional and personal, even as the Community grows.


Connection is at the center of everything we do (hence the Campfire name). The Campfire Community is first and foremost a place for HR leaders to connect with others like (and unlike) themselves.

That’s why instead of aspiring to host huge conferences in even bigger event venues, we’re focused on hosting events that provide ample opportunity for 1:1 or small group connection. We’re focused on Campfires.

The Power of Community

At different points in my career and life, I have been involved in communities that have helped shape who I am. Whether working with marginalized students in higher education, sharing experiences with other first-time mothers, or supporting coworkers after being part of an unfortunate and unexpected round of layoffs, I have seen the immediate impact a community can have on an individual.

A community is a place where people feel heard and seen. One where they feel important. It’s also where people are able to feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves, be it laying the groundwork for more inclusive campuses, or being one of a group of people collectively finding their footing and taking that next big career leap, or helping form and shape the future of HR. A future that includes stronger leaders, happier employees, and better companies.

“I’m new here, but already I feel at home.”

That’s what community is all about. 

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