Ben Trachtman

Sports Lead, Linktree

Years as a Camper: I was a camper from 2003-2007, a CILT in 2008 and a CIT in 2009

Years as a Staff Member/Positions held: 

2010-2011: Cabin Counselor in the Spartan Unit  

2012: Spartan Unit Leader 

2013: Ad Staff, Trainee Coordinator

Current Profession and Title/Years in role: Currently, I am the Sports Lead at Linktree which I started in April of this year. Prior to joining Linktree, I’ve served in a variety of roles in the sports industry: Ticket Sales Associate for the Carolina Hurricanes and Durham Bulls, Director of Baseball Operations for USA Baseball, and a few positions at Teamworks (a sports tech company based in Durham) - Sales Associate, Customer Success Manager, Manager of Product Success and Director of Customer Operations.

Can you provide a brief overview of your job responsibilities?

As the Sports Lead at Linktree, it’s my job to acquire, activate, retain and build relationships with all of our partners in the sports industry. This includes prominent athletes, teams, leagues, organizations and brands using our product for their link in bio solution on social media platforms. 

Do you have any career advice for members of our Camp community?

Be curious, ask questions, step outside your comfort zone and into your challenge zone, genuinely invest in others, truly listen when someone is talking to you, find ways to add “tools to your toolbelt”, give every day your best and find a career you’re passionate about so no day ever feels like “work”. If that passion changes over time, that’s okay!  

What do you believe have been some of your greatest personal and professional accomplishments? 

One of my biggest personal accomplishments was becoming a first-time home buyer! I bought my house the week the world shut down in March 2020 due to the pandemic. To be handed the keys and officially own something I worked so hard to have was very rewarding. 

One of my proudest professional accomplishments was seeing all 6 members of a team I previously managed receive promotions. Impacting someone else's professional career (and life) is always very rewarding!

How do the values or skills you learned at Camp show up in your everyday work and/or personal life?

Camp teaches you so much, oftentimes without you even realizing it! More than anything, Camp taught me that authenticity matters. Being confident in my abilities, who I am as a person, what I believe in, and how to work and treat people will take you far in life. Skills such as patience, problem-solving, having attention to detail, assessing risk and managing the outcome, clear and concise communication, taking initiative, holding yourself accountable and most importantly, never taking anything too seriously are all present every day in my personal and professional life. 

Oh, and I can’t forget the simple things like making your bed every day, leaving somewhere better than you found it, greeting people with a smile and with your sunglasses off, and how to run (don’t fall) with purpose when you’re late.

Is there a person or a situation that had a huge influence on you while you were at Camp? How and why did they/it impact you?

So many people - campers, counselors and staff - had an impact on my life while I was at Camp and continue to do so today. One, in particular, comes to mind: 

Matthew “Dukie” West was my first-ever counselor in 2003. I can remember how much energy Dukie had and how fun he made the week for me. To Dukie, I was likely just another camper during the summer that he wanted to make sure had a great week. But to me, Dukie was a superstar. During our cabin photo, I can remember thinking how cool it was that I got to sit beside Dukie. 

Later that summer, Dukie tragically died in a car accident. As a 10-year-old, this was the first time someone I knew died. It was really hard for me to understand how someone so young and full of life, someone who I just met a few weeks prior, was no longer alive. 

To this day, I truly cherish the impact Dukie had on me during our one week together; it’s a constant reminder that life is short and every interaction we have with someone has the potential to have a major impact. There’s no question that Dukie is the reason I grew up wanting to be a camp counselor and spend my summers at Camp Kanata.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Always say yes to experiences! Sometimes it might put a dent in the piggy bank, but the memories will be worth it.

Favorite Camp meal: Sunday spaghetti and meatballs  

Favorite dining hall or flagpole song: Little Red Wagon (jazz style)

All-time favorite skit memory: The Final Arcade Game with Forrest, as the arcade robot, “Black Bart”, and Sunshine, as the kid in the arcade (still wiping the tears away from this one)

Favorite evening program at Camp: The Dance! 

Devotion you best remember from Camp: Reading Where the Wild Things Are to the Spartans campers 

If you had to have an intro song every time you walked into a room what would it be? In the Stone by Earth, Wind & Fire 

Do you have a hidden talent? I can juggle, no need to hide it! 

What three words best describe you? Cool, Calm, Collected  

What profession other than your own would you like to try? Race Car driver

What would you eat if you could only have one food for the rest of your life? Breakfast food…all of it.

Ben Trachtman