Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Slie of Life-nErDcampNNE 2015 Reflection

Each Tuesday the amazing bloggers at Two Writing Teachers host Slice of Life Stories (SOLS). This is where bloggers link up to share anything they would like to share about what is happening in their lives. 

After a year of planning, the second nErDcamp Northern New England was held this past weekend. 200ish teachers, librarians, authors and other educators gathered together for a day of learning and connecting. To my knowledge we are the second region to hold a nErDcamp. Nerdcamp was the brainchild of Colby Sharp and his friends at Nerdy Book Club in Michigan who hold their nErDcamp in the summer. 
The weekend started off with an author event on Friday night. Dozens of local authors and illustrators from New England gathered to meet fans and sign books. It was so exciting to see kids' eyes light up when they meet the author that wrote their favorite book. Of course, kids were not the only ones who were a little star struck. 
Susan Dee, author Lynne Plourde, Me, author Jennifer Jacobson

Me with author of the Cooper and Packrat series, Mainer Tamra Wight!

Yep, that's me with Cynthia Lord!! Love her!

Lynda Mullaly Hunt is the selfie queen! 
Lynda, Jenn Chafin, me, Paula Bourque, JoEllen McCarthy

What a fabulous group of authors and illustrators!!

Our planning committee: Mary Lou Shuster, Cathy Potter, yours truly, Jenny Stahl, Susan Dee, Natalee Stotz, Jenn Chafin (Chris Pirkl was not able to attend due to illness, but helped us with technology from home. He was missed very much.)

The day of nErDcamp started early and ended late. Last year's nErDcamp was great and I have to say I think this year was even better! We were more prepared and we had many participants return who were familiar with the "unconference" model. We also had many volunteers who helped in numerous ways! We had four sessions, two in the morning. Thanks to many generous publishers, authors and educational companies, we were able to offer great door prizes and a ton of giveaways. 
The day passed too quickly. I love the "unconference" model where the participants choose what they would like to learn. Nothing is preplanned and no one assumes to be an expert. It's teachers getting together to share what they know in a relaxed, supportive environment. We were able to connect with people around the country via Twitter and our live Google notesOne of the hardest parts was choosing which of the amazing sessions to attend. 

Visit Jenny Lussier's storify of nErDcamp to see a collection of Tweets.

Author Sarah Albee reflected on her time in Maine and the Nerdy weekend here.  

LOVE these ladies! Susan Dee and Cathy Potter!

This picture was taken at an after camp gathering. I had to include it because it makes me laugh just looking at us. 

We are already talking about nErDcampNNE 2016! I love this weekend and all it offers teachers. We just don't get this kind of PD at school. It respects teachers' ability to determine what they need to learn. Can't wait until next year!


  1. Wow - a LOT of planning and organizing must have gone into that weekend! It looks like it was a resounding success. Well done!

  2. I saw some familiar names and faces (Natalee, JoEllen, Susan). What great PD! I'd love to see an EdCamp here in PA!

    1. Maybe you could start one? You just need a great team!

  3. What fun! I followed along as best as I could with the generous Tweets, but there's nothing like being right there on the scene to "get" the full experience. So jealous!

  4. I attended my first EdCamp in Chicago a few months ago - very cool concept and lots of learning! Looks like you guys managed both learning and fun! Thanks for sharing the pictures with us.

  5. It sounds wonderful, Gigi. Seeing your pictures just makes me smile, too.

  6. The best sign of a good conference is always wishing you could be more than one place at a time.