We’re working with NCCE to put on our third summer of Maker Camps this coming August. (Read all the details here!) I’m not sure of the exact count, but this will make about fifteen NCCE camps that we’ve offered at Pack Forest in the last dozen years.
Holding a professional development program as an overnight camp adds a lot of challenges. It means dealing with overnight accommodations for all the participants, arranging meals, and transporting all equipment and supplies necessary because we’re about 90 minutes away from home in Burien. (We had so much to haul last year we actually needed to rent a van.)
So if there’s that much hassle involved, why do it?
Because setting matters! We will have great instructors and sessions, of course, but they are also enhanced by the location. Pack Forest is a relaxing, beautiful facility outside of Eatonville. The buildings are rustic, surrounded by tall fir trees and little else. Delicious meals are provided, so for the two days for each camp participants can simply concentrate on learning and networking with others. Freed from the distractions of being home (at least for one night!), it provides a chance to focus more deeply than is normally possible in a regular workshop model. It seems pretty logical that people learn better when they’re comfortable and relaxed, and our experience with these camps indicates it’s definitely true.
Many years ago I heard a researcher speak on the connection between emotions and learning, and one of his quotes stuck with me: “In an atmosphere of ecstasy, learning is not only enhanced, it is inevitable.” I won’t go so far as to say our Maker Camp will be an ecstatic experience, but they certainly will be a lot of learning and a lot of fun!
Budget-Friendly Makerspaces is August 6-7, and Tech-Ful Makerspaces is August 8-9. For complete camp descriptions and registration, go here!