On November 30, 2013 I posted in Twitter about a possible virtual Florida EdCamp. That was to be the beginning for me of a march towards EdCamp Duval 2014. Through the magic of Twitter, I received a message from Allison Hogan (@allisonhoganESD) about helping her and Lindsay Sharp (@lindsaypsharp) with organizing an edcamp in Duval County (Jacksonville, FL). I jumped at the chance. I had heard how amazing edcamps were. There were none in my area but, my daughter was attending college in Jacksonville. Connection made!
A few tweets later and Allison and I decided to do a video chat. I don’t really recall if it was a facetime or a skype or a GHO but it doesn’t really matter. It was the connection that’s important. We talked for almost an hour. There was definitely a lot we had in common. It was clear we would work well together.
Website created; facebook page started; twitter account activated; google docs folder shared. We were ready to rock and roll. Once Lindsay secured a location, we began promoting the event. We contacted vendors for prizes. We created fliers and emailed them to districts far and wide.
As the year progressed, we would contact each other primarily through Facebook Messenger. We created a group message and just added information to it as we needed. Six short months later, EdCamp Duval is now over. It was a great day. We had 41% of our registrants actually show up. From what we’ve been told that was an awesome turnout for a first EdCamp. We also discovered that EdCamp Duval was the 500th edcamp to occur, ever! That was a distinct honor that I, for one, am glad I didn’t know until it was almost over.
On Friday, I had the wonderful pleasure to finally meet the women I had worked with for the last six months. In the office lobby of Julia Landon College Preparatory and Leadership Development School, I saw Allison through the window, finally a hug from someone I had come to consider a friend. A few moments later, Lindsay arrived and another hug was given and received. Lindsay and Allison have known each other for a while. You see they are sisters. Their mother, Edna, was also there and welcomed me into the family. We got to work. There was set up to be done. We wanted to get organized and settled before our big meet and greet later that night. Within a few minutes, it was clear that the four of us worked very well together. Each person just naturally moved into her own groove. Somehow we had it all under control and never really had to discuss it. I am still in awe of how it all came together.
We had a blast at the Meet and Greet. There were 12 or so of us gathered together to celebrate EdCamp Duval Eve. The food flowed as easily as the conversations. Soon it was time to call it a night. There was still lots to do the next morning.
My dear friend, Erin Wurst (@ErinWurst_ELA) came along to help me out. She was an amazing help at the Check-In desk. She and David Futch (@futchd) got things organized and helped everyone get where they needed to be.
As our day began, Allison, Lindsay and I continued to mother hen our little band of edcampers. From checking on the food truck to making sure everyone knew where they needed to go, we kept busy all day. Mrs. Perani (Edna) kept the coffee and water flowing for all as we went about our way. She always had a smile on her face, and encouraging words on her lips.
At the end of the day, we were able to provide prizes to everyone in the auditorium. By the way, we not only reached out to Duval County. We also had campers from Baker, Suwannee, Citrus, Manatee, Hillsborough, Collier, Leon, Lee, Lake and Dekalb (GA) counties connect, collaborate, and make magic happen! I for one can’t wait until EdCamp Duval 2015!
Want to know more? Want to see even more pictures? Check out the EdCamp Duval Website!