Monday, April 01, 2013

PCWM granted permission to 110

Podcamp Western Mass #5 was held appropriately at the Kittredge Center on the campus of Holyoke Community College.

Michael Kittredge, Class of '73 gave back to the place that granted him to permission to accomplish what he did.
"HCC was there and accepted me. It gave me the important start I needed. For the first time in my life, adults not only gave me permission to follow my interests, they actually encouraged me and spurred me to seek excellence."

Kittredge Center
When folks were asked to declare how many had come to PCWM before, about half the room raised their hands. Which also was confirmed when the other half of the room raised their hands acknowledging that they were newbies! Hopefully, they were following in Kittredge's footsteps and PCWM was the event to enable them to "seek excellence!"

Who was Michael Kittredge?
For those in New England they may recognize the Yankee Candle Company. He founded it.
Christmas 1969. Seventeen-year-old Mike Kittredge, too broke to buy his mother a present, melted some crayons to make her a candle. A neighbor saw it and convinced Mike to sell the candle to her. With that small stake, he bought enough wax to make two candles - one for his mom, and another to sell. That was the birth of Yankee Candle.
Was it important to have some teenagers and students present and participate at PodCamp? Sure, it was.
Will they be as successful as Michael? Time will tell!


The art piece hanging in the hallway provided an good setting for the session wall. The artfulness dripped down and spread!

Morriss Partee
Morriss Partee opened the event with an overview of the day and the event logistics.

brightness definitely within the room!
The nature of a podcamp or unconference is to create an overall structure within which flexibility, creativity, and serendipity can occur.

session wall
Many such conversations occurred at the session wall. Where are you going next? Oh really, that sounds good. Maybe they could do that together? Do you think they'll cover that? Do you know the speaker?

The community that is developing in and around PodCamp WesternMass I find special. There is an openness, a willingness to explore. It does help to have had the conference grow gradually. The 110 folks who participated this weekend are about the optimal size for an event like this. Enough variety and diversity. A larger group would force more structure into the logistics and take away from the spontaneity this size can facilitate.

My thanks to all the participants, fellow organizers and of course, especially to the sponsors: you came together learning, sharing and creating a great event!

Links and additional information on my session for Blogging 101 will be are posted separately