Several months ago, the ever spectacular personal/political/mommybloggers, Liz of Badgerbag and Jo Spanglemonkey, fantasized in their blogs about organizing a writing retreat. They wrote dreamily about pulling together a congenial group of word wranglers for a weekend of wine and writing. I live in a beach town in California and own a house large enough to host a good sized pajama party, so I offered to host this fantasy word wrangler's retreat. Ta dah! - Woolf Camp was born.
WoolfCamp - named to honor the spirit of Virginia Woolf, perhaps as in 'a blog of one's own' - was held last weekend over the three day President's holiday. Much to everyone's delight, it was a productive and creative event and an excellent time was enjoyed by nearly two dozen 'Campers'.
WoolfCamp was a do-it-yourself endeavor, based on the principles of "open space meetings", such as the much heralded barcamps and brain jams.
Attendees were encouraged to lead or co-lead a workshop or demo, as inspired by Burning Man, where there are no spectators, only participants.
We believe the WoolfCamp model was unique in the blogging community as our goals focused on creative expression in our blogs rather than tech issues (though a blog tools workshop was conducted), or new media (inevitably there were discussions about the social impact and implications of blogs).
To some hardened geeks, all of this may smack of a flaky, hippie dip love in. Well, WoolfCamp was that, too. But, mostly, it was a successful collaborative endeavor among a grop of writers who knew one another only through their blogs. Some blogs were new reads for many and a blog was born over the weekend (from WoolfCamper Tara - evolving, carnival roadtrip)
Here's the best part - ANYBODY can create their own 'camp'. If you have the event space - my house worked fine - and a group of cheerful, willing participants, you have a great start. Add a wifi connection, yummy pot luck eats, good coffee and bottles of fine California vintage and you may have just as much fun as we did.
I will have the great pleasure and honor in featuring WoolfCamp bloggers this week, most of whom will be attending BlogHer 06. In the meantime, here's a list of links we used to plan and document our experience:
Our WoolfCamp wiki - handy tool for pre-camp brain storming and scheming.
WoolfCamp group blog - created for our use during and after camp.
WoolfCamp flickr pics! A highly attractive bunch of folks, wouldn't you agree?