Author Archives: Mary Patterson

Virtual Skill Swap Details: June 13-14th 2020

Hello Skill Swap community,

We’ve received wonderful feedback on our survey about virtual skill swap. We’d love to have more workshops, and our deadline to propose a workshop is this Saturday at midnight. So pin an idea up on the virtual corkboard now so that folks can get excited and inspired! 

TIMELINE REMINDER: Workshop submission and voting will end on May 23rd at midnight. This will give organizers time to set up a schedule. The schedule will be posted on May 29th, giving participants some time to plan if they need to get any materials.

Workshop Proposals:

  1. If you proposed a workshop prior to April, please update your submission or resubmit it to let us know you still want your workshop to happen in the virtual realm. Proposal Website
  1. New “Workshop” ideas: We’re trying to think about sessions a bit differently. They could be shorter and involve less instruction, like a session of answering “would-you-rather” questions. Repeating a session from a prior year is welcome

Here are some workshop suggestions that came up in discussions:

  • Cooking: Suggest a recipe, participants cook it in real time
  • Art Making
  • Music: Share your music, prep sing-a-longs in advance; make musical instruments
  • 1:1 coaching sessions
  • Host an online game
  • Create a sensory activities (where we can touch, smell, see, taste, or experience in our own location)

Please add to the proposal site!**If you are having trouble logging in to the proposal site, check your spam folder.

Workshop support: We, the organizers, will be facilitating an opening event, some hangout spaces, an evening event(s), but as always, the energy is generated by everyone! Feel free to contact us with any questions:

Your 2020 ESS Organizers

Christine, Delphine, Drew, Sonja, Jadrian, Maddie, Dana, and Mary

June 2020 Epic Skill Swap goes Virtual!

Dear Epic Skill Swap community,

First, let us start by saying: Save the date of June 13th-14th. We’ll be hosting an event.

However, with a heavy heart we are here to let you know we will not be having an in-person Skill Swap on that weekend. We tried to delay a decision with the slimmest hope that we *might* not have to cancel, but we’re going with the facts on this one. We’re sad about this. We imagine you might be sad, too. 

Now, going back to saving the date… We know there is abundant ingenuity in this community, heck that’s why this crazy thing works every year! So we’re asking you to SAVE THE DATE of June 13-14th, and we invite you to participate in the evolution of this year’s “Epic Silver Lining Skill Swap.” We plan to figure out a way to make an event that makes us gasp and say*, “Wow, I didn’t know we could still have something that felt like Skill Swap, but Lo, we did!”


This event runs because of the collective knowledge and sharing of the community. Here are some things that will help make this virtual event successful. (Link to the workshop website!)

  • Already submitted a workshop? Please see if it easily lends itself to the online environment and make edits if needed. 
  • New workshop idea? Please add it! We have included a place to list any supplies that participants might want to gather in advance. We’re envisioning a cooking workshop, where you prep along with the leader, for example. Or perhaps you’re teaching yoga and folks need to dress comfortably. Maybe folks need to make or find something in advance? Think interactive!
  • Virtual Workshop tips: Want to simply lead an activity that folks like doing that you’d like to host? How about a free art/drawing time, meditation, a knitting group, or a group walk around your neighborhood? You could offer it!
  • Check them out! Even if you aren’t leading, it’s helpful if you browse and “upvote” the ones you think you are most likely to attend in order to help leaders plan how to best facilitate their workshop.
  • TIMELINE: Workshop submission and voting will end on May 23rd at midnight. This will give organizers time to set up a schedule. The schedule will be posted on May 29th, giving participants  some time to plan if they need to get any materials ahead of time.


We’ve held a tentative spot with the (very accomodating) Camp Wilmot on the weekend of September 5th (Labor Day). Although we’re skeptical, we wanted to hold on to the possibility of meeting at the end of the summer. The organizing committee will meet in July to make and announce our decision.

As always, feel free to email us with questions at

Hugging you all from afar,

Your 2020 ESS Organizers

Mary, Delphine, Drew, Sonja, Jadrian, Maddie, Dana, and Christine


*Thanks, Dar Williams