Weekend A is CANCELED. Weekend B is still on with enthusiasm!

Greetings, Epic Skill Swappers!

We, the ESS organizing team, have some news to share with you all: Due to low registration for Weekend A (May 26-29) and overall lower numbers signed up this year, we have decided to cancel ESS Weekend A. After deliberation and helpful feedback from folks registered for the first weekend, it was clear to us that it will be better for this year’s and future events to pour our energy and resources as a community and as a committee into one epic weekend.

We are sending a separate email today to those registered for Weekend A with instructions for cancelling (with full refunds, of course) or changing their registration, and we hope and anticipate that many will be able to join us for Weekend B instead, which will mean an even more full and vibrant weekend for all!

Don’t forget, registration is still open for Weekend B (June 9-12)! The draft schedule may change a bit as we incorporate migratory workshops from Weekend A, but never fear, the weekend will still allow for all the planned workshops, late additions, and relaxing/singing/storytelling/swimming/napping/socializing you’ve been looking forward to. Please do continue to spread the word and grow the community!

We are really bummed to have to make the difficult decision to consolidate the weekends, but grateful as always for the enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, and support of this amazing community. And we are REALLY excited to see everyone who can make it to Epic Skill Swap 2017, June 9-12 at Camp Wilmot!


Your Epic Skill Swap organizing team:
Alison, Annie, Dana, Eliza, Eric, Ethan, Meghan, Onnie, and Rachel

All-camp photo from Weekend B 2016.

Meet our new head chef, Laura Keeler!

We’re excited to announce that this year, we have hired Laura Keeler to head up the kitchen for both Weekend A and Weekend B!

Laura has cooked for college students, wedding guests, Buddhist monks, and more folk dancers than she can possibly count. She found her footing in the kitchen at Pinewoods Camp and then discovered that baking pies could be a full-time job and a great way to stay warm in New England winters. Now working in scholarly publishing, she still thinks kitchens are the best places to make friends.

While Laura has a wealth of experience cooking for groups of all kinds, she’s new to Epic Skill Swap. So please get ready to give her a warm welcome and also enjoy fabulous meals at Skill Swap this year.

“Help! Which weekend should I register for?” Here’s what Eliza has to say.

Dear Friends!

My name is Eliza, and I’m the newest member of the ESS organizing committee. I’m writing to ask a favor: If you’re planning on attending Epic Skill Swap this year, it would be extraordinarily helpful to us if you would register ASAP. This will help us to do our planning (and will also ease our minds a little, since the cost of Skill Swap is split among the attendees, and so the more people we have registered, the more affordable ESS is for everyone).

Additionally, I wanted to address something about the two weekend model that we adopted last year: ESS Weekend A and ESS Weekend B are not quite the same. The nature of Skill Swap is that the experience is formed by the people who attend. The organizers aren’t trying to manicure two identical weekends, and so each weekend is always unique.

For example, you may have noticed that this year, Weekend A has fewer workshops on the schedule than Weekend B. Put another way, Weekend A has more space to evolve as it happens. If you didn’t get a chance to propose a workshop, or if you proposed two workshops and one was not selected, you can (and we think should!) bring that workshop to Weekend A! Speaking from my experience last year, a weekend that evolves as it goes is a really cool experience. Weekend B will also be cool and have some space for last-minute workshop additions, but will probably be a little more structured and predictable.

If the idea that the two weekend are going to be different is just killing you, because you don’t want to miss out on either experience, why not come to both? (Remember, we have a sliding cost scale!) If that’s not an option, but you haven’t decided which weekend to attend, then we ask that you consider attending Weekend A, which will need lots of cool attendees with great ideas to help fill in all those inviting open workshop slots!

Please also remember to share the wonders of Skill Swap with your friends and networks! If you know someone who would just love ESS, now is the time to send them the link to the registration page!

With Skill Swap it’s not just “the more the merrier.” It’s that as a community, we are greater than the sum of our parts, and the more parts, the greater the whole.

We can’t wait to see you at Epic Skill Swap 2017!

Eliza — and the rest of the organizing team: Alison, Annie, Dana, Ethan, Meghan, Onnie, and Rachel

Epic poster, epic registration, and more!

Dearest Swappers,

We want to remind you that registration for Epic Skill Swap 2017 is OPEN. If you have not yet registered, go do it!

Now that you’ve registered, please help us spread the word about Skill Swap!

Poster: We’ve designed a nifty poster and postcards that you can put at your local grocery store, coffee shop, dance hall, or community center. Click here to download the poster (PDF), and click here to download the postcards (PDF, 4 to a sheet).

Email: Want to email your friends or your community email list? Here’s some sample text you can use; feel free to modify it to suit your needs:

I’m writing to invite you to an awesome event: Epic Skill Swap 2017! Epic Skill Swap is a participatory weekend festival where you can learn new skills, share the skills you have, and spend a couple days with an amazing group of people. Let’s use our knowledge and the knowledge of others to build the kind of world we want to see.

There are two weekends to choose from: May 26–29 and June 9–12. Cost: $40–$140 sliding scale, includes delicious meals and rustic accommodations. Location: Wilmot, NH. Register, check out the list of workshops, and learn more at epicskillswap.org. Questions? Email the organizers at epicskillswap@gmail.com.

Facebook: It helps a lot when you share or invite friends and RSVP to our Facebook events: Weekend A  and Weekend B. This is also a good place to ask questions or communicate with other swappers ahead of time.

Looking forward to two epic weekends!

Your ESS 2017 organizing team,

Alison, Annie, Dana, Eliza, Eric, Ethan, Meghan, Onnie, and Rachel

Registration is OPEN for Epic Skill Swap 2017!

Dearest Swappers,

The time has come: registration is now open for Epic Skill Swap 2017! Here are the registration links:
Also, schedules are up for both weekends. Check out the amazing line-up of workshops here:
More details about registration:
  • Space at Epic Skill Swap is limited to 120 people on each weekend, so register soon.
  • When you register, you will pay a $25 deposit to hold your spot. If the deposit is a hardship for you, please contact us at EpicSkillSwap@gmail.com.
  • You can also choose to pay the full cost of registration online this year. Epic Skill Swap operates on a sliding scale contribution model. The average cost per person to run the event is about $85. Our sliding scale ranges from $40 to $140.
  • You can read more about registration and cost at our website, including info on kids at Skill Swap and our cancellation policy.

We are SO excited to see you next month!

Epically yours,

Your ESS 2017 organizing team
Alison, Annie, Dana, Eliza, Eric, Ethan, Meghan, Onnie, and Rachel

P.S. If you’re on Facebook, you can  RSVP for Weekend A here, or RSVP for Weekend B over here.

Six days left to submit Skill Swap workshop proposals!

Dear friends,

This is just a reminder that you have until February 28 to submit a workshop proposal for this year’s Epic Skill Swap. Get on over to our skill submission site at skills.epicskillswap.org and tell us what you’d like to teach!

Here’s an overview of this process:

  • February 28: Last day to submit and request workshops
  • March 1: Voting opens
  • March 15: Last day to vote on workshops

Whether you have led a workshop before or not, take a look at our new resources for workshop leaders page with tips to consider as you develop your proposal.

With epic anticipation of your excellent skills,

Your ESS 2017 organizing team
Alison, Annie, Dana, Eric, Ethan, Marvin, Meghan, and Onnie

P.S. If you’re on Facebook, you can  RSVP for Weekend A here, or RSVP for Weekend B over here.

Epic Skill Swap 2017 is now accepting workshop proposals!

Dear friends,

We are delighted to announce that we are now accepting workshop proposals for Epic Skill Swap 2017! As of today, you may now request workshops that you would like to take and propose workshops that you would like to teach via our skill submission site.

Those of you who have Swapped in the past know that our schedule-building and teaching processes are participatory. Here’s a description of the process.

Whether you have led a workshop before or not, we suggest you take a look at our new resources for workshop leaders page with tips for leaders to consider as you develop your workshop proposal. 

Here’s how the rest of this process will unfold:

  • February 28: Last day to submit and request workshops
  • March 1: Voting opens
  • March 15: Last day to vote on workshops

We can’t wait to see what all you wonderful people come up with this year!

Epically yours,

Your ESS 2017 organizing team
Alison, Annie, Dana, Eric, Ethan, Marvin, Meghan, and Onnie

P.S. If you’re on Facebook, you can now RSVP for Weekend A here, or RSVP for Weekend B over here. Spread the word and tell your friends that Camp Wilmot is gonna be the place to be on May 26–29 and June 9–12…

Seeking storytellers, workshop tips, and volunteers for Epic Skill Swap 2017

Dear Epic Skill Swappers,

Happy new year! Your ESS organizing committee had a very productive retreat in December, and we identified a few items that we’d love some community help with:

  • Telling our story: We’d like to profile a handful of ESS attendees about who you are and why you come to Skill Swap. We are also looking for someone to take on the task of coordinating, collecting, and editing these short profiles, with support from the ESS organizers. If you are interested in being profiled, or if you’d like to be Storytelling Coordinator for this project, let us know.
  • Tips for workshop leaders: We are working on developing more robust resources for attendees on how to lead a good workshop at ESS. If you’ve led a workshop, we want your tips! What do you wish you had known before you led your workshop? What parts were most successful
  • More hands to make light work: We could use a few more folks to help us plan, organize, and make ESS 2017 happen. We’re looking for folks to take on smaller, specific tasks (like coordinating carpools) as well as folks to join the core organizing team.

If you can help out with any of these tasks, send us an e-mail: epicskillswap@gmail.com.

And in case you missed it, here are the dates for Epic Skill Swap 2017. Mark your calendars!

  • Weekend A: May 26–29, 2017
  • Weekend B: June 9–12, 2017

With epic love and hope for the new year,

Your ESS 2017 Organizing Team
Alison, Annie, Dana, Eric, Ethan, Marvin, Meghan, and Onnie


Epic Skill Swap dates announced for 2017!

Dearest swappers,

We are delighted to announce the dates for Epic Skill Swap 2017!

Based on the very useful feedback you all provided to us, we have decided to host two swaps again this year, on the following dates:

  • Weekend A: May 26–29, 2017
  • Weekend B: June 9–12, 2017

We’ll begin the skill submission process in January. Start thinking about those skills!

If you have any questions, please contact us at epicskillswap@gmail.com.

With epic thanks,

Your ESS 2017 Organizing Team
Alison, Annie, Dana, Eric, Ethan, Marvin, Meghan, and Onnie

Epic Final Details for 2016!

Dearest and Most Epically Skilled Swappers,

We’re closing in on Epic Skill Swap(s) 2016 and we are so tremendously excited! This email has some final logistical details. It’s a long one, but everything in here is important (including information about the site, food, transit, packing, alcohol, etc.), so bear with us.

First, our site! Camp Wilmot, our home for the last four years, is a wonderful place, boasting a pond for swimming, cabins, camping areas, a barn with fireplace, a spacious dining hall with a commercial kitchen, and beautiful woods. A few things to remember:

  • It is located on N. Wilmot Road in Wilmot, NH. Here’s a map. GPS has been known to be unreliable in the woods of New Hampshire, so we recommend these driving directions.
  • It is a summer camp. That means rough surfaces, shared bathrooms, etc.
  • There’s no ATM in the vicinity, so bring cash with you if you anticipate needing it for any reason (the only reason we can think of are a few modest materials fees for workshops).
  • It’s a bit of a hike to the nearest grocery store, so if you think you will need snacks, be sure to provision before you arrive.

Second, registration! If you have registered and can’t come, please notify us ASAP so that we can plan accordingly. We take cash or check for registration fees upon arrival. If you know someone who wants to come, but didn’t register, have them email us.

Third, packing! Here is our recommended packing list:

  • Layers! June in New Hampshire can be unpredictable.
  • Rain gear (which you hopefully won’t need)
  • Sunscreen/insect repellent
  • Bathing suits and towels
  • If you are teaching a workshop, anything you might need in order to do so
  • Anything you might need for participating in workshops (for example, if you’re planning to take a movement workshop, you’ll want to have appropriate clothes; if you want to take the graphic design workshop on weekend A, bring a laptop if you have one)
  • A pen and a notebook, because more likely than not, you’re going to want to take down some notes about something you learn over the weekend
  • Musical instruments if you want to jam/teach/whatever
  • A tent, if you’re planning on tenting
  • Sleeping bag/bedding for tent and cabin alike
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • A water bottle
  • A blanket or camp chair for sitting on the ground
  • Snacks, if you anticipate wanting them
  • Your wonderful selves, your bright smiles, and your village-building attitudes!

Fourth, food! We will provide meals three times a day on Saturday and Sunday, and breakfast on Monday. All meals are vegetarian and vegan friendly. Most of the meals are also sensitive to gluten- and dairy-free folks. Feel free to supplement this bounty with your own ready-to-eat snackies. If you have specific dietary needs and opted out of group food when you registered, a small refrigerator will be reserved for you. Please note, however, that group meal prep will take priority in the hours directly before meals. If you are preparing your own food, please take that into consideration. You may want to bring a camp stove.

Fifth, potluck: Friday evening is a potluck dinner. Please bring a dish to share, and please remember to label what’s in it for those with allergies and dietary restrictions.

Sixth, carpooling! If you’re able to offer, or are looking for, a ride, we’ve got you covered. We have a great rideboard system, and are especially looking for folks to connect to/from the Boston area. Check ‘er out:

Seventh, skills! Every year, we intentionally leave space in our schedule (here’s weekend A and here’s weekend B) for last-minute workshop additions. We do this in order to ensure that people who may have heard about Skill Swap recently can have a chance to teach, and to make space for inspiration as it strikes. This space will be given out to teachers on a first-come, first-serve basis, starting on Friday afternoon. If you’ve got an idea for a workshop, please find Meghan after you arrive.

Eighth, Sunday night & cost! We were able to negotiate a deal with Camp Wilmot to pay half price for Sunday night on both weekends, so ESS will conclude on Monday morning as originally planned. Since we know only a few folks plan to stay until Monday morning, we’re going to ask everyone to chip into a clean up session on Sunday evening. It’s going to be a big ole cleaning party, and it’s going to be epic.

With the discount, plus some additional registrations that came in last week, this puts us at approximately $70 per person, and as ever, we will operate on a sliding scale.

Finally, other notes:

  • Dogs: We love our furry friends, but there is a no-dogs policy in place at Epic Skill Swap (except for service animals).
  • Interwebs: There is spotty wireless internet at Camp Wilmot and the password will be available; however, please be conscious of helping us cultivate mindful interactions between people, and limit your web use to the physical spaces we’ve set aside for it.
  • Kids: We love kids! Kids are the future! They should teach and learn with the best of ‘em. We have a number of workshops that are kid-friendly! However, we are not set up to provide childcare at this juncture. You are welcome to bring your children–we love it when people do–but if you do, they remain solely your responsibility. If you are under 18, you must attend Epic Skill Swap with a parent or guardian.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol is permitted at Epic Skill Swap due to a gracious flexibility in policy on Wilmot’s part, but please drink responsibly.
  • Drugs: Illegal drugs are absolutely not allowed at Epic Skill Swap. If you use illegal drugs, you will be asked to leave. Please understand that failing to observe this puts the organizers in a very awkward position, and there will be no exceptions here.
  • Legal Stuff: When you check in, you will be asked to sign a waiver. This basically indicates you understand what you’re getting into and you won’t hold the organizers or Camp Wilmot responsible should something go amiss. We also have event insurance for the weekend. That said, please take care of yourselves and be safe.

With anticipation for imminent epicness,

Meghan, Alison, Jamie, Onnie, Dana, Eric, Ethan, Annie, and Marvin ESS 2016 Core Organizers