Schedule & Workshops: Weekend A 2016

Here is the schedule for Weekend A, June 3–6, 2016. Workshop descriptions are listed below the schedule in alphabetical order. Click on a workshop title to jump to the full description; click the back button on your browser to jump back to the schedule grid.

Note that we have open spaces for folks to lead workshops who weren’t involved in the initial workshop selection process — please bring your last-minute workshops!

FRIDAY, June 3

10:00–12:00 Setup volunteers arrive
12:00–2:00 Setup; registration volunteers arrive
2:00 Registration opens
6:00–8:00 POTLUCK DINNER (Please bring a dish to share)
8:00–9:00 Opening Circle


8:00–9:00 BREAKFAST
9:00–10:00 Transposition
with Derek L.
Making a Tiny Notebook
with Tristan W.
with Cedar S.
Open Slot/Late Additions
10:15–11:15 How to Start a Community Garden
with Tim D.
Open Slot/Late Additions
11:30–12:30 Knitting Basics Plus with Jane D.   Making a Soda Can Stove
with Bob G.
Open Slot/Late Additions
12:30–2:00 LUNCH
2:00–3:00 A Better Way to Lubricate Bike Chains with Jamie P.
with Marisa K.
with Sara M.
Tiny Houses & Living Tiny
with Miranda A.H. and Jane D.
4:30–5:30 Genealogy!
with Orin N.
Open Slot/Late Additions
5:30–6:30 Relax/jam/swim/etc.
6:30–8:00 DINNER
8:00 on Jam/swim/dance/chill/etc.

SUNDAY, June 5

8:00–9:00 BREAKFAST
DIY Auto Repair with Jamie P.
Writing Op-Eds with Meghan K.
Open Slot/Late Additions
11:30–12:30 Emotional Freedom Technique
with Jason S.
Growing Oyster Mushrooms
with Gabriella D.
Round Sing & Swap
with Dana D,
12:30–2:00 LUNCH
2:00–3:00 Energy Balancing and Meditation with Tara D.   Game It Up!
with Annie W.
Inkle Loom Weaving with Shana F.
with Wayne C.
with Adam F.
5:30–6:30 Closing Circle
6:30–8:00 DINNER
8:00 on Jam/swim/dance/chill/etc.

Workshop Descriptions: Weekend A

*Denotes small materials fee

A Better Way to Lubricate Bike Chains

Bike chain lube is expensive and inconvenient.  It’s messy, it’s dirty, and it needs to be reapplied frequently.  Even some of the wax-based lubricants that are advertised as “dry” lubricants end up leaving greasy black stains on your trouser legs.  If you’re willing to spend a little more time at the point of application, you can have a clean dry chain that will stay smooth and squeak-free for upwards of 600 miles, without messy buildup on your gears.  This involves cleaning the chain well, then immersing it in melted wax for a few minutes.  I’ll demonstrate the process on my chain, or your can bring your own chain along to the workshop. 


Aikido is a martial art that’s really about peace. For me, it’s a physical manifestation of the ideal way I want to interact with other people. The techniques are flowing movements that respond to an attack in ways that emphasize balance, centeredness, the blending of energy and a safe outcome for all parties involved. The role of the attacker, which is also part of the practice of aikido, emphasizes giving energy honestly and consistently. I love aikido for many of the same reasons I love dancing; it’s beautiful motion that springs from physical connection founded on honesty and trust and balance. Rather than meet force with force or give way and be crushed by force, the techniques of aikido turn conflict and force into harmony. And the idea is that by practicing those principles physically, we also learn to apply them mentally and emotionally in the rest of our lives.


Learn or improve your bird identification skills! This will be the height of breeding season, when everything is singing, and we’ll explore the sights and sounds of the birds around Skill Swap. Bring binoculars if you have them.

Cultivating Indigenous Microorganisms

Soil is teeming with life and an amazing diversity of organisms. When we actively farm or cultivate the soil, we can create imbalances in the soil fauna, sometime good and sometimes bad. We continue to learn more about the value of fungi in a cropped system. Korean Natural Farming (KNF) has methods to use local resources to augment and enhance the beneficial organisms of your land. The focus of this workshop on Indigenous Microorganisms (IMO) will introduce you to KNF and show you how to cultivate fungi from your region to help restore the balance in your farmed soil. Fungal hyphae are much finer than plant roots and extend into soil and soil particles in ways crop roots simply can’t. Re-introducing beneficial fungus to your previously tilled soil can help restore balance to the biological community and support nutrient uptake by your crops. This will be a hands-on workshop! 

DIY Auto Repair: So, you want to fix your own car. . .

. . .or maybe just understand how it works better so you know how to talk to your mechanic about what does and doesn’t need fixing and how much it should cost. We’ll take a couple hours — using my car as an example — going over the basics of the major systems, how they work, and which parts are associated with them. We’ll talk about which repairs you might consider making yourself, what the stakes are if something goes wrong in the process, and which jobs are best left to the professionals. There won’t be time for major disassembly/reassembly, but we can at least jack up the car, practice taking wheels off and putting them back on, look at how the brakes work and what goes into fixing them, and go over the basics of changing your own oil. We can also take turns crawling under a (safely well-supported) car and examining things like the exhaust system and suspension. Other likely topics included checking fluids, addressing fluid leaks, and assessing the condition of belts and hoses.


What’s behind that socket? Why do I keep blowing fuses? Learn about volts, amps, watts, ohms, AC, and DC — as well as how to troubleshoot a few basic electrical problems you may encounter in the home.

Emotional Freedom Technique

EFT is a procedure based in Chinese medicine and psychology that anyone can easily learn and use on themselves to resolve many emotional issues — and theoretically any issue at all. It seems to work best on anxieties, phobias and other similar things, but can be used on depression, anger, and most any unwanted feeling or behavior. There have even been studies showing that it has better short- and long-term efficacy on PTSD than standard therapy and medication. There are reports of people who have resolved more serious issues like ADHD, nearsightedness and even various diseases like cancer, but those are unusual and there have been no studies that I know of to back these claims. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Come learn the technique and decide for yourself! I (Jason) am not certified, or a medical professional, just someone who learned the technique from a therapist several years ago, has taken three courses in the discipline, and used it to significantly reduce or even fully resolve many issues I was experiencing.

Energy Balancing & Meditation

This will be a time to breathe and recognize how you live and feel in your own “temple”!  All you will need is a blanket, or a spot on the grass, and the willingness to accept all the good energy that comes your way. There will be time to group share, have conversation, and ask questions about stress, balance, wellness, and prevention.  We will go over chakras and also try a mindful meditation for an agreed-upon amount of time. If you wish, bring a chair or blanket, but definitely your fine self!

Game It Up!

Seems like there’s always a good reason to stop being serious and do something ridiculous for a while. Maybe we’ll play superhero tag. Maybe we’ll design a new game no one’s ever played before. Maybe we’ll play an old classic like capture the flag using the entire camp as our playing field. I’m hoping to do a couple of short workshops instead of one long one so everyone can get in on the fun if they want to. Kids aren’t the only ones who are welcome. And if it’s raining, don’t worry, we’ll just play sardines around all of the other activities. Most likely games will be: non-competitive, some running around, goofing around, and maybe even dancing around. 

Genealogy! Is it possible for you to be your own cousin?

This workshop will look at starting your family genealogy. We will look at simple family interview skills, understanding your relationship to other members of your extended family, government, public and Internet resources, and finding historical records, as well as computer programs. 

Graphic Design & Layout 101

Most of us create documents, websites, ads, and posters as a regular part of our life, whether it’s for work, volunteer, or personal projects. Come learn how to make layouts that don’t suck, or even better, design that tells a story and reinforces the message you’ve so carefully crafted in your content. We’ll go over some basic design principles, learn how to analyze and understand what’s going on in a layout, share techniques and tips, and practice our new skills with a hands-on layout and design project. Graphic design is an applied art, meaning creating something to fill a need. Design blends right and left brain, intuition and logic, story and structure. I find using that mix of skills to be inherently fascinating and satisfying — maybe you will, too! Bring a laptop if you have one and want to work on-screen; there will also be options for pen-and-paper design.

Growing Oyster Mushrooms in Coffee Grounds*

Come and learn a bit about the wild and interesting world of culinary mushroom cultivation! How do mushrooms grow? What makes them such interesting and biologically important organisms? How can you easily produce them for yourself at home? This workshop will teach you how to make a small oyster-mushroom-growing kit using spent coffee grounds. Participants will be asked for a small fee of $4–$6 to cover the costs (depending on number of participants), and all supplies will be provided for you to head home with your very own ready-to-grow kit!

How to be an Ally for Muslims

We’ve done a warm and fuzzy Islam 101 session three years running; this workshop is going to tackle the nasty dirty work. There is massive funding fueling the Islamophobia in this country. One branch on the tree of structural “racism,” Muslim hazing like the Catholics and Jews before us, a new post-Cold War national enemy. . . however you want to look at it, the current political climate has made it open season on Muslims. Islamophobia is at an all-time high — a mosque was recently fire-bombed, three others had arson fires, two have had gun-rights advocates staging demonstrations outside forcing worshipers to walk by people wielding semi-automatics. . . the list goes on. This workshop will teach you the ins and outs of the Islamophobia industry, show you some analysis techniques, and some strategies for responding. You don’t need to have had Islam 101 first.

How to Start a Community Garden

Community gardens are springing up around the country, but what does it take to get one of those lil’ suckers going? Come learn about our process, ranging from asking permission from the powers that be (city councils, planning offices, etc.), seeking funding, doing community outreach, and figuring out how to run the operation.

Inkle Loom Weaving

Make a woven belt or strap! Pick from an assortment of colorful cotton yarns, design a striped pattern, set up a small loom, and weave with an up and down rhythm. Appropriate for adults and kids ages 8 & up. Class size limited to 5 individuals or weaving partners. $3 fee for supplies.


Learn the basic six-count step for this style of dance and some simple, but really fun, break moves (or more complicated ones if everyone in the class is an experienced dancer). I have 50s rock and roll tunes recorded and with have a small PA system; live musicians are welcome to substitute for the recorded music. This style of swing dancing works well with a variety of styles of music as long as they have a strong 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 beat, and yes it is a six-count basic step to an eight-count beat.

Knitting Basics Plus

Already know how to knit and purl? Would you like to learn how to read patterns, and learn harder stitches? I can show you how. (If you want to learn knit/purl, I can help with that, too!) Bring some yarn and needles to practice with, and, if you want, a pattern you’d like to try.

Making a Soda Can Stove

Suppose you’re hiking and you get lost in the woods and you need to boil water, immediately. “If only I had attended Bob’s workshop,” you think. Don’t let this happen to you. Attend my workshop. I’ll teach you how to transform a soda can into an alcohol stove for camping. It’s fun, and it’s easy. And it might even help you survive.

Making a Tiny Notebook

This workshop will be a simple and fun chance to learn basic bookbinding using everyday supplies, including paper, cardboard, and staples or thread. Participants will make at least one notebook, probably more, during the course of the workshop. 

Making Maple Syrup and Maple Candy

I will bring some sap that has been boiled to nearly syrup.  We will finish boiling it to syrup, using a hydrometer to determine when it is just the right density to be syrup. We will observe the increase in the boiling temperature as the density of the liquid increases. Then, we will continue boiling some of it until it is dense enough to make maple candy. We will have syrup and maple candy to sample and to share with others.

Movement and Massage Therapy

Most of what we think of as brokenness in the body also falls under the category of non-movement. Something ceases to move or change; healing really means the reclamation of the range of motion that is its birthright. In this class, we’ll look at the ways our bodies move or don’t move — happily and unhappily — and with our minds, hands, and friends, we’ll work to expand our options and our joy.

Round Sing & Swap

Rounds are a great way to sing with a group and get some instant harmony going on, no matter your skill level. I’ll bring some of my favorites (mostly earth-based, sacred, folky, and/or silly), and facilitate a space where anyone can bring a round to teach and share. Practice your group music-teaching skills! Come hang out with me and sing on a summer afternoon!

Slackline Basics and Practice

Come enjoy a hosted slackline practice session! I’ll provide an intro to basic technique, with coaching and feedback, but mostly this is just an opportunity to play on the line.

Tiny Houses

Ever thought about living in a tiny house? What about building one yourself? The members of this two-woman instructional team have each built their own tiny houses and can answer any and all questions about what it takes, why people do it, whether these things are just a trend, etc. Bring your sketchbooks and ideas and we can talk about layouts and plans!


This workshop will give anyone the ability to change the key of a song to make it easier for them to sing or play on their instrument. Transposition is a great way to make a song more comfortable to sing. It is also a great way to change the chords of a song that might be tricky to easier ones.

Writing Op-Eds

Civic engagement! Writing skills! Come and attend a workshop on structuring and writing an op/ed (an “opinion piece,” usually between 500 and 750 words) suitable for publication in local, regional, or national outlets. This workshop will focus on three things: What do we know? Why does it matter? And how can we use it to be a part of critical public discourse? Bring a draft if you want, or start a new piece during this workshop. Bring a pen/notebook or a typing device if you prefer.