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

Registration is open for ESS 2018!

Dearest Swappers,

The time has come: registration is now open for Epic Skill Swap 2018, June 1–4 at Camp Wilmot! Please head over to the registration page to sign up.

In case you missed it, the schedule for Epic Skill Swap 2018 is also online.

More details about registration:

Space at Epic Skill Swap is limited to 100 people, and is first come, first serve. If those spaces fill up, we will start a waitlist.

When you register, you will be asked to pay a $40 deposit through PayPal to hold your spot. Your registration is not complete until you have paid your deposit. If the deposit is a hardship for you, please contact us at

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 $75. Our sliding scale ranges from $40 to $140.

You can read more about registration and cost, including info on kids at Skill Swap, and our cancellation policy.

Once you’ve registered, look for emails from us in the next few weeks with carpooling info, a packing list, and more.

We are SO excited to see you in June!

Epically yours,

Your ESS 2018 organizing team
Annie, Dana, Eliza, Eric, Jadrian, Mary and Rachel

P.S. If you’re on there, you can RSVP for ESS 2018 on Facebook. Keep in mind you still have to officially register at the link above, though.

Workshop proposals are open for ESS 2018!

Dear friends,

We are delighted to announce that we are now accepting workshop proposals for Epic Skill Swap 2018! 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 this process, like all of Skill Swap, is participatory. Here’s a description of the process.

Whether or not you have led a workshop before, we suggest you take a look at our 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:

  • March 14: Last day to submit and request workshops
  • March 15: Voting opens
  • March 28: Last day to vote on workshops

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

Yours in epic workshop creation,

The ESS 2018 organizing team
Annie, Dana, Eliza, Eric, Jadrian, Mary, and Rachel

P.S. If you’d like to start a conversation about a workshop idea, you can also head over to our new ESS facebook group, which we’ve set up to facilitate discussion about Skill Swap throughout the year. You can also RSVP to the weekend at our Facebook event.

Ready, set… workshops! Submission site opens next week.

Greetings, dearest Swappers,

February is cold and snowy here in New England — and it’s also the perfect time to think about what you want to teach and learn at Epic Skill Swap 2018, which will take place June 1-4.

Those of you who have attended ESS in the past will know that our process for workshop selection is participatory. Who can propose or request a workshop skill? You can! Through our skill submission website, you will be able to request workshops that you would like to take and propose workshops that you would like to teach. We hope you’re excited about swapping some skills, because this is about to get awesome.

Submitting a workshop

The workshop/skill submission site will open next Thursday, February 15, 2018. (You can see last year’s proposals and requests at You, the ESS community, will then have one month to propose and request workshops. Check back in, as someone may request a skill that you can share! Submissions close on March 15.

***If you know someone with amazing skills who has never been to Skill Swap, this is a great time to mention it to them!***

Voting for workshops

Between March 15–29, you’ll have 2 weeks to vote on which of the proposed workshops you are most interested in, using the same site (you’ll get an email about this too).

After voting closes

Shortly after March 29, our scheduling team will be in touch with workshop instructors. The schedule will be finalized by early April, which is also when we’ll open registration.

Then we’ll prepare for a weekend of skills, sharing, music, playing outside, conversation and community. On June 1-4, 2018, we will undertake skill-swapping and merrymaking with glee and gusto.

Questions? Email us at

Yours in anticipatory workshop contemplation,

The ESS 2018 organizing team
Annie, Dana, Eliza, Eric, Jadrian, Mary, and Rachel

P.S. Want to let us know you’re coming, or invite a friend (hint, hint)? RSVP on the Facebook event for ESS 2018. If you’d like to start a conversation about a workshop idea, you can also head over to our new ESS Facebook group, which we’ve set up to facilitate discussion about Skill Swap throughout the year.

SAVE THE DATE! Epic Skill Swap 2018: June 1-4

Dearest friends,

Please grab your preferred date-saving device and make note: Epic Skill Swap 2018 will take place June 1-4, 2018 at Camp Wilmot, in Wilmot, NH! You’ll be hearing from us this winter as we move into our skill submission and voting period.

The organizing team had a great retreat on November 18–19 in Greenfield, and we are thrilled to welcome Jadrian Miles and Mary Patterson to the committee. We aim to send another email soon with some reflections on what we discussed — one topic was how to make committee meetings and processes more transparent to the community! We welcome your thoughts on that as well: Feel free to email us or talk to a committee member.

Most importantly, enjoy winter, your holiday(s) of choice and time with those you love. And please talk up Skill Swap to your friends and others you think would be interested — this community expands through you!

With epic end-of-the-year cheer,
The Epic Skill Swap Organizing Team: Annie, Dana, Eric, Rachel, Jadrian, Mary, and Eliza

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