So… after months of build-up, the weekend finally arrived, and from all over the country the CampEd-ers assembled! The excitement had reached fever pitch on Twitter some time ago – the twin hashtags of #CampEd12 and #woohoo had been peppering the ether with increasing frequency!
Thanks to the tireless preparative work of the incredible CampEd organising committee (@helendaykin, @Joga5 and @dughall) – whose names will hopefully be added to the wall of the barn on a commemorative blue plaque before too long – the scene was set, and all that was needed was the cast…
…and what a cast! As I tweeted from a collapsed heap-like state after my 7-hour journey home (more on that later!), for me the real highlight had been the sheer sense of camaraderie forged all weekend amongst people who had, in most cases, never set eyes on each other before we gradually gathered in Sue’s barn. From the very youngest to the oldest present, everyone mucked in and just… well, got on with it. In years to come we will look back on this event with a real sense of misty-eyed pride at being able to say: “We were there!” for the first CampEd!
As I said to Dughall in the pub at one point on Sunday evening: the reason it was working out so well was that, although we are all very different people with a hugely varied set of experiences, interests, areas of expertise and so on – if you were to draw a Venn diagram of us all, there would be a big, solid core of shared “stuff” which pulled us all together and formed the foundation for this weekend of hilarity, discussion, singing, activities… and beakers 😉
Others have already blogged with entertaining eloquence and thought-provokery about the event, such as @NuttyA10 here, @TeaKayB here, @chrisrat here and @mattpearson here, so I won’t go over the same ground again… suffice to say that even before the event was over, ideas were already being formulated for CampEd13. Bring it on, I say!
PS: the journey home took 2 hours longer ‘cos I had to stop off and get a flat tyre replaced on my way down the M1… on a Bank Holiday Monday! Woo-hoo… #not 😉
PPS: here are my pics from the weekend – I hope they give a taste of what it was really like: https://picasaweb.google.com/107266760879229752497/CampEd12?authkey=Gv1sRgCJfw-NLjwZ-93AE