Every Tuesday, I participate in the Slice of Life challenge at Two Writing Teachers. If you want to participate, you can link up at their Slice of Life Story Post on Tuesdays or you can just head on over there to check out other people's stories. For more information on what a Slice of Life post is about, you can go here.
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I've already seen some pretty stellar posts of people sharing their Nerdcamp experience but I'm going to chime in, too...because, how can I not? It was another absolutely amazing Nerdcamp. The Nerdtalks were great. The sessions were great. The people were great. Colby and Alaina Sharp and Suzanne Gibbs and the Nerdcamp team deserve a giant standing ovation for making it all come together. All the hard work they do beforehand makes it feel like everything just falls into place.
I got a little happy with my selfie stick but I still missed taking pictures with lots of friends. And I wish I took a picture of the authors who were on my secrets of the writing process panel. They were amazing. So...enjoy the pictures below but know that not shown here (but still dear to my heart) are people like: Kristen Kittscher, Erin Soderberg (Downing), Cassie Beasley, Tricia Springstubb, Liesl Shurtliff, Laurie Keller, Lauren Donovan, Lauren Castillo, Debbie Ohi, Jess Keating, Reyna DeLaMora, Kathy Burnettte, Sherry Gick, Travis Jonker, John Schu, Lesley Burnap, Michele Knott, Erica Beaton, Brad Wilson, Kelly Vorhis, Holly Mueller, Kurt Stroh, Jerzy Drozd who made this Nerdcamp just a little more nerdy and definitely more awesome. And there are so many more who made this Nerdcamp memorable that I'm sure I've forgotten to list.
For me, Nerdcamp is all about the people. Being in the same room with people who are dedicated to education and who spend their summer and make the trek to Parma, Michigan to share their love of teaching is inspirational. Day one, I led a session on descriptive writing in non-fiction and then moderated an author panel about the writing process. And day two, I did a follow up session where we looked at our favorite resources for non-fiction mentor texts. The best part is that I had ideas to share but everyone in the room added their own so now we have an amazing list that you can find here.
I listened to the heartfelt Nerdtalks, sat with Donalyn and Pernille as we shared stories about being reading warriors and how to stay strong through difficult conversations, relished in the power of reading aloud as Jilian share her #bookaday experience with her middle schoolers, and talked with others about writing for the Nerdy Book Club blog. It was magic.
I even got to hold the newest and squishiest addition to the Sharp family. He's completely adorable! Drooly, but adorable! (And really quickly, a shout-out to Brian Wyzlic who we definitely missed but who, understandably, was hanging out with his new baby.)We ended all the fun and excitement with Nerdcamp Jr where kids came to meet and visit with authors and illustrators. Last year, I took Peanut's group but since my kids didn't come with this year, I got to hang out with some older students. We learned about writing from Nancy Cavanaugh, Cassie Beasley, and Michele Weber Hurwitz.
My heart is full and I know it will stay that way for a long time. I've never been more proud to be an educator and to know that we're making a difference. Nerdcamp Michigan will take place on July 11th and July 12th next year. Will you be there?!?!