• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • jordan barton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Leigh Tate
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Greg Martin
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Jay Angler
gardeners:
  • Nancy Reading
  • Mike Barkley
  • Christopher Shepherd

future skip event format

 
master steward
Posts: 35566
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mike and I had a long talk after the event.  Here are a few notes about how to host a better event in the future.


222 We got hit with some crazy heat.  This has been the hottest summer I have ever experienced.  And I think the heat sucked 50% of the joy out of the event.  I think we need a long list of stuff to do much better with on heat mitigation - and that is a different thread.

223 To get PEP1 certified right now, if a person were here and just did their BBs with zero help and limited themselves to 40 hours a week, it sounds like it would take 5 to 6 weeks to complete PEP1.   With some pretty good guidance and a bit of prep, it could be 4 weeks.  Embracing the slower, more casual pace could make things more enjoyable.

223.1  Rather than starting on a sunday and finishing on a saturday with one day off in the middle, how about starting on monday and finishing on a friday with two days off in the middle.   So a ten day event instead of a 13 day event.

223.1.1  During the two days off in the middle, we might be able to arrange for a trip to glacier.  Or we could arrange for people to finish BBs that they started at their own pace.  Or a trip to missoula and some other sites.   Basically, each person can choose if they wish to fill their weekend with entertainment, BBs or watching the clouds pass.  

223.2 A more casual pace means that a two week SKIP event would need to hyper focus on the things that people can only really do here.

223.2.1  It might take two rounds of attending the SKIP event to get PEP1.  So the first year might be as a noob.  Get 20 BBs during the event, and then over the next year get up to BB60.  Then come the next year as a leader and complete PEP1.

224  A cruise director:  somebody that checks in twice a day with each person to see if they are getting their BBs submitted in a timely fashion, if they are comfortable, if there is some interesting BB they want to try, etc.

224.1  the cruise director would arrange for two, optional, evening activities for every evening.  One activity is purely recreational and one is topical (permaculture/homesteading; movie, discussion or presentation)

225  There is a ratio of 4 attendees per leader.  A leader can attend the event for free provided that they agree to lead at least half a day every day.  So a person that is BB60 might be a leader and lead for a half a day and work on their own BBs for half a day.  They might even be able to lead people while working on another BB of their own (like mike did for junk pole fence).  

226  Last fall we had a free BB20 event and everybody that attended was great.   As in, they would be great at leading in the SKIP event.  Maybe we need to host more BB20 events until we get 12 solid leaders for a future skip event.  And then we can host 24 additional attendees.  Each morning, each leader takes 2 to 10 attendees.  And in the afternoon we do this again.  

227  Eliminate the daily chores.  This was a holdover from the PDC.  It is done during the PDC as a traditional thing, but I think we can eliminate that from the instructors and attendees and manage it as part of the event.

More ideas?

 
steward
Posts: 11811
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
3264
3
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One aspect of PEP leadership is a triple venn diagram.  Overlapping circles where one circle is for familiarity with PEP (requirements, photos, certification stuff).  Another is for familiarity with Wheaton Labs (where the stuff is, how to get things done).  And the third is familiarity with the topics (how to build a hugel, how to knit a hot pad, etc).  

Someone doesn't have to be in the overlap of all three to lead.  By the time you've been through a BB20 event, you're close to being at the center of those circles.  Two visits and you're probably there with the exception of some topics you aren't familiar enough with (like me and textiles).

Another idea is for BB20 events to be handled locally with a "PEP Boot".  They could prepare for the event, run it and then clean up afterwards.

I like the idea of putting together one week PEP modules.  So a two week event could cover two modules.  One could be Earthworks, Gardening and Greywater (for instance) and another could be Woodland Care, Foraging and Rocket.  Or something like that.  
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 35566
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
(on the phone with mike ...)

223.1.1.1 On the saturday following the event, skippers could choose to finish a few BBs unsupervised.  Optional day.

223.1.1.2 The saturday and sunday in the middle are marked on the public schedule as "butterfly days".  People can take those days to flutter around montana, or, maybe, just one day.  Or they can spend some of that time working on BBs (that don't need supervision).   Maybe we need to document what a "butterfly day" is.  


223.2 Most people coming will have zero BBs.  And some will have 10, 20 or maybe even 60 BBs.  Embrace that each person wants to have different experiences - and we will do our best to accommodate 90% of what each person wants.

228 as part of dinner (6:45 every evening - on the schedule), talk about what we will be doing the next day so we can plan for it.  (this year we did this at breakfast - but that didn't give us a lot of planning time)  And add in some stuff about what is on the evening schedule.

229 Announce three tracks of BBs.   Plus, track 4 is about finishing BBs (ketchup track) and track 5 is about arranging to do BBs that are not on the schedule.

230 provide refrigerator space for those people that have special food needs or brought snacks or whatever.
231 provide an outdoor kitchen for attendees

232 unfinished projects will be left unfinished during the event in case the skipper changes their mind about finishing the project

 
Posts: 34
Location: Minneapolis
31
dog fungi foraging trees urban cooking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If this is helpful: I was one of those zero BB people when I arrived. If they all get certified, I think I walked away with 21 BBs. Some of those were ones I could have done at home but I got caught up in the moment. I imagine had it not been so hot (there were other days I didn't work on BBs all day long) and I didn't leave a few days early, I could have made it to 30-35 if I worked really hard. I was also someone that needed a fair-bit-to-a-lot of guidance on things.

As one of the two folks that showed up right at the top of the SKIP event, I definitely felt a little bit of group fatigue, the "we have all already been here for seven weeks" energy. I wonder about the order of events, or having space/time between events since it seemed like a lot of people's tanks were on empty (plus it was outrageously hot and smokey).

I think most of what you two have suggested so far addresses some of the things we came up against!
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 35566
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Kaitlen,

I would appreciate your feedback on the heat thread too:  https://permies.com/t/164975/permaculture-projects/mitigating-heat-PTJ-SKIP-events

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 35566
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Kaitlen,

I'm going to say that the insane heat took about half the joy out of the event.  So, 50%.

What number might you choose?

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 35566
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think that with butterfly days in the middle of the PTJ, and between the PTJ and the SKIP event, and in the middle of the SKIP event, that that will do a lot to help feel full joy through all six weeks.  Especially if the butterfly days feature a possible event where you just get on a bus and go on some two day adventure.

 
Kaitlen Osburn
Posts: 34
Location: Minneapolis
31
dog fungi foraging trees urban cooking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I agree about the butterfly days - I think that would help immensely for recharging.

I'd say 50% is pretty accurate re: the heat-joy-suck. During the hours of 2-5pm, it felt more like 95% of a joy suck, but all the other hours it was maybe around 35%, and the early mornings were glorious, so 0% joy suck there; probably for an average of around 50%.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 35566
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think that the SKIP event would be something where people would pay to attend and we would hire a cook, and we would do all sorts of things to make it an amazing event for all attendees and instructors.  Two weeks - and maybe some people will come for just one week.

And the BB20 event would be free - just like it was last year.  Food staples would be provided, but no cook or instructors.   There would be some BBs required in the hopes that it would lighten our load here to make it worthwhile to put on the event (like putting up firewood).  Less structure.  People would have to have at least 20 BBs well before the event begins.  Five days.  And the event can only happen if there are enough volunteers that are familiar with our stuff here to provide proper guidance.

 
pioneer
Posts: 189
Location: SF Bay, California Zone 10b
87
forest garden fungi foraging cooking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I enjoyed the event. I think two weeks is a good length for it - it's long enough to be worth coming to Montana, but not so long I'd need an excessive amount of time off work. I think that when PEP is more well established (i.e. there's been multiple land transfers through SKIP) you could sell a 6 week program that gets full PEP1 certification from nothing.

Having a cook do all the meals was super helpful. The chores were a bit unorganized. I know I definitely dropped the ball sometimes because I just wasn't thinking about it. I also wasn't made aware of how it worked until late in the first day, and there would be some inconsistencies between what the paper said and what people did (i.e. it said we should clean meals up after half an hour, but people would usually be eating longer than that).

I definitely sensed the "group fatigue" Kaitlen mentioned. The SKIP event seems to make more sense as its own thing than being connected to the other events. From what I heard the PTJ was quite disorganized for people using it to get BBs, so it required more self direction. The SKIP event felt like it had a good amount of direction, so that I didn't have to think too much about what I'd be doing each day.

I'd say the heat sucked 40% of the joy for me - I usually like the heat, having grown up in southern California. Doing physical labor in the mornings made it easier to deal with, and the river trips were quite pleasant as well. As long as there's a good balance of physically intense work and less intense work that can be done in the shade, it works out fine. The popsicles were also a nice touch!

I'm not so sure about having lots of tracks at the event. I think just having 2 tracks would work out quite well - that's what naturally happened during the event. The group as a whole usually split in 2, based on how physically intense the labor for that day would be. So maybe, instead of having tracks for BBs, you have the physically intense track and the less intense track, so people can take breaks as needed. This could help with dealing with heat.

Butterfly days sound like they could be lovely. I think if SKIP is it's own event, then working 6 days per week is fine, but when it's following the PDC and PTJ then the extra days off are needed.

Remembering everything needed for a BB submission was a challenge. As the event went on, my brain got more fried and I missed more details. Having a dedicated photographer that knows what each submission needs would be amazing, but difficult to pull off in practice because of all the different activities going on at once. Maybe for the planned activities we could have reference sheets that list the required photos for each BB.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 35566
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

I'm not so sure about having lots of tracks at the event. I think just having 2 tracks would work out quite well - that's what naturally happened during the event.



I think that if we have 12 people wanting to do chainsaw stuff, then there could be two leaders for the 12.  Or three.   Or maybe six do it today and the other six do it later.  

The key is to average a 4-to-1 ratio of leaders to newbies.  And enough leaders so there can be a lot of tracks.


Butterfly days sound like they could be lovely. I think if SKIP is it's own event, then working 6 days per week is fine, but when it's following the PDC and PTJ then the extra days off are needed.



I think the key is the OPTION to go do other stuff.  Then people could take a couple of days to do something recreational, or they could keep going on BBs.

Having a dedicated photographer that knows what each submission needs would be amazing, but difficult to pull off in practice because of all the different activities going on at once.



This was mentioned during the event and I have to confess that i still cannot get my head wrapped around it.  I think that the individual has to take their own pics - I cannot see a path around that.


 
A sonic boom would certainly ruin a giant souffle. But this tiny ad would protect it:
Learn Permaculture through a little hard work
https://wheaton-labs.com/bootcamp
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic