When I found out that my friend Kyle Maurer was planning a first time WordCamp in his hometown of Jackson, Michigan I knew I had to make the trip. I have attended WordCamp Ann Arbor the last three or four years but chose to forego that event in favor of Jackson.
I asked my son Michael if he would like to go with me, knowing full well what his answer would be. I registered both of us on the WordCamp Jackson when tickets became available and signed Michael up as a volunteer.
For people who may no be aware, Michael is 35 years old, works full time at our local Walmart and is mentally challenged.
This is a video I created after our trip to WordCamp Ann Arbor last year.
I can’t really say enough about the people in the WordPress Community, who have accepted Michael and have included him in activities like the WordCamp Jackson Speaker Dinner puzzle games.
As far as the actual WordCamp, everything went very well. We arrived in time to catch a couple of sessions Friday afternoon and attend the speaker dinner. BTW, stuffed crust pizza rocks!
Saturday was a fairly early start, arriving at the venue a little before 8:00. I was assigned the duty of doorman at the front door for the building had to remain locked. This was something that I was well suited for and I have plans to continue in this capacity when I retire in a couple of years!
I was able to attend the sessions that were of interest to me and I gave a lightning talk about the WordPress Community at 2:45. My presentation was well received and I had several questions.
One of my goals for this WordCamp was to try to video interview someone for the WordPress Community Interview Series. This is something that I have been doing for almost a year as part of my volunteer efforts with WordPress TV. I got very lucky and spent about 20 minutes interviewing Cate DeRosia, who is in the process of planning WordCamp Grand Rapids.
The after party had a burrito bar and a Jazz trio! It was really cool!
All in all, WordCamp Jackson was a great experience for Michael and I. Well worth the 6 hour dive from Eastern Ohio. Well done Kyle Maurer and the rest of the organizers and volunteers!
Thanks for all of your hard work!