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Plenty of Happy Campers!

Washington Township Hosts 170 Attendees at Inaugural “EdCamp Happy Camper” Workshop

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP – The Washington Township Public Schools hosted its inaugural “EdCamp Happy Camper” on Saturday, May 13, 2017, at Washington Township High school. The camp was a resounding success, with nearly 170 people from 33 different school districts attending the first EdCamp in Gloucester County.

Attendees who came from near and far included a diverse group of stakeholders in education: teachers, librarians, administrators, board of education members, student-teachers, paraprofessionals and superintendents were impressed and awestruck by the day.

“I am so proud of our district for hosting the first EdCamp in Gloucester County,” said Washington Township Board of Education President Ginny Murphy, who attended the camp and was part of the organizing committee. “The positivity in the room was amazing. Thirty-three different school districts and over 150 teachers, administrators, board members, support staff and consultants spent the day sharing ideas and learning from each other. There is tremendous value in ‘cross function’ collaboration that allows the participants to choose the professional development topic.”

Between breakfast and lunch – provided by the Washington Township Schools Food Service Department – 36 different sessions were offered during three separate sessions. Those sessions weren’t determined until the morning of the event, created by attendees to present to other attendees. Participants could choose the sessions that would be most beneficial to them.

“That element of choice in professional development was really the focus of the day,” Washington Township Technology Integration Specialist and EdCamp Happy Camper organizer Kathi Kersznowski said. “We had an epic inaugural event. It was the place to be on Saturday.”

Decorations for the day were camping themed, including a photo booth with props, a tent that encouraged campers to use a new app called Flipgrid, and a campfire circle where folks could just gather and have discussions.

At the end of the day, there were more than 100 prizes raffled off, most of which were educational, and many of which were provided by a variety of EdTech sponsors. The EdCamp Foundation, Washington Township Education Association and a few local businesses were financial sponsors.

Kersznowski was elated by the result of the day, and in her letter thanking the organizing committee, she gushed, “We were all a part of something huge, something revolutionary, and something that I believe will have a profound impact on the future of professional development in Washington Township and beyond.”

The organizing committee already is planning for EdCamp Happy Camper 2018, Kersznowski said.

- WTPS -