DamCamp (aka BarCamp Beaver Dam) happened on Saturday, March 24th, 2012 and this is my review…
First off, I will shout out a big thanks to Jason Gullickson, his wife, Wayland Academy, the Beaver Dam Makerspace Project, and anyone else who helped organize the event and made it happen.
DamCamp was held at Wayland Academy, which is a coeducational college preparatory boarding and day school in Beaver Dam. The main room was an auditorium, which was full of seats, a stage, large screen, and projector. There were two other rooms we were going to use, but we really ended up just using one other room, the lab, where the 3D printers were set up. The venue was easy to get to, and there was plenty of free parking! :)
This was the smallest BarCamp I had ever been to… and that isn’t a bad thing. I remember times in BarCampMilwaukee history when some people were very focused on the numbers, and personally, I prefer quality over quantity. If the right people are there, that’s better than more people being there.
I saw people I knew who I haven’t seen in a while, met some new people, and met people IRL that I’d only met online before. What more could you ask for?
If you’ve been to a BarCamp with me, you know I tend to bring a lot of stuff. I’ve been known to bring a photo booth, cameras, tripods, audio recording gear, tables, 200 feet of extension cords, power strips, and on and on. This time I brought Time Lapse Bot, the Egg-Bot, Friday Night Drawbot, my still camera, and not much else. It only took me about 3 trips to load in! (And I found it quite refreshing.)
After the opening and introductions we launched into the first session… which happened to be my session. I gave a quick talk about some art robots that I like, and my take on what an art robot is (and isn’t) and then did a demo of the Friday Night Drawbot and the Egg-Bot. (Slides are here.)
I did not keep track of all the sessions, but we did one on 3D printing (there were 3 RepRaps there) and one on creating hackerspaces/makerspaces, and one on making noise with electronics. I ended up getting a lot of good info from the 3D printing session, and I’m a bit more motivated to find the time to finish my RepRap build. (Less sleep is the obvious answer!)
In conclusion, I had a good time, and I learned things. It was a small event, but I don’t think that detracted from it at all. In fact, I wouldn’t mind seeing more smaller events. BarCampMilwaukee is big, and it’s awesome, but it’s also a lot of work, involving a lot of people. Perhaps both ends of the spectrum can co-exist.
If you haven’t been to a BarCamp event yet… why not!? Maybe you’re more into food than technology. Well, you should consider attending Madison Food Camp which is coming up April 7th, 2012! (Yes, I said “Food” not “FOO”, just to be clear.)