Since I did not go to quilt camp today, I thought I would offer up a brief history of our annual event.
Back in the mid-to-late 80s, Kay, a home-ec teacher and one of the Frienzies, announced that when she was finished with her extended time (home-ec teachers used to have to work an extra 10 days in Ohio) she would be coming back to the home-ec room to quilt all week. She invited anyone who also wanted to sew or quilt to come in with their projects and join her.
I know I went to a few of the days. With my kids being rather young, (like under 5!) I am sure I would not have been able to stay all day for 5 straight days. Sharon said she remembers going when her older child was in 3rd grade (he's now 31).
Thus, Quilt Camp was born. The 3rd week of June since around 1988 quilters have been gathering at CHS for intense sewing, quilting and fellowship. Using a high school home-ec room is ideal--there are large tables, lots of counter space, areas for sewing and pressing, refrigerators and microwaves for preparing lunch and keeping drinks chilled. We bring our projects, make our mess, leave it overnight and return the next day to get back to work. Some show up as early as 7 or 8am and stay as late as 5 or 6pm.
Eventually, word got out that a handful of us were doing this, friends from outside the few teachers who attended expressed interest in coming to work. Friends from other buildings in the district, friends from church or civic organizations, all are welcome!! We have helped a lot of novice quilters and non-quilters to get a project started or finished. It is a great place to learn and accomplish and visit.
In the early days we had no air conditioning. It could get quite warm, let me tell you! There were 2 years that required we move to other locations at school; one year we had quilt camp in the art room; another year we had it in the library. I suppose there were conflicts in the cleaning schedule or something. In about 2005, the building was closed due to construction, so we went to the fellowship hall of a church in town. We may have had to do that for 2 years, now that I think of it...
As the years wore on, Kay retired, but many of us remained on the staff at CHS, and we continued the camp. Now ALL of us have retired! Not one of us remains on staff to gain legitimate access to the building. We called the principal and just as easy as pie, he said of course we could use the room for the week. (The current principal went to kindergarten with my son; am I really that old???)
So we sew. We quilt. We make baby accessories. We create gifts. We donate to charity. We catch up with old friends. Everything about the week is fun.
At around 3 or 4pm on Friday of quilt camp we get started with clean up. We put all of our stuff away, sweep floors, wash tables and counters; return all the stuff to the proper places. It is our hope that we leave the room cleaner than we found it.