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2013 Big Skillshare Day!

The 2013 Big Skillshare Day is ON! It will be held at Gwynedd Friends Meeting again, graciously sponsored by their ECO committee.

Questions? Please contact Joy.

What is a skillshare?:
It's a hands-on learning event, where folks offer their experience in order to empower others. This kind of event is also the perfect opportunity to meet new people, ask questions, and join forces!

Why have a skillshare?:
Well, the way we see it:

  • This whole economy thing is pretty stressful, and doing things for yourself and others saves $$ and is fun!
  • Education can be costly. It doesn't have to be.
  • The acts of sharing and receiving freely, can nurture community and empower everyone.
  • Hands-on learning gives you an opportunity to cultivate new skills and make new friends.

2013 Class Topics:

  • Emergency radio communication options and simple antenna building - Ed K. :
    Review the various options for emergency radio communications. Possibly demonstration of ham radio, FRS and cb. Discuss RF safety and antenna building. Demonstrate building of a 2 meter or 10 meter dipole antenna.

  • Let's get off the energy grid - collaborative skillshare with Tony B. and YOU:
    Rather than a one-way imparting of information from an expert, this session will be more of a mutual collaboration. Hopefully the collaboration will continue beyond the session as well. Please don't feel averse to attending if you don't believe you have much, or anything, to contribute. You may be surprised to discover that's not the case at all. The objective is to brainstorm, discuss, and eventually implement the construction of alternative energy devices in order to wean ourselves from fossil fuels. Such devices are available in an off-the-shelf, retail fashion, but they tend to be rather expensive, costing far more than they should, given their relative simplicity. A homemade approach would be far more empowering, especially for those with little financial wherewithal. Fred Kittelmann will start the discussion with a brief primer about the basics of solar and wind power, then facilitate the subsequent discussion. Alone, he lacks all the information to get off the grid, but hopefully in combination with the skills of others, as a group, we'll discover we have what we need.

  • How to crochet a simple Granny Square - Karlene E.
    Stop by for a short lesson in simple crochet. Granny Squares are a traditional pattern. They and can easily be joined to make a lap blanket or a bedspread.

  • Wilderness survival fire building - John H.
    This will be a demonstration of basic fire building as it relates to wilderness cooking and survival.

  • Biochar cookstoves- carbon negative cooking - Dale H.
    We will demonstrate several simple small cookstoves that dependably provide heat for cooking and leave high quality biochar as a byproduct.

  • Suburban Bicycling - Connie L. and Chuck M.
    Experienced suburban bicyclists come share your wisdom with those just beginning to explore the option of using a bicycle for commuting to work or school, errands, transporting, exercising, saving the environment, saving money and having fun. We will discuss topics related to bicycle rights and responsibilities, routes, weather, safety, health, environment, advocacy, types of bicycles, clothing, excuses, emotions and more!

  • Permaculture and Nonviolent Communication – Communication Skills to create Sustainable Community - Terri L.
    Sustainability is not just an environmental challenge. It's a psychological and spiritual one. Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a cooperative approach to life, one in which we try to meet everybody's needs, not just our own. It turns out that what we're lacking as individuals is precisely what we’re needing as a species, and that's compassion: caring about others, and others caring for us. This introduction to NVC will wet your appetite for what depth of relating is possible in community.

  • Conquer the email avalanche - Sid T.
    Thrive in the era of hundreds of emails and other short messages per day.

  • Get the best out of your cordless drill/driver - Tony B.
    You can make or repair almost anything in wood (or other materials) from bird boxes, furniture, to fences using drywall screws and a drill/driver. I'll also show drilling of various materials and sharpening of drills.

  • Herbal Medicine Making - Shannon M.
    Learn the basics of how to make tinctures, herbal tea blends, salves and infused oils. After discussing and exploring different medicine making options, you will leave the class with handouts and directions for creating your own herbal products. (As we are encouraged not to involve alcohol into our skillshare, we will not be making or trying any alcohol tinctures, but will be talking about how to make them at home.)

  • Spinning fiber (wool) on a drop spindle - Carol T.
    A demonstration with hands-on practice of how fibers are spun into yarn using very simple tools you can make yourself. Brief historical background will be presented, along with some DIY resources. Fiber and drop spindles will be available for people to use during class, but participants will not be able to take them home

  • Ancient Numbers (or math for Indiana Jones) - Scott V.
    Participants will learn how to write numbers in ancient Babylonian, Egyptian, Roman and Mayan numerals. Connections can be made to modern measurement of time and the modern calendar.  If there is interest, we can calculate the day of the week for a given date (for example a birthday) and convert given dates into the ancient Mayan calendar.

  • How to Access MOOCs - Massive Online Open Education - Sarah G.
    With the launching of Coursera less than a year ago and joined by Udacity, edX and others, MOOCs have attracted millions of students online. Prestigeous universities are offering hundreds of classes on subjects ranging literally from astronomy to zoology, and - at least for now - it is all for free! We will discuss the impact - the pros and cons - of this new and disruptive technology on education and explore how you might take advantage of MOOCs to learn something new, Feel free to bring a mobile device or laptop to this session.

  • CANCELLED:Simple DIY Hygiene/Beauty Products (for Men & Women!) - Robyn M.
    If you can't eat it, why would you put it on your skin? The epidermis is your body's largest organ, absorbing the vast majority of things that touch it throughout your life. Most toiletries & cleaning supplies are not regulated by the FDA & have laundry-lists of harmful, synthetic ingredients (that most of us can't even pronounce!). Hang out with Robyn to learn about her product usage, what she & others have experimented with, & the few simple ingredients you need to revolutionize your beauty regimen, become healthier, & pull further away from corporate dependence.

  • CANCELLED:Community Organizing for Neighborhood Garden Projects (aka How to Throw a Workparty!) - Robyn M. and friends
    Through the evolution of Philly Food Forests & the Occupy Vacant Lots campaign, tried-and-true methods of community organizing have developed that keep our self-sufficiency projects highly productive, stress-free, fun, & well worth the time & energy of volunteers. We've become a family in just 2 short years, & new people & opportunities just keep coming our way! Gather with a few of our core volunteers to discuss what we've done & learned, & have a conversation with us to brainstorm how you can adapt what works for us to whatever environment you live in!

  • Basic clothing repairs using a sewing machine - Ruth Ann L.
    We'll cover basic repairs for pants (hems, zippers, basic alterations, half pockets), shirts (buttons, shortening sleeves, turning collars), and coats (buttons, zippers, pockets).

  • Chickens & Ducks: Getting started with backyard poultry - Kristen J.
    Whether you're interested in adding micro livestock to your permaculture project, or a chicken owner curious about the web-footed world, here you'll learn about the basic care requirements for these feathered friends: housing, food, raising young, & more. The discussion will include species and breed selection based on your site and needs.

  • Demystifying Compost: The art of decomposition - Matt H.
    We will be exploring the art of soil building.  Many forms of composting will be discussed and demonstrated.

  • French Potage - Ranvir B.
    Ranvir will be making an awesome vegetable soup in the kitchen from 11:30am to lunchtime. Come check out what he's doing, get some tips on making delicious soup, and maybe help him cut veggies. Once he's done, he'll be selling all that deliciousness  for ONE DOLLAR a serving! We expect that it will sell out fast, so you may want to bring your lunch and supplement it with Ranvir's mouth-watering creation. Yum!
  • Create A Natural Critter - Crafting With Dried Materials - Cheryl W.
    Have fun with an assortment of dried materials from around the world - make two creative keepsake critters to take home. Glue guns are involved, so this is kid friendly with adult supervision. Workshop limited to 14 participants, so please get there promptly.


Time: 10am- 5pm

Suggested donation:
$10 adults
$5 students
Free - kids 14 and under, volunteers, and those who will be teaching
No one will be turned away due to inability to make a donation. This event is for EVERYBODY.
If you are able, please donate more. Your generosity will be appreciated.

Please bring your own brown-bag lunch. If you'd like to bring food to share with others, that's fine, but please be responsible for clean-up. We will be eating in the Community Room. Ranvir will be selling a delicious French Potage for $1 a serving, but we suggest bringing additional food, as the soup could sell out quickly!

How Can I Get Involved?:
If you would like to volunteer or help greet folks at Skillshare Day, please contact Joy at joyh(at)

* This is a family-friendly event!

Join or login to comment.

  • Barbara S.

    What a great day! It was fun to see folks and I had several great workshops. Thanks so much to everyone who made it happen. I am full of energy for planting and using medicinals, starting chickens this year and checking out online, free college courses (who knew?).
    Now all I need is spring!

    March 16, 2013

  • Jeanne K.

    Five star event once again! Thank you to all the teachers, I've learned so much!

    March 16, 2013

  • Joy

    Thank you EVERYBODY! I really enjoyed this event, and I'm so glad for the opportunity to catch up with so many people, and the chance to meet so many new folks. I'd especially like to thank Rich and Mary Himmer, and all of the teachers, whose hard work made this day possible. You all ROCK!

    2 · March 16, 2013

  • Apsu E.

    Sorry! We really wish we could be there but last minute crises...

    March 16, 2013

  • Sue

    I won't be going because I'm not feeling well...hope someone else will take my place.

    March 16, 2013

  • emma

    Oh, I wish I was going to be there!

    March 16, 2013

  • Apsu E.

    Glad to be apart of this !!!

    March 16, 2013

  • Matthew

    sadly we cant attend now, moving apartments all weekend

    March 15, 2013

  • lisa c.

    so glad a spot opened up...can't wait to learn from others' experiences.

    March 15, 2013

  • Joyce B.

    So sorry to miss this, but I can't make it. Hope that someone else is able to fill my spot. Thanks.

    March 13, 2013

  • RadMom0914

    So sorry, but I have a scheduling conflict!

    March 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry to cancel. I've encountered a conflict.

    March 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am available to volunteer.

    March 12, 2013

    • Rich H.

      Great! Come at 9 AM if you want to help set up or hang out after 5 to help us clean up. Or if you come later, just tell the person at the front table that you want to volunteer and I'm sure we can find something for you to do.

      March 12, 2013

  • Melissa M

    The skillshare is a 1 day event - not part of either the permaculture course or the fearless homesteading course

    March 12, 2013

  • Dianna M.

    Very sad to miss this

    March 11, 2013

  • Kenyatte

    I'm new and mostly here to learn but will contribute in teaching on how to make solar panels, rocket mass heaters or aquaponics (merge of aquaculture and hydroponics) systems.

    1 · February 11, 2013

  • Julia

    I was wondering if you would like someone to teach some agricultural skills. I am an organic/biodynamic farmer. I have a lot of experience in vegetable production, livestock including pigs, cattle, dairy cows, chickens and turkeys, as well as cheese production and how to run a vegetable CSA. I could teach a lot of different skills and knowledge, including planning and plant propagation etc. Not sure though were people are at. What topic would be most helpful?

    2 · February 11, 2013

  • Shalita H.

    Had a great time last year. Let me know if you could use an extra hand.

    January 16, 2013

  • Joy

    We will post the list once it is created. This event is not until March, so there is a lot of time. All classes will be taught by members of this group - there will be no outside "experts". So, as people step forward and offer to teach, the list will grow until we arrive at the cut-off date, which will be posted early in the new year, along with all other event information. If you are interested in teaching something, please feel free to contact me.

    December 3, 2012

  • Matthew H.

    is there a list of classes that will be available?

    December 1, 2012

  • RadMom0914

    I would love to teach crocheting or sewing!

    November 18, 2012

  • Dale H.

    I'd like to do a bit of cooking while making biochar and explaining about it.

    September 5, 2012

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