This is our fourth time at an Escapade. And, our first one was also in Sedalia. It’s the smallest of what we consider the 3 big rallies where we do our seminars (FMCA, Good Sam, Escapees) and we started attending it last. Our first Escapade was in 2009, whereas we’ve been at every FMCA convention since 2005! We feel very at home with Escapees, I don’t know why it took us so long to discover it. The Escapees club was originally formed for the purpose of educating people about the fulltime lifestyle. So, when we come to these rallies, we’re amongst more fulltime RVers than anywhere else.
And, they like our seminars! We started with our hands-on ‘Camp Reboot.’ In other venues we call it our Computer Boot Camp, but at the Escapade we teach that class at the same time that the well-known RV Boot Camp is being taught, so we changed our class name a little. We really like teaching this class here because they schedule it for a full 12 hours, starting Friday afternoon, going all day Saturday, then ending Sunday mid-day. Hands-on classes like this need time.
Jim and Chris helping ‘Camp Reboot’ students during the exercise portion of class
Most of the week was devoted to our regular demo-style of seminars. We taught ‘Managing your Pictures with Picasa’, ‘Smartphone Overview’, ‘Facebook Overview’, ‘Photo Sharing Online’, ‘Making Collages with Picasa’, and ‘Trip Planning and GPS Navigation.’
Our Picasa Class at the Escapade
For our Smartphone class, we teamed up with Phil May from TechnoRV
With Phil demonstrating features of the iPhone, we felt like we were bringing a little of our Techno-Geek Learning Rally to the Escapade. Notice how the iPad is being used as a camera aimed at the phone. The iPad is being projected. Using this system, it is easy for the presenter to see what the audience is seeing.
Here’s how it looks to the audience.
Here’s how the audience looked to us! A nice crowd.
Our Facebook Class at the Escapade
When we weren’t teaching, we were in a booth along with Phil and Tracey from TechnoRV. This is the first Techno-Geek booth! All totaled, we gained 53 either new or renewed members for Geeks on Tour this week.
And, when the week was over, we added another hands-on class for a select few people who wanted to learn more about using their Android smart phones.
Here’s Nancy demonstrating her method of protecting her new Samsung Galaxy with a sock! John said he joined the class because he heard there would be phone sox!
Learning about the various camera settings on their Android phones during our hands-on Smartphone Boot Camp.
That was a busy and wonderful 8 days! Oh, by the way, we have scheduled our next Techno-Geek Learning Rally for December 2-8 in Bushnell, Florida and it is open for registration. Here’s the page for all the details.
It never fails to impress me how RVing gives you a different neighborhood all the time. Sometimes you’re far from the maddening crowd, sometimes you’re next door neighbors with best friends, and sometimes you have a whole new set of neighbors to meet.
This week at the FMCA convention, there were nearly 2,000 RVs that come together and form a new city for four days. This city sprouts up overnight and disperses 5 days later. Here is a WAY COOL video about one of the RVers here who has a Quadcopter that takes video as it flies overhead. You will see the city I’m talking about here.
And, guess what? The Reporter in this video, Mike Wendland, was one of our neighbors! He heard about what we do, and came over to take some video of us. We may be on NBC! I’m sure we’ll be on the video list on his ‘OpenMike’ FMCA page. We’ll post the link when we see it.
Mike was staying in the gray Roadtrek in the back of this picture, then next to him, in the white RV is Chuck Woodbury of RVTravel.com. We’ve been reading his weekly newsletter for years, and I’ve even written some articles on his DigitalRVer blog, but we’ve never met in person. No amount of online contact can make the connection that you get from spending real time with someone.
Because Chuck was in our neighborhood, we even got together for dinner, and other friends popped in as well – Phil and Tracey from TechnoRV and their dog Murphy. We all had a great time swapping stories.
Chuck took a great video walking all around the FMCA ‘city’ – this will give you an idea of what I’m talking about – from ground level.
All good things must come to an end. The 2,000 homes that made up our town for the last few days just started the ignition and drove away! Our next stop is the Gypsy Journal Rally in Celina, Ohio.
We’ve been attending, and working, at the FMCA (Family Motor Coach Ass’n) conventions once or twice every year since 2005. It’s always a pleasure, and it’s always different.
This year, in Indianapolis, the fairgrounds is a new venue. There was a little confusion as to parking, but we ended up in a wonderful spot.
Motorhomes arriving at the Family Motor Coach Ass’n convention
Our parking spot
Except for rain the first morning, we’ve had gorgeous weather. We were booked for 2 and 3 seminars each day. We knew it was going to be a busy week.
We had good crowds for all our seminars. It’s always interesting to see which one will be the most popular. For several years, our Picasa classes were clearly the most popular, but last year, Facebook won, and now, our Smartphone class had the biggest audience. I don’t know exact numbers, but I think Smartphones had about 400 people in the audience, and another 3-400 watching remotely on the webcast. These live webcasts are free for anyone. We didn’t realize this was happening, so didn’t let our readers know. I’m hoping they are recorded and will be available for viewing later, but we don’t have any information on that yet.
All our seminars this week are being filmed and presented live over the Web.
Jim is able to project his actions on a smartphone by connecting the iPad to the projector and aiming the iPad’s camera at the smartphone.
We also had a hands-on smartphone workshop.
And a Hands-on Picasa Photo Editing Class at FMCA Rally in Indianapolis
So many people are telling us about what they’ve learned from us … it makes us feel so good. That’s what it’s all about. We especially like it when people show us something they’ve done because of what we’ve taught them. Today we got a link to a youtube video that would have knocked me off my chair, IF I had been sitting down! (Haven’t done much of that in a few days!) We taught our Photo Story 3 class from 11:30 to 12:45 – it was webcast. At about 3 o’clock, we got an email from Vicki in Quad Cities. She wrote: "I watched, I listened, I learned… " She had apparently watched the seminar on the live Webcast. During the webcast she took several screenshots of us presenting the seminar. Then she used what she learned about Photo Story to put together this little movie:
How Cool is that?! We get to see a little of what the Webcast looked like, and she shows us that she learned how to make a photo story by watching the webinar. All done and uploaded to youtube, within a couple hours!
A joint RV rally with Geeks on Tour and TechnoRV. Spend some time learning about cool things to do with your computer (Windows *or* Macs *or* Android *or* iPads/iPhones), digital camera, Smartphones, GPS, and other gadgets. We’ll have a lot of fun too!
Every day of the Rally we plan to ..
Start the day with Tai Chi
Continental Breakfast and a panel with open Q&A ..
give a photo/video assignment and have photo editing and movie-making clinics ..
Show and Tell of useful gadgets – Computer and RV and Smartphones ..
present Geeks on Tour topic seminars .. (Picasa, Blogger, Streets and Trips, Facebook, Droid, Google Earth)
PLEASE MAKE YOUR OWN RV RESERVATION WITH PARADISE OAKS GOLF AND RV RESORT. WE HAVE NEGOTIATED A SPECIAL RATE OF $25. JUST CALL AND ASK FOR LIL NEWCOMBE (352-793-1823). This is not included in your Rally Tuition.
The fee for the event is $199. One registration is for one RV and 2 people. Geeks on Tour Members get a discounted rate of $165 Please Log in to see the button.
September 26 – 30, 2011 | Mercer County Fairgrounds, Celina, Ohio
If you’ve never been to a Gypsy Gathering … you owe it to yourself to make it to Celina, Ohio the end of September. Nick and Terry Russell really know how to put on a rally. It’s impossible to put more learning, or more fun into 4 days! See all the details and get yourself registered on the Gypsy Journal rally page.
Here are the seminars that Geeks on Tour will be presenting:
Managing Digital Photos with Picasa
Part 1: Tuesday 9 – 10 Hospitality Building
Part 2: Tuesday 10:30 – 11:30 Hospitality Building
GPS Navigation and Trip Planning featuring Streets and Trips
Tuesday 1:30 – 3 Hospitality Building
Tuesday 3:30 – 5 Hospitality Building
Blogger for Free and Easy Websites
Part 1: Wednesday 9-10 Hospitality Building
Part 2: Wednesday 10:30 – 11:30
Photo Story 3 – Making Narrated Slideshows
Wednesday ?10:30 – noon Hospitality Building
Computer Learning with Geeks on Tour Videos
Wednesday 3:30 – 5 Hospitality Building
Facebook: Not just for Kids
Thursday 9 – 10 Hospitality Building