After a bit of fighting with DC-area traffic, I arrived this evening (well, yesterday evening, since it’s after midnight as I write this) at the campus of my alma mater, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, in St. Mary’s City, in St. Mary’s County, MD. St. Mary’s was the first city in Maryland, so it’s historic as well as more beautiful than I remembered, having graduated many years ago.
It’s also the location of Southern Maryland GiveCamp, the first GiveCamp event to take place on the east coast. GiveCamp, for those who may be unfamiliar with it, is an event which originated in Dallas, Texas with my fellow Microsoftie Chris Koenig, a few years ago. In a GiveCamp, developers, designers, DBAs, and related professionals get together for a weekend of coding to provide web sites and similar solutions for charities and non-profits.
Southern Maryland GiveCamp is being organized and run by Jim Pendarvis of the Southern Maryland .NET User Group. Jim is shown below kicking off the event with a representative of one of the charities being helped this weekend:
Although I’m always proud of the fantastic community I work with here in Mid-Atlantic, it’s especially delightful to see folks coming from as far as Hampton Roads, VA, and elsewhere in Mid-Atlantic, folks who’ve driven 5 hours or more to lend a hand for organizations that would not otherwise be able to afford to bring IT resources to bear for their services. Here’s a look at the crowd during the kickoff meeting:
Once all the charities had a chance to introduce themselves and describe what they were hoping to come out of the weekend with, Jim split the volunteers up into teams and assigned them to charities, and the groups got down to planning. Given the beautiful weather, it’s no surprise that some of the planning took place outdoors.
Many thanks to St. Mary’s College for providing a great venue (the building we’re in, coincidentally, was under construction while I was at St. Mary’s 20 years ago), and to the many sponsors for providing food, drink, giveaways, as well as software licenses and hosting to make the whole thing possible. I’m proud to say that Microsoft is also a sponsor, and one of my colleagues, Jim O’Neil, came down from New England to learn about GiveCamp in advance of the one they’ll be holding in his neck of the woods.
Want to know more about GiveCamp, or find a GiveCamp in your area? Visit http://givecamp.org, or feel free to drop me a line, and I can connect you with the organizers in your area…or if there isn’t one planned near you, you can plan your own!