What’s a ShopBot Camp?

For the past six years there have been an ongoing series of get-togethers which have become known as “Camp Shopbots”. The first one was held in Bill Young’s shop back in 1999 for ShopBot owners interested in using the machine to build boats. Four tool owners and a few interested onlookers attended, and those of us there realized that this was a great way to exchange information and tricks of the trade very easily.

Since that simple beginning there have been almost two dozen Camps, with some of the latest ones having over 50 people attending. The process is simple; a Shopbot owner volunteers their shop for a gathering of local ShopBot owners. Sometimes there’s a specific topic …boatbuilding and indexer Camps have been held…but most cover as wide a range of topics as time will allow.

Even when there’s a theme for the Camp, they remain flexible enough to change the focus “on the fly”. With the number of ‘Bot owners growing by leaps and bounds the pool of knowledge has expanded…Camps have become a great way to both learn new techniques and share the tricks that you’ve learned with others. But Camps are not necessarily training sessions…they’re also a great chance to meet with others who have similar interests and do some informal networking.

A favorite feature at all of the Camps is the “Show and Tell” session, where people bring either a project they’ve done or pictures of it and give a brief presentation on how the projects was done and the design decisions behind it. The range and variety of these pieces is always impressive. It’s not a contest or a “juried” session by any means, just a good chance to show off something you are proud of and to help others improve their skills.

If you’re interested in finding out more about hosting a Camp in your area, contact us at campshopbot@shopbottools.com and we’ll help get you started.

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