Monday, August 15, 2011

FMCA–one more rally down, 2 to go

What a great week!  And, we are about as exhausted as you can get.
We taught 3 seminars on Wednesday, 2 on Thursday plus our 2 hour hands on Photo Editing workshop, 2 on Friday plus another hands-on workshop, and finished with 2 on Saturday.  We were afraid that a lot of people would be leaving Saturday, but those two seminars were still full!  Photo Story 3 and Using Google Earth.  People *really* like Google Earth.  We heard a lot of people exclaiming that they ‘had no idea it could do all of that!’ 
Google Earth - our last seminar.  Given to standing room only!
Google Earth - our last seminar. Given to standing room only!
We gained about 40 new members to our Geeks on Tour Learning Website.  We call that a very successful week, but probably the best part is all the people who renewed their annual membership!  That tells us that they feel they’ve gotten value from their membership – enough so that they want to pay us more!  And that’s a *very* good thing, as we have a lot more fuel to buy to get us to our next two rallies, and make the payments on our new RV!
Jim showing off his new toy (iPad) to the boys!
Jim showing off his new toy (iPad) to the boys!
We also gave two hands-on classes at this rally.  Photo Editing with Picasa.  I thought they went *really* well.  Hands-on is really the way to learn.  The tough part is finding enough time for hands-on classes.  This Photo Editing class was the brainchild of the seminar coordinator for FMCA – Chris Lusk – and it was brilliant.  We weren’t teaching all about Picasa … just the photo editing part.  I hand-picked some sample photos and each student got a thumb drive with those photos.  We went thru each photo, and used the editing commands that made that photo look better.  Reall hands on training, and it actually worked in a 2 hour format … although 3 hours would have been better!
Picasa Photo Editing Workshop at FMCA in Madison, WI
Picasa Photo Editing Workshop at FMCA in Madison, WI

Hands-on time in our Picasa Workshop
Hands-on time in our Picasa Workshop
Our most popular seminar this time was Facebook – over 400 in attendance – it even surpassed Picasa.  It’s so interesting to watch this over the years.  We started out at FMCA *only* teaching Internet on the Road, and even after we added other topics, that was still by far the most popular.  Now, our Internet on the Road seminar is the least attended.  Such is technology – most people just buy an aircard from Verizon and they’re done with it.
Besides teaching our seminars, the only other activity I did was to be available at our information table.  Jim snuck out to watch one other seminar … the GPS navigation with the new Rand McNally TripMaker RVND 5510.  He came back acting pretty excited.  Maybe I’ll get him to write a post about it.
One night we took advantage of being members of the Gulfstream RV chapter and attended their steak dinner.  So nice not to have to cook!
Gulfstream Chapter Steak Dinner
Gulfstream Chapter Steak Dinner
The rally ended Saturday.  Sunday we spent the afternoon with Phil and Tracey of TechnoRV.  Beer tasting after a rally seems to be developing into a tradition with us!  And there was definitely good beer available in and around Madison, Wisconsin!  Maybe the best part was a visit to the National Mustard Museum!
Jim and Chris, Phil and Tracey at the Mustard Museum.  Good Stuff!!
Jim and Chris, Phil and Tracey at the Mustard Museum. Good Stuff!!
And, we’re having fun talking about our planned Techno-Geek Learning Rally!

Next up is the Escapade 'Camp Reboot' in Gillette, Wyoming.  And, our last rally of the season is the Gypsy Journal Rally in Ohio.

Odie's ready to go!

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