Get ready, folks: I’m here to spin a yarn about the first Flat Camp — a heartwarming, mind-expanding, mountain-climbing soiree that sparked the fires of community, collaboration, and a smidgen of whiskey-induced comradery. It was a mountain-top getaway to remember.
Flat Camp was no ordinary tech conference, as we tend to buck the norms with most things we do. We said sayonara to formal talks and lectures, in favor of a a non-formal, relaxed, and hands-on gathering. A cozy, mountainside retreat in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Seven cabins tucked away amidst breathtaking views and the quiet whisper of nature. We wanted it to feel like summer camp for grown-ups. – only this time, we traded ghost stories for tech-talk and cabin raids for scotch and bourbon tastings. As one does.
If you prefer photos to words, jump right into our photo gallery. And if you’re more of a moving-picture person, relive some of the magic with our little recap video:
44 people from all corners of the globe descended on our mountain retreat. A few locals arrived by car, while the rest were shuttled in from the airport, hailing from Canada, Ireland, England, Scotland, Poland, Portugal, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and even all the way from Australia (g’day Marty and Michael 🦘). All uniting under the hot-pink flag of Statamic. We swapped stories, shared experiences, and lost a drone (and found it after a most-memorable recovery mission).
Activities? The days were brimming with fun and friendly shenanigans. Hiking adventures through the rugged mountain trails, heart-to-heart chats by the campfires enjoying some sweet S’mores, exercising in the early morning, relaxing in hot tubs, and indulging in the age-old tradition of Street Fighter II on the SNES.
One evening, we held a trivia quiz about Statamic and our history. It was a safe space.
Flat Camp was also a celebration of the senses. We had a hearty sip of culture with whiskey and bourbon tastings, and dove nose-first into a wine-tasting session from a nearby vineyard. So nearby we could literally see the vineyard from the balcony of the main cabin as we sipped.
And not to forget, the Camp Store – a treasure trove of exclusive and rad swag which you could snag with Camp Bucks, our custom, non-legal tender only accepted at Flat Camp. Skateboards, Yetis, whiskey glasses, t-shirts, posters, mouse/desk pads, and more.
Of course, it wasn’t all play and no work. We did shine a light on how the future of Statamic can be shaped to serve us all. We talked business (lots of agency owners and freelancers were there) and web development in general. A Q&A session with the core team got everyone in the know and provided some really valuable feedback to us for the roadmap of Statamic. One morning was dedicated to community presentations where people showed what they’ve built with or for Statamic, inspiring us all. Like Andrew Welch demoing Spin Up Statamic, an easy way to quickly create a working Statamic instance with Docker and GitHub Codespaces. Super cool to show Statamic to a potential client and provide a demo that they can interact and play around with.
Now, an event like this doesn’t just materialize out of thin air. It was also made possible by our amazing sponsors:
A big, heartfelt “Thank You” to each of you. You’ve truly helped make Flat Camp a memorable experience.
We believe the first Flat Camp was a great success, and it’s in great parts thanks to this fantastic community. It wasn’t just about code and Statamic; it was about connecting, sharing, learning, and forging relationships that go beyond the (mechanical) keyboard. That’s the beauty of such an event.
Flat Camp is here to stay. This is part of our future, and we’re already dreaming and scheming about the next Flat Camp. Next stop? Europe! That’s right, Flat Camp is coming to you, dear European friends on the other side of the Atlantic. The where and when are still in the works, so be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay in the loop. Ideas or suggestions for possible locations? Hit us up on Twitter or Discord (there’s a #flat-camp channel).
Here’s to the fantastic memories made, friendships forged, and drones found.
See you next year 👋
Until then, stay rad!