I honesty cannot believe this happened again, but I’m going to cut straight to the chase. On September 7th (the 10 year anniversary of our co-founder Bob Booth’s passing), we got the official word from our partners at UMass-Lowell that their Inn & Conference Center will be taken over by the state of Massachusetts and used as a shelter site for migrant refugees, thereby making it unavailable for us next summer. As such, we were left looking for a new home again.
But the good news is, we’ve found one!
Bracken and I conducted a site visit at St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH, and it was the proverbial cherry atop the sundae following our numerous phone calls and Zoom meetings with the school. As such, I am proud, excited, and (quire frankly!) relieved to announce that we are moving the convention there next summer.
So, why St. Anselm? Simply put, they checked each and every one of our boxes and then some, and they honestly promise to be THE BEST venue to ever host us!. In order —
1) They will be housing us in on-campus apartments (four Campers per apartment, two bedrooms of two double beds each, with each apartment featuring a living area, kitchen, and bathroom). Moreover, we will be the ONLY people housed in these apartments; all of their other summer events will be on the other side of campus.
2) As we’re the only group on that side of campus, the entire Student Center is ours to use as event space. That building includes a 260-ish person auditorium (perfect for panels), a massive second floor surrounded by windows (perfect for the Art Show and Dealers), and a huge open lobby area on the first floor in which St. Anselm has offered to set up a cash bar for us (perfect for the Meet the Authors Party). And the college has also offered to provide any A/V assistance we need (by the way, St. Anselm is part of the NH Campaign Trail and regularly hosts debates and town halls that are broadcast on CNN, so I have very little doubt they’ll have any trouble with our modest tech needs!).
3) Between those two locations is an on-campus pub with a large back deck and lawn, and again, we will be the only people using it that weekend. Beyond that, all outside locations on our side of campus have been approved for our usage without limitations provide we show the same discretion we’ve shown at UML (i.e. red Solo cups are our friends!).
4) All facilities are 100% accessible, and the distance between all the locations we will be using is very manageable. That being said, we have already discussed how to help our Campers move between the buildings and there are multiple options at our disposal.
5) Their kitchen staff is 100% accommodating of all Campers with dietary needs. And please take my word on this, they let us sample the food and the options and quality are exceptional!
Here are a couple of choice pictures we snapped, but we promise more will follow!