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Debuting a Drupal Camp, Uniting a Community

Fresh off the train from Fort Wayne, Indiana, Andrea Soper hit Chicago with eyes full of big-city excitement. The opportunities seemed as endless as Lake Michigan.
 
A Drupal developer, Andrea couldn’t wait to greet the Drupal community of Chicago: the local development shops with national prestige like Palantir, Acquia and Promet Source were now in arm’s reach. Local Drupal groups like CADUG welcomed her with open arms and embraced her advanced Drupal skillset.
 
Before long, she was emailing her Indiana friends with Drupal tips she learned in “The Big City” and she would share ideas from her colleagues to the knowledge-hungry Chicago crowd. The groups from both cities seemed to benefit from each other.
 
And then it hit her: Chicago is centrally located with so many of the country’s top Drupal development shops. Why wasn’t there a Drupal camp that connected Chicago to the rest of the Midwest?  Certainly, the Chicago Drupal Camp is a fantastic annual meeting that brings together the local powerhouses.
 
But, what about the ENTIRE MIDWEST? There’s Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Madison, The Twin Cities, Cleveland, Des Moines and everything in between. All of these cities could and would convene as a superpower to celebrate their mutual passion for Drupal...Right?
 
And so it began. An idea from a very Midwest girl with a very Drupally dream: MidCamp, a three-day celebration of all things Drupal—in America’s heartland.
 
Andrea put together a team from PalantirPromet SourceZoomaUniversity of Chicago, and more who brought experience in organizing and participating in several camps across the country: BADCamp, Fox Valley Drupal Camp, DrupalCon, and the NYC Camp. With their first meeting in November, they banded together to coordinate a camp..in less than 6 months. Insert the raging butterflies that have been dancing in all of the coordinators’ bellies.
 
MidCamp will feature training, sessions, and sprints March 28-30 at the University Center in Chicago’s downtown, within walking distance of many of the city’s tourist attractions, restaurants and nightlife.
The community is already salivating for curated sessions and panels from internationally-renowned Drupal experts, including keynoters Jeff Eaton (eaton) and Larry Garfield (crell). With the upcoming release of Drupal 8, they will introduce attendees to this new Drupal version. “[We] will take you through a tour not just of Drupal's new features, but Drupal's new philosophy, both for the code and the community,” said Garfield.
 
Other sessions and panels will feature Drupal developers, designers, themers, project managers, and business leaders sharing their experience and expertise. These one-hour sessions will focus on Advanced Coding, Dev/Ops, Business Aspects of Drupal, Drupal 8, Front-End Development, and Site Building. You know, typical Drupal Camp fare except multiplied to reflect the Midwest’s genius.
 
Registrants are coming in droves for bootcamp style training (sans army crawls) on Friday, March 28th.  During these full and half-day training sessions, attendees will delve deeply into topics including Drupal 8 site-building, performance tuning/DevOps, and Drupal module development. Promet Source is sponsoring mentored BuildAModule Training for an extremely low price. Promet is quite accustomed to providing Drupal training as it is a service commonly offered.
 
As with traditional Drupal camps, the last day (Sunday, March 30th) will be devoted to Drupal sprints. Drupal training is provided within the sprint process; all levels of Drupal users are welcome to make a contribution.
The Midwest is the heart of the United States — a cultural crossroads that connects the urban east coast with the free-spirited west coast. It’s this epicenter of innovation where great minds from both sides collide and amazing Drupal work is born. “MidCamp will be the camp where the Midwest Drupal and tech community can unite, learn, party, argue and network. It is my vision that this event will catapult the region into becoming an even stronger global innovation center,” said Andrea.
 
If you’ve ever planned or attended a Drupal camp, you know MidCamp is made possible by the support of sponsors. Much love to Promet SourcePalantir.netDuo ConsultingBreakthrough TechnologiesTrellon, PantheonAcquia, and net2Community.