Sheila Fredericks’ Blog

Sheila Fredericks is a STAR member of the Discovery Educator Network

DENSI 2013 Reflection


How do you describe the most incredible week of the year? Those that have been to DENSI know that it’s much more than a professional development week.

I traveled to DENSI with Kim Adair and Mark Perlman and the trip was a blast. It was filled with music and laughter. We drove from Philadelphia, PA, first to Lake George, NY, and spent the night there. We did some sightseeing and even watched fireworks over the lake that evening. The next day, we arrived early in Burlington, so we walked to see Lake Champlain. While we were there we met some other STARS, and so the reunion began!

You could feel the magic and excitement as soon as you walked into the building. The DENSI staff was warm and inviting and they seemed thrilled to see everyone. Since this was my second DENSI I knew people, but I still remembered my hesitation from last year. My mission was to try to make the “newbies” feel as welcome as possible. I hope I succeeded!

The evening barbecue was a blast! I had David Fisher’s “gift” and I found out that we grew up about 20 minutes from each other in Westchester County, NY!  How cool is that! One of my favorite parts of DENSI is meeting new people and sharing ideas and friendships.

The trip to Shelburne Farm/Museum was incredible! Although it was a hot, we all enjoyed the day.

One of my favorite evening activities was the “Face the Music” activity. Trying to figure out titles, songs, and states of different songs was so much fun. I even took the “mic” and sang, “Philadelphia Freedom!” It was a great ice breaker and community builder activity!

How can anyone forget our evening fire alarm!  DENSI STARS just made the best of it and used it as social time! And how can anyone forget Kate Nagle and the hula-hoops! YAY, Kate! Leave it to STARS to make lemonade out of lemons–when there were shirts that were too small, the guys became, “The Men of the Den!”

Of course, the sessions and speakers were outstanding! Two of my favorite were learning about augmented reality from Karen Ogen, and portable greenscreening from Conni Mulligan. This year I stepped out of my comfort zone and sponsored two “unconference” sessions. One during the LC unconference, and the other during the regular session.

The ballgame was a wonderful evening getaway. Watching Casey throw out the first pitch demonstrated that at DENSI nice guys don’t finish last–they’re rewarded! Way to go, Casey! It was funny to see the two police officers standing at the bottom of our area waiting to see if we were going to cause trouble! Really?!

Several of us played a Star Trek type game called, “Artemis.” The game was a blast and we played it a couple of evenings (in lieu of sleep!). Reflecting later on, I realized that this would be a great activity for students! Role-playing and leadership skills!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how great Mark & Kim were in their DENsportation! First, acting as a taxi service for incoming and outgoing flights, and as transportation for Dawn and Jill after they each fell in a hole!  And, Kim, thank you for being the best roommate!

I created a reflection video, as well.  I hope you like it and that it brings back great memories!

Of course, always remember that unlike Vegas, “What happens at DENSI, gets posted all over the Internet!”


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