Frequently Asked Questions
What should I expect from Offline Camp?
Offline Camp is a relaxed-yet-productive weekend with others passionate about Offline First, engaged in deep discussion and lighthearted fun. We aim to provide a welcoming, inclusive, and respectful environment for a diverse group of participants (see our Code of Conduct and Diversity Statement). We also limit the group to 30 people so we can truly have the chance to get to know each other.
Our content is driven by campers, with attendees nominating and voting on Offline First topics to be discussed in unconference sessions. There are multiple discussions on wide-ranging topics happening simultaneously, with group recaps to catch you up on sessions you’ve missed. (Many of our past discussion topics are chronicled in our Medium publication.) Please bring ideas on specific topics you’d like to discuss with the group.
We also offer campers the opportunity to present 5-minute passion talks on their diverse interests. These informal talks don’t need to be related to Offline First, nor be technical. If you have a hobby or other pursuit you’re excited about, we look forward to hearing about it! (Videos of many of our past passion talks have been shared with campers’ permission in our Medium publication.)
Conversation and relaxation
We believe that the casual conversations we have around the campfire can be as important as our more structured discussions. With that in mind, we leave some free time in the schedule for engaging with your fellow campers in a relaxing setting. Our ranch is amidst forest and ponds, with walking paths to stroll or llamas to visit while you connect with a new friend.
The Offline Camp experience is pretty awesome. Seriously, just incredible. Like kittens and Nutella all wrapped in one (unless you're allergic to cats or hazelnuts or chocolate, in which case we are sad for you). In can be tough to explain in words what makes the camp format so great, so we made these videos to show you what camp is all about. Whenever we feel blue, we watch them to cheer ourselves up. Enjoy.
Location, lodging, and food
Where does Offline Camp Oregon take place? How far away is the nearest airport or train station?
Offline Camp Oregon will be hosted at Cascade Mountain Ranch in Grants Pass, Oregon. When booking your travel, please be careful to allow sufficient travel time. You can map the Cascade Mountain Ranch to determine directions and estimated travel times from nearby transport hubs, including:
✈️ Rogue Valley International Airport (MFR) in Medford, Oregon
(regional airport with limited connections)
🚗 38 miles / approx. 45 min by car
✈️ Portland International Airport (PDX) in Portland, Oregon
🚗 250 miles / approx. 4 h 15 min by car
✈️ San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in San Francisco, California
🚗 413 mi / approx. 6 h 30 min by car
How can I reach Cascade Mountain Ranch from the airport? Will there be shuttle service or carpooling?
We are not planning shuttle service to the ranch, but lots of campers like to carpool! We encourage you to join the Offline First Slack team and connect with your fellow campers in the #camp channel to discuss carpooling.)
When should I arrive/depart?
Please plan to arrive between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm on Friday, November 10 so you can get settled in before dinner. We hope that everyone will be able to stay through breakfast on Monday, November 13, departing around 11:00 am. Formal discussions will wrap up just before dinner on Sunday, so if you do need to leave Sunday night or early Monday morning, you can, but we’ll miss you. (You can visit our schedule page for a more complete view of the weekend.)
Will we really be camping?
Not in the traditional pitching-a-tent sense, no. We have a bed reserved for you in one of our lodges. But it’s like summer camp in the sense that we will enjoy each other, enjoy nature, and enjoy lots of s’mores.
Will we really be offline?
Although we’ll be discussing Offline First, we will indeed have internet access available in one of our two lodges. (Yes, yes, it’s ironic. We know. Don't worry, the other lodge is WiFi-free!) Frankly, we think you’ll be so engaged in discussion and s’more-making with your fellow campers that you won’t be tempted to go online other than to post about how cute the llamas are and how jealous everyone else should be.
What are the sleeping accommodations like?
The lodges at Cascade Mountain Ranch are cozy and rustic. You will have a bed of your own, but it will most likely be in a bedroom or bunkroom shared with others. (The first campers to apply get the biggest beds!) We will do our best to accommodate preferences for sharing bedrooms with others of specific genders, as shared on our Camper Info Form. Co-ed, private (or semi-private) bathrooms will be shared with your fellow campers. (Some bathrooms have mutliple shower stalls with a door or curtain for privacy.) Bedding and bath towels are provided. Because the ranch is run by volunteers, you'll be making up your own bed on arrival, stripping it on departure, helping out with dishes during the weekend, and all that other stuff that keeps a house running. Thanks in advance for pitching in!
What meals are provided? Can you accommodate dietary restrictions?
We will provide breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages from Friday dinner through Monday breakfast. (You are welcome to bring your own favorite beverages to enjoy with moderation, per our Code of Conduct.) When you complete your Camper Info Form, please share any allergies or dietary restrictions. We will have vegetarian options available at every meal, and our caterers will strive to accommodate other needs as shared on your form at least two weeks prior to the event.
What should I pack?
We’ll share a recommended packing list about a week before the event. Note that bedding and bath towels will be provided for you, just like at a hotel. We'll provide hand soap, but you should bring your own toiletries. And if you plan to jump in a pond in November (brrrrrr!), you should pack an extra towel.
Our Campers and the Application Process
Who is Offline Camp intended for?
Over the course of past events, we've come to discover that camp is most successful when the majority (though not necessarily all) of participants are actively involved in Offline First work. Although many of our participants have a technical background, their roles and technical proficiencies vary. Campers might be developing apps, designing user experiences, managing a product, improving a web browser or technical platform, providing humanitarian services to a community with poor connectivity, or supporting the growth of the Offline First community. The discussions we have at camp are meant to propel the community forward, and we hope all of our campers will be in a position to actively contribute to discussions, walk away with a broader perspective, and have a positive impact on the movement when they return home.
If you're curious about Offline First but aren't prepared to engage in a weekend of intensive, participatory discussion yet, never fear! We're in the beginning stages of planning for an Offline First conference (of more traditional format) that will better suit the needs of folks who have less experience.
That doesn't mean, however, that we're favoring people who've been to Offline Camp before. We actually intend to cap the number of alumni we accept this year, in order to ensure we have plenty of new folks joining the community.
How does the application process work?
As we expect to sell out, we strongly encourage you to apply as soon as possible, noting that our $550 rate expires on October 23. Bonus: those who apply first get the biggest beds! Need financial assistance? You can request a scholarship right from the standard application form.
In order to keep camp feeling cozy, warm, and effective, we intentionally limit ourselves to 30 campers. Depending on how many people apply, that may make for some tough decisions for us. Here's how we plan to approach that challenge:
When you fill out your application for camp, even if you've attended before, please take the time to explain how you're currently involved in Offline First projects or the Offline First community, as well as what topics you're interested in exploring further at camp.
After you apply, we'll set up a short call with you, even if you've attended camp before. One of the reasons we want to talk is to make sure you understand Offline Camp's unique format. It can be quite a surprise if you don't know what to expect, and communal living isn't for everyone. It's also incredibly important to us that all applicants have read and understood our Code of Conduct so that everyone feels safe and welcome at camp. If you have questions, this is the time to ask!
We'll also ask you a bit more about the projects you're working on to get a sense of what you'll bring to discussions at camp. If you've attended before, the projects you're working on or specific areas you're interested in may have changed since your last Offline Camp experience. We want to know what you hope to learn and contribute at Offline Camp Oregon.
Now that our Early Bird application deadline has passed, we'll be reviewing applications and notes from our screening calls on a rolling basis and using the following ranking factors as we select our campers:
1. We believe you will be a respectful and constructive participant in Offline Camp.
2. We believe you have a valuable perspective to contribute to the conversation on the topic of Offline First.
3. We believe you can provide a unique perspective that is not already represented in the mix of participants. This perspective might come from, for example, a difference in skills, background, role, gender, or race from other campers.
We'll do our best to get back to you within a few days of your screening call so that you have plenty of time to book your travel arrangements. If you're accepted, we'll send you a special booking link and will need you to pay for your ticket within 3 days, so that we have time to offer your bed to someone else if you've changed your mind.
Ready to apply? Head right over to our Camp Application & Scholarship Request Form.
Who else is coming to camp? How can we connect?
We don’t share campers’ email addresses, even with our sponsors. Instead, we encourage you to follow your fellow campers on Twitter, as well as to join the Offline First Slack team and connect with other campers in the #camp channel before, during, and after camp.
We're excited to welcome a diverse group of campers to the Offline First community, including those who identify as members of groups typically underrepresented at tech events, and we have both full scholarships and partial discounts available for those who need financial assistance. If the price of camp tickets ($550 if you apply by October 23, which includes food and lodging) would normally keep you from attending, please note that on our Camp Application & Scholarship Request Form.
Our scholarships cover the full cost of your ticket, which includes your food and lodging during the event. At present, we do not have funding to cover travel expenses, but that may become available if we succeed at finding corporate Diversity Sponsors. In the meantime, we have many campers who plan to carpool, which could help you save on travel expenses. (We currently know of folks driving from Medford, Portland, and Seattle.)
Please don't let your financial circumstances keep you from applying to camp. Just reach out with any questions.
Odds & Ends
Do you have a Code of Conduct or Diversity Statement?
Yes, both! We are dedicated to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all campers. All guests are asked to review the Code of Conduct before registering for camp, and our organizing team is available to address any concerns on site. You can read our Diversity Statement to learn more about our efforts to create a diverse community, and how you can help!
How can I support Offline Camp?
Generous sponsors enable us to make Offline Camp possible. Please encourage your company to sponsor, or make a personal donation to our scholarship fund so we can bring more awesome folks to camp. And please check out our list of ways you can help to build a more diverse camp community.
Where can I learn more about Offline First before camp?
We've worked hard to curate all kinds of Offline First content for you, from articles and case studies to videos and podcasts. Past campers have even written up summaries of the awesome discussions they had when they were at camp! Visit our resources page to get started.
How can I reach you with additional questions?
We believe that innovation is enhanced by a variety of perspectives, and that the future of the Offline First movement depends on embracing diversity. Our goal is to create an inclusive and respectful camp environment that encourages participation from all people regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), technology choices, or depth of technical proficiency. (See our Code of Conduct.)
We're working to increase the diversity of Offline First and Offline Camp communities through our recruitment process and through dialogue with the broader tech and business communities.
You can help us build a diverse camp experience by:
* Encouraging attendees from groups underrepresented in tech to apply, or suggesting folks to whom we should reach out. (If needed, they can request a scholarship as part of the application process.)
* Forwarding information about Offline Camp to relevant affinity groups with the message that we are looking for a diverse mix of attendees and have scholarships available.
* Making a personal donation to our scholarship fund to subsidize ticket costs (full or partial) for a potential camper who needs financial assistance.
* Becoming a corporate Diversity Sponsor to fund a camper’s full camp experience, including travel expenses.
* Sharing your ideas on how we can make the on-site camp experience (or our web presence) more welcoming and supportive, free from intimidation and marginalization.
We value diversity in the communities we serve, and we welcome your contributions to bringing balanced representation of the richness of our collective human experience.
The above diversity statement is adapted from the Conference Diversity Statement of O'Reilly Media, Inc., which is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.