We're going to Skamania Lodge in Spring of 2018!
Big improvements are afoot in the WSCSS. We've been gathering feedback from our members and crunching the numbers, and we're excited to announce that the 2018 WSCSS Spring Conference will be held at Skamania Resort in the Columbia Gorge. This has been a decision the board has been considering for a few years, and there were many factors that encouraged us to rotate the conference to a new location:
Traveling over the pass on Sunday afternoon is an annual worry for attendees. Eastern WA teachers also consider Chelan to be “over a pass," depressing eastern WA attendance. A location that Western WA AND Eastern WA teachers can access without crossing a pass is paramount. Skamania is comparable in travel time from Seattle, but since it's on the Columbia, there is no snowy pass to worry about!
Nearby Attractions for Spouses, Kids, and Saturday Afternoon
Skamania has many local museums, wine tours, and state parks nearby. The Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, Bonneville Dam, Lewis and Clark State Park, The Dalles, Multnomah Falls, the Mt. Hood Railroad and more are all close by to Skamania Lodge, and also provides opportunities for you to teach a session at the conference using these local resources!
Keeping the Conference Affordable
Costs at Campbell's have risen over 25% in the last few years, causing us to lose money on this conference the last two years. If we raised prices to cover their rising costs, it would make Chelan something that only teachers at the top of the pay scale could afford to attend, and continuing to lose money on the conference is unsustainable. The overall cost of the conference (travel, hotel, and registration costs) at Skamania will remain similar to the 2017 Chelan conference, while the quality of our conference, hotel, and travel will gratly improve.
Reaching Out to New Regions of Washington
We conducted a 500+ member survey this past spring. WSCSS members reported interest in a new/rotating location for the spring conference. We also have many WSCSS members in SW Washington who do not have a conference near them. We’ve been working for two years on an agreement with the Oregon Council for the Social Studies to co-host a conference that Portland metro area teachers can attend more easily. Hosting a conference in Skamania means the 2018 conference in Skamania is our first Northwest Social Studies Conference!