I would really like to hear forum members' thoughts and experiences with continuing ed they have taken part in. I understand that much of the value of a workshop, conference, or whatever, will be directly related to a specific instructor or presenter, but what about the other parameters? Facilities, length of course, etc. I haven't yet done any of the non-participation workshops and will be interested to discover how much I like this and how much I will actually learn from this type of conference as I have signed up for the Mid-Atlantic clay conference in Front Royal, VA in Oct.
My only other experience was at the John C. Campbell Folk school for a week of class. It helped that the instructor was fabulous (Nan Rothwell from Charlottesville, VA), but I also found the school to be excellent. I thought the cost was pretty reasonable, the studio facilities were very good, and the food was oustanding. If anyone goes, definately pay for the full meal option, it's worth it. (Much of it is locally grown). One thing I really liked was that meals were family style and you might find yourself next to weavers, instrument builders, wood turners, poets, or blacksmiths.
The town, Brassville, NC is in the mountains of SW NC, so a bit remote and not cheap or easy to get to, but it might be a good option for a "vacation" of sorts for the family since your travelling companion(s) could sign up for some other courses that interest them. My companion took a course on Nature Studies.
I'm wondering about places similar to the folk school. Thoughts on Penland...others? Most interested in the eastern side of the US, but also thoughts on length of course, non-participatory conferences, any general recommendations, and of course and interesting tales.