Final deadlines loom! Register now for the 37th annual Plant Camp!

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Final deadlines loom! Register now for the 37th annual Plant Camp!

From the Steering Committee:

It’s almost here! The 37thannual Cullowhee Native Plant Conference. The June blog represents the last full month until the year-long wait for Plant Camp is over.

That’s a big yeah! It also comes with an even bigger heads up. If you’re planning to attend the conference and haven’t registered, there are a couple of very good reasons to do that today.

For starters, as of June 17, almost all the field trips are full. The closed FTs are: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 and 11. Only three are still open: FTs 8, 9 and 12. Wouldn’t it be great if we had so much interest in the conference this year that all the field trips filled up and closed before the conference even started? Yes! On one hand. And, well, no on another – you’ll be out of luck if you want to go on a field trip but procrastinated about registering and missed out on of these great experiences to learn about native Southeastern flora and bond with others participating in your walk, canoe trip or workshop.

Here’s another reason to register if you haven’t already done so – or to encourage a friend or colleague to register. Availability of on campus accommodations will close July 3. So, if you want to stay on campus, the time to send in your registration is now! Please also be aware that July 12 is the last date to register for the conference.

As of June 17, 247 people have registered for the conference including speakers and staff, according to Bobby Hensley, Associate Director of Continuing Education at Western Carolina. Registration is tracking at roughly the same pace as last year, according to Bobby.

We said in this space after the Steering Committee’s planning meeting in October that we heard you loudly and clearly regarding your comments on the survey after last year’s conference. Here’s proof of that: This summer you’ll see an increased presence of recycling and compostable materials. Be sure to thank Bobby for that. Bobby, as regulars at ‘Whee know, is the university’s point person for planning and hosting the conference. He does a great job year in and year out. So, give him an extra “atta boy” when you pick up your room keys if you’re bunking on campus or when you see him at his station in the tunnel leading into Ramsey. We’ll start that here: Thank you, Bobby!

Here’s something else the Steering Committee is working on for the conference that we want to share with you. As part of his opening remarks, Conference Director John Magee is going to encourage everyone to tweet about the conference. The goal is to raise awareness about ‘Whee in the native plant community. John will ask you to use the hash tags #whee19, #plantcamp19 and #nativeplants in your tweets. The Steering Committee has asked Bobby if there is a way to display some of the tweets on the screen behind Ramey’s main stage. Bobby’s working on that but is unsure so far if he can make that happen from a technology standpoint.

Social media appears to be an area where the Steering Committee can lead a charge to increase awareness of the conference. Most of the people who’ve registered this year listed Friend or Employer as to how they heard about ‘Whee. After that, registrants listed email as to how they found out about the conference. Social media, Bobby said, was surprisingly low on their list – only 13 registrants said they heard about the conference through social media.

So, here’s a homework assignment for all the native plant lovers following this blog. Go to your favorite social media platform – heck, all your social media platforms – and chat up the conference. And be sure to use the hash tags above: #whee19, #plantcamp19 and #nativeplants .

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone next month!

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