The original organizers of SkooliePalooza are Nick and Russ, the first one was held in 2017. In 2019 in an effort to protect their efforts Russ trademarked “Skooliepalooza” and in 2020, the trademark was granted. In 2022, Nick and Russ planned a Skooliepalooza in California.
This like all Skooliepalooza’s before it was organized in the spirit of an Ungathering. Unfortunately, California rangers are more strict than Arizona Rangers and they dispersed the gathering as an unsanctioned event. Thus, the great migration of 2022 that led to what may have been a world record braking caravan back to Arizona.
When we heard of the mishap we considered an offer to help. After some discussion we offered to volunteer as we have extensive professional event experience and have been part of the Skoolie/Nomad communities 6 years.
And then what…
Around May of 2022, Nick and Russ reached out to us and asked us to become operational organizers. The idea was that Nick and Russ would step back into a more of oversight (think Board of Directors) role and we would be the boots on the ground. As 2022 moved forward, Nick and Russ realized that our visions were aligned and that as a whole, the future of Skooliepalooza was more than what it was in the past.
Unfortunately, some long time members of the community disagreed and started creating divisive commentary. This lead to a series of unfortunate disconnects with the community, some people being banned from collaboration spaces and Nick/Russ deciding that they were no longer welcome within their own community.
Nick and Russ then asked us if we would be willing to take over entirely. We said we would be happy to volunteer and as time went on (a short time), they realized we had more passion for organizing communities. They then offered to allow us to purchase the Trademark of Skooliepalooza(R) to which we agreed. Thus, The Skoolie Way(TM) and the messaging of Ungatherings came to fruition.
The performance of 2023 is a testament to the future of this community. With an estimated size of 3x the showing of 2022, it shows that when you put “just a drop” (as a community member portrayed to us at the Ungathering) of structure and organization, that everybody will have a positive and productive experience.
We received an enormous amount of positive feedback about the 2023 Ungathering, some strong but limited negative feedback (unleashed dogs) and a lot of constructive feedback which we will be writing on later. Thank you for supporting the community and thank you to all of the volunteers for being the awesome warriors you are.
Now that the 2023 Ungathering has completed we are beginning to work with the community on what the 2024 Ungathering will bring as well as other planned events including Utah. It is our hope and goal to provide a safest, most fun and financially accessible events in the Nomad space while keeping true to our 3 rules.
- Be Nice
- Leave No Trace
- Pay it Forward