RobinsonFest 2017 – Wrap-Up and Photo Gallery

RobinsonFest Flag

When I was a kid, my parents took our family to spend a long weekend at a kid’s campground before the season kicked off. I had attended the camp the year before and had memories of games, hikes, pranks and new friends. While the picturesque campground looked the same, it felt wrong. The people—the real heart and soul of that place—were missing. I spent those days feeling detached and longing for absent friends.

In the wake of RobinsonFest, I feel a similar sense of something missing. As I visit Portsmouth and the surrounding area, some instinctual part of my brain says, “Go to the hotel and see everyone!” Then the conscious part of my brain realizes that’s not possible, that if I went to the amazing Homewood Suites, the place would feel like an empty, soulless husk. I have never walked through those doors and not been greeted by a smile and a hug. It’s odd to feel that kind of an attachment to a hotel, but after this year’s RobinsonFest, I think stopping by the hotel would feel a lot like that bittersweet campground visit.

DSC_0263That is the quality and intensity of the relationships forged at RobinsonFest. Writing that feels like an exaggeration, and I imagine a lot of people reading this will think I’m simply promoting the event, but I think everyone who attended will agree.

While we visited some amazing places (the Mount Washington cruise and Franconia Notch Echo Lake), participated in some fun activities (Hilltop Fun Center and Butternut Farm) those events weren’t the weekend’s highlight. The people were. The closest comparison is a family reunion. While many people have attended multiple years, and they keep in touch throughout the year, new attendees are welcomed with open arms (literally) and are made part of the family.

And the result wasn’t a just a conference, it was a celebration. Of friendship, of Dan’s birthday, of Mike and Mandi’s upcoming wedding, of generosity and kindness. The familial atmosphere became most poignant when Stan (Rook) used the hotel’s kitchen to whip up a batch of homemade apple crisp (using apples picked at the farm), which we devoured, along with a cake, during our celebration of Mike and Mandi’s impending nuptials.

It struck me this year, that while I’ve created a lot of books, some of which mean a lot to people, I think RobinsonFest might be my most meaningful creation. The number of people experiencing RobinsonFest is small in comparison to the novels, but it’s changing people’s lives forever. Why do I say that? Because I think if I kicked off tomorrow, my book sales would slowly dwindle to nothing, but I’m sure RobinsonFest and the friendships created there would continue in my absence.

RobinsonFest2017To all who attended, thank you for being part of this experience. To those who had to cancel at the last minute for various reasons, we can’t wait to see you next year. For those who’ve been on the fence about attending, perhaps wondering if its worth the cost, find any RobinsonFest attendee and ask them if my post is accurate. The event has become the highlight of many of our years, and it has very little to do with me or my books, and everything to do with the amazing people who attend.

Thanks to Chris Kuzneski, Graham Brown, Ian Harper, and Kane Gilmour. You’re not only awesome authors, but super cool guys I’m happy to call friends. Thanks to Stan for driving, the laughs and kickass apple crisp. Lord Wankah, our new mascot, thank you for being you. Everyone else, you have my sincere gratitude and friendship, and I can’t wait to see you again next year!

Speaking of next year, RobinsonFest is moving to the summer! Mark your calendars for August 16 – 19, 2018. Events are TBD, but will likely include a whale watch, a lakeside BBQ and maybe some Nick’s Roast Beef. 😊 We’re going to open registration earlier this year, so stay tuned and prepare yourself for RobinsonFest 2018 – Summer of Seduction…erm…okay, maybe not that. But something catchy. See you then!

Bishop Meets Wankah

RobinsonFest 2017 Gallery

Photos are in random order and collected from a variety of sources, so there might be some duplicates.

5 Comments

  1. Wow, that opening video clip had me belly laughing immediately! Laughter was soon replaced by a fond smile, as the truth of your words permeated from screen to heart. Indeed, Robinsonfest is so much more than authors and fans. As you and Graham said, it’s about becoming a family.

    For people who haven’t yet attended, you are missing out. Jeremy’s words about welcoming and bonding are no exaggeration, as subsequent posts from other attendees will confirm. Robinsonfest is a truly unique experience that creates lasting, joyful memories.

    To my fellow attendees, Katie and I miss every one of you. For the second consecutive autumn, being with all of you has been the highlight of my year. Thank you all, just for being you.

    Jeremy and Kane, you have created something wonderful. Thank you for everything, including news of a 2018 event!

  2. I think you sum up the weekend perfectly. I had reservations this time round, could it ever compete with the awesomeness of the first RobinsonFest? Did missing a year mean I’d feel like the odd man out were others had already made friendships? But it was all for nothing. From the moment RF kicked off it was very much like a family reunion- just with more family. The activities were fun for sure, but it was all about the people. I never laugh as much as I do with the RF crowd. Thanks for another weekend I won’t forget. Roll on next year!

  3. I really hope I can make it next year. Having it in the summer will most likely help those of us with little kids. Glad you all had a blast, bummed I couldn’t make it but still holding out hope for the future!

  4. The agenda was back to back fun with no downtime to speak of. I haven’t laughed that much in years. It really was our fellow attendees—readers and authors alike—who made Robinsonfest fiercely special. Though it was our first trip, we truly were welcomed like family.

    Jeremy nailed it with the tone of this post. There’s something special about this event. Robinsonfest is an experience. We want to share it with like-minded folks.

  5. Beautiful words, Jeremy, and could not have been better said. I, for one, have attended each year, and for me it’s a big expense (coming from Australia). But I can say with absolute honesty that there is very little in life I would rather do than spend those days with the wonderful friends I have made.

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