We love our Patchwork Marketplace authors, they’re brilliant and creative… and the whole reason we’re able to offer you such useful resources at such reasonable rates!
So, we thought it would be cool if we all got to know our authors a little better.
Welcome to our fifth instalment of our new monthly series where we shine the spotlight on one of our authors and find out more about them, like what inspires Mary when she’s creating new resources (sounds pretty dreamy to us!)
November Author Bio – Spotlight on
1. Tell us about yourself.
Hi, I’m Mary and you can find me in a Patchwork Marketplace shop named Lessons From Camp. I recently left my full-time position as a Recreation Programmer for the sweet life of semi-retirement. I currently teach part-time, facilitate for an organization called Girl Smarts, maintain a camp blog, and create resources for Patchwork. I’ve enjoyed 28 years of marriage to an awesome husband and have two beautiful millennials who I adore.
I currently work so that I can travel and recreate! In my spare time I like to bike, ski, kayak, hunt, and basically spend my time outdoors!
2. How many years have you been involved in camping/ recreation/ any other career you have?
I have enjoyed working in the world of Parks & Recreation for over forty years. Positions included – lifeguard, camp counselor, camp director, sports & leagues coordinator, camp programmer, recreation programmer, & before & after school director. All of my positions have been located near our nations capitol in northern Virginia in municipal departments. My most enjoyable position was that of Camp Director (8 years) at Camp Mawavi, an outdoor adventure camp in Prince William Forest Park, a division of the National Park Service.
Ah, the memories…
3. What brought you to Patchwork? Why did you start your store?
I was gearing up to open a TPT store, but knew it might be difficult to sell primarily to educators. Then, as luck & timing would have it, I saw Patchwork Marketplace on Facebook! Curt & Patti could not have been more inviting when I inquired, and as they say – the rest is history.
4. What is your store’s name? Is there a story or reason behind the name?
My store’s name is Lessons From Camp. I chose it as the simplest way for me to convey that I had camp lessons that I wanted to share with new recreation and camp professionals.
5. What is your favourite topic to write about? What inspires your theme ideas?
Recreation has been my life’s work and all aspects of it (except for budgeting ☹) have been rewarding. If I had to choose though, I would say camp programming has been my first love – seeing children learn to enjoy and respect the outdoors has been my greatest reward.
6. What is your writing process?
I write in my “quilt” room where I have a beautiful view of the woods outdoors. It’s my quiet space, but I always have Spotify on in the background. I get my inspiration from 40+ years of photos, files and flash drives. If I’m creating in the morning, it’s coffee and if it’s late in the evening, there might be a glass of red wine involved 😊
7. What is your strategy when deciding prices for your resources?
I pretty much stick with the standard .25 per page.
8. What is your favourite resource you’ve created?
I’d have to say my lesson planning resource – Lesson Planning for Recreation Professionals. My degree is in Education and I spent the majority of my career as a Recreation Programmer so planning lessons comes naturally.
9. What is your favourite Patchwork resource someone else has created?
Any and all that allow the authors to share their passions and creative side with our buyers!
10. What do you think are the most important things to include in a resource?
Passion and practical information that new professionals can benefit from. If I can make someone’s day or job easier by giving them tried and true tips, information and examples – then we both win! And, I love the creative process – if I’m not careful, I can spend hours on Canva, Unsplash, and Pixabay.
11. What has been your biggest challenge in creating resources for Patchwork?
My biggest challenge is finding the time to dedicate a few hours here and there to enjoy the creative process. I have learned to leave a resource lie and return to it when I have the right amount of time & energy to dedicate to it. Breaking the process up into smaller chunks of effort works best for me.
12. What advice would you give someone who’s one the fence about becoming a Patchwork seller?
Fences are made for jumping over, not sitting on.
*Editor’s Note: I LOVE this! And will 100% be saying it from now on.
13. Final Thoughts…
I joined Patchwork Marketplace in the summer of 2017 – my first summer off since 1974. I left the field of recreation, but it didn’t leave me. I wanted to stay connected and realized creating my own blog and becoming a Patchwork Marketplace Author were the perfect avenues to do just that. I’ve loved both ever since! Thanks to Curt & Patti for creating the business and getting this tribe together!
13. Please provide a way for people to connect with you.
Website: Lessons From Camp