Skill Share Leader Guide

Thank you so much for contributing your gifts and skills to create a spectacular Form the Ocean! As you shape your skill share, we recommend keeping the following things in mind:

  • All skill sessions are an hour in length.

  • Having trouble thinking of what to offer? Consider something to MAKE (physical objects, pieces of art, poetry or writing, etc.), something physical to DO with our bodies (self-massage, meditation, movement, stretching, etc.), something to PERFORM (music, improv, games, theater pieces or skits, etc.) or simply something you'd like to do in community (knit, read, draw, etc.).

  • Make sure you have a clear set of objectives for what skill you’ll share. Can you answer the question: “After our time together, my participants will have learned how to…”? Even if your workshop is informational or informal, think about how you can design a skills-based learning outcome or an experience folks can walk away feeling delighted with having been a part of.

  • What are your space needs? We have a wide array of spaces available: Several small art studios, a large space with a wood floor, outdoor spaces, a small kitchen, two spaces with fireplaces, a small library, a big cafeteria with tables and chairs, etc. Let us know your needs!

  • Consider attendance numbers. Does your skill session need a minimum number of people to be successful? A maximum? How might you structure your skill session to accommodate different numbers of attendees? You could have as few as two or more than twenty people!

  • What materials will you need? Can you procure/crowdsource those things with relative ease? Please bring any supplies you think you’ll need for your group - - or, let the organizers know as soon as possible if you’d like something added to the packing list.

  • Is your skill accessible to people of all ages and abilities? If not, consider a.) being prepared to modify it if folks with different physical abilities want to participate, or b.) stating those limitations clearly in your skill share description.

  • Consider the impact your workshop topic may have on people with different perspectives and backgrounds. Some topics may have the potential to be uncomfortable or triggering for some members of our community. We want all workshops to feel emotionally and physically safe for everyone.* How might you present your topic or provide context for the conversation in a way that promotes curiosity and learning? How are you considering race in your workshop? Will folks of all races and backgrounds feel welcome?  If your workshop involves sharing skills or traditions from a culture that is not your own, take a moment to think about whether you’re sharing those skills in a way that acknowledges and lifts up that culture. It’s always helpful to acknowledge your own relationship to the source of the skills you are teaching, especially if they are from a different culture than yours.


*If a proposed workshop brings up questions of safety for anyone in the community, the organizing team has a process to facilitate a positive outcome. Our goal is to support everyone who wishes to share their skills and passions during Form the Ocean, while minimizing the potential for harmful conflict among participants.


(Thanks to the Epic Skill-Swap folks who set a fabulous example and make awesome stuff. The guide above was borrowed and modified from them.)