I struggled over the opening of this e-mail for well over an hour, as if I somehow needed to acknowledge the shock, sadness, and disbelief we’ve all experienced and even to apologize for the mostly mundane details that follow in this note. There’s no easy way to get back to “normal” here, but of all the events that I’ve been involved in, I can’t imagine one more meaningful and timely than what you will be participating in this weekend.

Before I get into the some of the logistics of GiveCamp, I want to let you know that we are working on some ideas to pay our respects as a group to the victims of last week’s tragedy. I’m aware too of the Last Mile in the works for 2 p.m. on Saturday. A number of you have mentioned you’ll be there, and I suspect quite a few of your fellow attendees will be heading over to Kenmore Square as well. If one or more of you have additional ideas or want to coordinate our presence at Last Mile, let me or Kelley know.

Now for some of the logistical details:

0. If your plans have changed, and you can’t join us for the weekend, do let us know as soon as you can by e-mailing negivecamp@hotmail.com. And if you know of others who might be interested but are ‘on the fence’, we definitely have room for additional volunteers!

1. The project leads for each of our non-profit organizations have been named, and many have already been in touch with the organization they will be helping. If that hasn’t happened yet, it should within the next day or two.

2. For the designer and technical volunteers, we hope to announce assignments late Wednesday, but do have patience in both timing and the assignments themselves. As we get close to the date, some registrants have to withdraw because of conflicts, and we’ll often get a few others sign up a day or two ahead. “Flexibility” is key here, and will be all weekend!

3. We are planning to start registration at 5:30 p.m. at the venue – 1st floor of One Memorial Drive, in Cambridge, and there will be food! The formal program doesn’t typically start until 6:30 or 7 p.m. though, so for those of you just leaving work or facing rush hour traffic, you don’t need to stress about getting there right at 5:30.

4. There will be free parking in the garage at NERD, One Memorial Drive, all weekend, but the free parking does not begin until 4 p.m. on Friday. You’re welcome to park in the garage before then, but the normal charges for the day will be in effect (daily parking is $27 and, of course, most of that gets put up front for the first hour or two).

One Memorial Drive is on the corner of Memorial Drive and Main Street in Cambridge, right on the Charles River by the Longfellow Bridge. The entrance to the garage is to the left of the building on Memorial Drive. If you are coming East on Memorial drive you will need to exit left off of Memorial Drive (at the Kendall Square exit sign) – BEFORE the Longfellow Bridge – onto Wadsworth Street and loop around onto Main then back onto Memorial Drive westbound to enter the driveway to the garage.

5. Some of you have asked about helping set up before the event. I can definitely use extra hands, but will put out a separate note in a few days, once I get a better idea of what needs to get done on Friday.

6. For those of you staying at NERD overnight, you’ll have access to shower facilities in the gym as in the past; however, there is no towel service, so be sure you bring your own.

7. I’ve received a few requests for hotel recommendations. The closest, about a block or two away, are the Boston Marriott Cambridge and the Kendall Hotel. The Royal Sonesta, Hotel Marlowe, and Liberty Hotel are within a 15 minute walk. There are numerous other options further out (and typically cheaper the further from Cambridge you get). The Hyatt on Memorial Drive has traditionally had fairly reasonable rates (for the area) and is about 1.5 miles away.

If there are other questions you have as you’re making your preparations for the weekend, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at negivecamp@hotmail.com or call at 508.517.3668.

See you soon,

Jim O’Neil

New England GiveCamp co-chair

One Response to “New England GiveCamp 2013 Update No. 2”

  1. Doug Vanderweide says:

    I’ve stayed at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge, which Jim mentioned, and is a pleasant, 20-minute walk from NERD. It was by far the best hotel deal that’s within easy walking distance of GiveCamp, but if the Red Sox are in town, it will quickly fill up with rowdy baseball fans.

    I’ve stayed at the Royal Sonesta, about a half-mile from NERD, and it was a fine place to simply lie down and sleep. I found the service wanting.

    Another good value is the Hampton Inn Boston/Cambridge, about a mile and a half from NERD, near Lechmere Square at the terminus of the Green Line. It’s not in the prettiest neighborhood, but it’s a very pleasant walk through very nice neighborhoods to get to NERD.