Skoolie lifestyle

Roaming Roads and Rolling Homes: Exploring Skoolie Events for 2023

Skoolie Events are happening all over North America throughout the year.  It can be a little difficult keeping up with all of the gatherings.  To make it easier for you, we have harvested the different meetups and nomadic gatherings happening throughout the year all across North America.  Check out our Events page to stay updated on the next or nearest skoolie event happening.  

Skoolie Living

Welcome to the world of alternative living! As our society becomes increasingly focused on simplicity, sustainability, and freedom, alternative lifestyles like skoolies, van life, and nomadic living and traveling have gained tremendous popularity. 

These unique ways of living, where individuals convert school buses, vans, and many other types of vehicles into comfortable and functional mobile homes, offer an enticing blend of adventure, self-sufficiency, and the freedom to roam.

In this blog post, we'll take you on a journey into the captivating realm of Skoolie events across North America. These events serve as magnets, drawing together a diverse community of nomadic souls who have chosen to break free from the constraints of traditional living and embrace the open road.

The allure of skoolies lies in their ability to provide a simple, yet fulfilling existence. Living in a converted bus, van, or any other type of converted vehicle offers a sense of freedom, as you have the freedom to travel wherever your heart desires, without being tied down to a particular location. You become the captain of your own ship, charting your course through scenic landscapes, national parks, and off-the-beaten-path destinations.

But skoolies are not just about the vehicles; they're about the people who inhabit them. Skoolie events act as catalysts for bringing together this vibrant community of like-minded individuals who share a common love for unconventional living. These gatherings and events offer a space where friendships are formed, knowledge is shared, and stories are woven together into a beautiful tapestry of experiences.

At these events, you'll find a wealth of benefits awaiting you. The first and perhaps most remarkable aspect is the sense of community that permeates these gatherings. 

Surrounded by fellow road warriors, you'll find a warm and welcoming atmosphere where everyone is eager to connect, exchange stories, and offer support. The connections forged at these events often last a lifetime, providing a network of like-minded individuals who understand the challenges and joys of the mobile lifestyle.

Additionally, skoolie events offer invaluable learning opportunities. Workshops and seminars cover a wide range of topics, from practical skills like solar power installations and plumbing to discussions on sustainable living practices and minimalistic design. They bring together experts and seasoned travelers who are more than willing to share their knowledge and help you enhance your own nomadic journey.

Let's not forget the adventures that await you at these gatherings. Skoolie events are often held in picturesque locations, surrounded by stunning natural landscapes and breathtaking vistas. Whether you're exploring national parks, embarking on group hikes, or simply sharing stories around a campfire under the starry night sky, these events offer a chance to immerse yourself in nature and create unforgettable memories with family, new and old friends alike.

As the alternative living movement continues to grow, a variety of gatherings and festivals have emerged across North America. Each event has its own unique flavor, from the laid-back gatherings on the West Coast to the vibrant festivals in the Southwest. From Skooliepalooza in the Southwest to Skoolie Swarm in the Southeast and Skoolie U.P. in the upper midwest, you can travel from one beautiful location to another.

There are skoolie events to suit every adventurous taste.

In the upcoming sections of this blog post, we'll delve deeper into the benefits of attending Skoolie events, explore notable gatherings, and provide practical tips to help you make the most of your experience. So, fasten your seatbelt, open your mind to new possibilities, and get ready to join the community of road warriors as we embark on an unforgettable exploration of camping, traveling and meeting up with old and new friends across North America.

Benefits of Skoolie Events:

The benefits of attending skoolie events goes way beyond the expected and tangible explanations we can discuss here.   If we had to narrow it down to just one benefit, it would have to be the relationships formed and nurtured. 

We have been fortunate to meet some of the best and our favorite humans in the world over the past seven years of being involved in the skoolie community.

In fact, many of our skoolie and van life friends are way more than just friendships.  Some have become as close as family members. 

Here are a few benefits that have really stood out for us.  Let us know in the comments below what benefits skoolie events have impacted on you.

Community Building

One of the most profound benefits of Skoolie events is the sense of community they foster. Living a mobile lifestyle can sometimes feel isolating, especially when you're constantly on the move. However, these events provide an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who understand and appreciate the joys and challenges of life on the road.

Skoolie lifestyle, skoolie events
Photo credit Yvan Lacroix

At these gatherings, you'll find a warm and welcoming community of fellow adventurers who are eager to share their stories, experiences, and knowledge. Whether you're a seasoned van lifer or just starting out, you'll discover a supportive network that extends far beyond the event itself. The connections formed during these times together often lead to lifelong friendships, travel companions, and a sense of belonging to a larger tribe.

The community-building aspect of these events goes beyond casual conversations and small talk. It's about finding people who share your passions and values, people who inspire and challenge you to grow as an individual. 

You'll engage in deep discussions about sustainable living, alternative energy sources, and creative ways to maximize space in your mobile home. The sense of camaraderie is palpable, creating an environment where you can truly be yourself and feel understood.

Learning Opportunities

Skoolie events are not just social gatherings; they are educational platforms that provide a wealth of learning opportunities. They attract a diverse range of experts, professionals, and experienced nomads who are eager to share their knowledge and skills.

Workshops and skill-sharing sessions cover a wide array of topics relevant to the mobile lifestyle. Whether you want to learn about solar power systems, DIY renovations, or budgeting and finance while on the road, there's a workshop for you. These informal and interactive conversations allow you to gain practical skills that enhance your ability to live a sustainable, self-sufficient, and enjoyable life on the road.

In addition to workshops, you'll find engaging talks and panel discussions led by experts in various fields. These speakers may delve into topics such as permaculture, minimalistic living, herbalism, skoolie life with pets, or the psychology of embracing a nomadic lifestyle. 

The insights gained from these conversations can provide you with a fresh perspective, inspire personal growth, and equip you with valuable tools to navigate the challenges and joys of life on wheels.

Adventure and Exploration

Skoolie events are not just confined to informal workshops and conversations; they also provide ample opportunities for adventure and exploration. Often held in breathtaking locations, surrounded by scenic beauty, and they encourage attendees to embrace the spirit of adventure.

At many of these festivals and gatherings, you may experience group outings to nearby national parks, hiking trails, or hidden gems that showcase the natural wonders of the region. You can join group hikes, embark on kayaking or paddle boarding excursions, or simply spend quality time connecting with nature.

Beyond outdoor activities, these events often host social gatherings, live music performances, open-mic nights, and storytelling sessions. These opportunities for connection and entertainment create a vibrant atmosphere where attendees can relax, unwind, and forge memories that will last a lifetime.

skoolie events

The adventure and exploration aspect of Skoolie events also extend to the opportunity to discover the local culture and connect with the communities hosting these gatherings. You'll have the chance to engage with local artisans, explore local markets, and participate in community service projects or conservation efforts. 

These experiences allow you to deepen your connection with the places you visit, fostering a sense of appreciation and respect for the communities you encounter on your journey.

Skoolie events offer a multitude of benefits to those embracing the mobile lifestyle. From building a supportive community to gaining valuable knowledge and skills, and from embarking on exciting adventures to connecting with local communities, these events enrich the overall experience of living life on wheels. 

Whether you're a full-time skoolie nomad or simply curious about the alternative living movement, attending these gatherings is an opportunity not to be missed. It's a chance to be inspired, make lasting connections, and create a life that truly embodies freedom and adventure.

Tips for Attending Skoolie Events

Planning and Preparation: 

Attending Skoolie events requires some planning and preparation to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.

  1. Research event details and requirements:
    Before attending an event, thoroughly research the event details, including dates, location, and any specific requirements or restrictions. Familiarize yourself with the event's website or social media pages to gather all the necessary information.
    Registration deadlines and deposits are important to stay on top of!
  2. Secure necessary permits and reservations:
    Some events may require permits or registrations, especially if they are held in national parks or restricted areas. Make sure to obtain any required permits or secure campground reservations well in advance to secure your spot.
  3. Pack essentials for comfort and convenience:
    When packing for the event, consider your specific needs and the duration of your stay. Essentials may include bedding, food, fresh water, cooking equipment, toiletries, camping gear, and appropriate clothing for various weather conditions. It's also helpful to have a basic toolkit and spare parts in case of any minor repairs or maintenance needs.

 Engaging with the Community

This is a great time and an excellent opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and make meaningful connections.

  1. Introduce yourself and network:
    Be open and friendly, introducing yourself to fellow attendees. Strike up conversations, exchange stories, and embrace the opportunity to learn from others' experiences. Networking within the community can lead to lifelong friendships and valuable knowledge-sharing.
  2. Participate in group activities and workshops:
    Get involved in group activities, workshops, and interactive sessions. Engage actively, ask questions, and share your own insights and experiences. By participating, you not only expand your knowledge but also contribute to the vibrant community atmosphere.
  3. Share your own knowledge and experiences:
    Skoolie gatherings and meetups are enriched by the diverse experiences and expertise of attendees. Don't hesitate to share your own knowledge and skills with others. You may have valuable insights or unique perspectives that can benefit the community. Collaboration and mutual support are at the heart of these skoolie events and gatherings.

Embracing the Experience: 

Are you ready and willing to embrace new ideas, try new things, and fully immerse yourself in the experience.

  1. Be open to new ideas and perspectives:
    These events bring together people from various backgrounds, each with their own unique approach to alternative living. Embrace the diversity and be open to new ideas, even if they challenge your preconceived notions. This openness can lead to personal growth and expanded horizons.
  2. Try out new skills and hobbies:
    Take advantage of the workshops, excursions, and demonstrations offered at the event. Try your hand at DIY projects, learn about off-grid techniques, or explore new outdoor activities. These events provide a supportive environment where you can experiment and discover new passions or talents.
  1. Enjoy the journey and make memories:
    It's not just about the destination, it's the entire journey. Embrace the freedom and adventure of the lifestyle and savor each moment. Engage in conversations, participate in activities, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

You have an opportunity to immerse yourself in a thriving community, learn new skills, and embrace the joy of living life on wheels. By following these tips and approaching the experience with an open mind and adventurous spirit, you're sure to make the most of your time at these incredible gatherings.

Notable Skoolie Events

There are so many skoolie events that are going on throughout the year and each one has its flavor and specialty.

For us, there are a few key events that really embrace the skoolie and nomadic lifestyle.  This is just a few we have come to anticipate, look forward to and thoroughly enjoy. 

For a full list of of skoolie events , be sure to hop over to our Skoolie Events page on this website to see all of the nomadic and skoolie events throughout the year.

If you know of a van life, nomadic or skoolie event we have not added to our calendar, let us know in the comments below so we can add for others to learn about it.  The more the merrier!

Skoolie Swarm – 7th Annual

Skoolie Events Skoolie Swarm

Widen the circle!  That is the underlying theme for the skoolie swarm.  The annual Skoolie Swarm is one of the most anticipated skoolie events that brings together skoolie, van life, and nomadic enthusiasts from all corners of North America. 

This vibrant gathering, held in Florida in February each year,  serves as a celebration of the skoolie lifestyle and a gathering of the community that has embraced it. Skoolie Swarm is a melting pot of creativity, innovation, and camaraderie, where attendees showcase their unique bus conversions, exchange ideas, and foster lasting connections. 

Skoolie Swarm also hosts a Fall event that varies in location from one year to another.  Be sure to look at the Skoolie Swarm Shenandoah Gathering information for this October on our Events page.

From expert builders to those just starting their skoolie journey, everyone is welcomed with open arms, creating an inclusive and supportive environment. 

Enjoy campfires, community dinners and breakfasts, and even a kickball game or two.  A sense of adventure in the air, the Skoolie Swarm embodies the spirit of freedom, self-sufficiency, and community that defines the skoolie movement. 

It's an event that leaves attendees inspired, rejuvenated, and more connected to the ever-growing world of skoolie life.Skoolie Swarm skoolie events also offer a smaller gathering in the Fall at different locations.  

Skoolie Swarm was created by Michelle and Travis as a way to keep the skoolie community engaged with each other.  They are often considered the God-father and Mother of the skoolie community out of love and respect from everyone who has been blessed to meet and know them.

Be sure to stay connected to the Skoolie Swarm events group.

Skoolie U.P. 3rd Annual

Skoolie Events

Skoolie U.P. is one of the annual skoolie events that is growing in popularity.  It is held in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which carries an aura and sense of adventure on its own. 

This is a nomadic event developed and organized by Jennifer and Frank Walenski, their children, Kaylis and Damien, and Jennifer’s parents Bill and Pam Montambo.  So much time, energy, planning, and love is poured into this event by this family.  It truly shows if you are fortunate to gather with these folks and other nomads in the Upper Peninsula!

You can expect lots of laughs, good conversations around the campfires at night and in the mornings.  Community meals, scavenger hunts, open mic karaoke, and an exciting “escape room” experience.

Whether you are a participant, judge or simply fortunate to enjoy the chili-dog cookoff, this is a fun and community event that everyone loves. 

There is a beach day excursion.  If you have never been in the crystal clear waters of Lake Michigan, you are missing out!  This year they are adding cliff jumping into Lake Superior. 

Frank and Jennifer also plan a few off-campus excursions like, canoe or kayak trips down a river, hiking trips, and this summer they will be heading over to Tahquamenon Falls State Park.  You will not want to miss that excursion.

The campground the Skoolie UP event is held at has hot and cold showers, laundry, a general store, restaurant and even a bar that is open to adults only in the evenings.  

If you do need electrical and sewer hookups, they have got you covered for that as well.

There are cabins to rent if you don't have a skoolie, van, bus, or car camper.    There are so many activities outside of just hanging out with new and old friends around your rig or campfire.  

You are almost guaranteed to meet new nomads, make some new best friends and walk away from the event looking forward to next year's event.

If you are interested in more information about this event, contact Jennifer or Frank through their Facebook Page Here.  

See you at the Skoolie U.P.!

Skooliepalooza 7th Annual

Skoolie events

Skooliepalooza or what they refer to themselves more so these days as The Ungathering, is a nomadic “non-event” where people from all walks of life gather in a specific location for a week or two of unadulterated fun, relaxation, and enjoyment.  

This gathering, or “ungathering” as they like to term it now, is held in the Southwest in late January or early February each year.  

The 2023 ungathering had over 1,000 vehicles according to their website.  There is no cost to attend and no registration.  You just show up, find a camping spot and “be”.

They have three golden rules.  

  1. Be Nice and Courteous
  2. Leave no trace
  3. Pay it forward

Keep in mind, this is not your family friendly Skoolie Swarm or Skoolie U.P. gathering.  Lots of adult themed party favors, drinking, and extracurricular activities go on at skooliepalooza.  

It’s not mayhem, but it’s not Mr. Roger’s neighborhood either.  It’s something every Nomad should experience, at least once while on their travels.  

Wrap Up To Roaming Roads and Rolling Homes: Exploring Skoolie Events for 2023

Skoolie events offer a unique and transformative experience for those seeking a life on wheels. These gatherings provide a platform for community building, learning, adventure, and exploration. 

By attending these events, you become part of a vibrant network of like-minded individuals who share a passion for unconventional living and the freedom to roam.

The sense of community fostered at Skoolie events is truly remarkable. It's an opportunity to connect with fellow travelers who understand the challenges and joys of life on the road. 

The friendships formed and the support network created at these events often extend far beyond the event itself, providing a sense of belonging and a community that embraces and encourages individuality.

Moreover, Skoolie events offer valuable learning opportunities. Workshops, seminars, and discussions led by experts and experienced nomads cover a wide range of topics, from practical skills like solar power installations and DIY renovations to sustainable living practices and minimalistic design. 

These events empower attendees with the knowledge and skills needed to live a self-sufficient, sustainable, and fulfilling life on the road.

Beyond the educational aspect, Skoolie events are gateways to adventure and exploration. Held in breathtaking locations, these gatherings allow attendees to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of North America. 

Whether it's hiking through national parks, kayaking in crystal-clear lakes, or simply gathering around a campfire under starlit skies, these events provide opportunities to create unforgettable memories and forge a deep connection with nature.

Attending Skoolie events is a transformative experience that can enhance your journey as a nomad. It's a chance to build a supportive community, gain valuable knowledge and skills, and embark on thrilling adventures. 

By embracing the spirit of these events and approaching them with an open mind, you'll unlock a world of possibilities and discover the true freedom and joy that comes with a life on wheels. 

So, pack your bags, hit the road, and let the magic of Skoolie events enrich your nomadic journey. 

Happy travels!

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