And what a conference. I found myself in good conversation with good people, working my way around some tricky "oh you're Suzanna" conversations, as well as the "Ah, you're Pop-Ups" conversations too. I was able to catch up with Clare Bryan, one of the managers I used to work for at Children's Links and also had a good laugh with Special Guest Number 1 Grant Lambie from this year's USA tour too.
This conference was lovely, I think, because I was a free agent. I didn't have to present, but I was allowed to decide what I wanted to do with the time I was given. I was really pleased to find myself in Luke Sutton's workshop on Modifications. It makes my heart sing when I hear playworkers who work in the field come out of their shell and share their reflective thoughts on play.
Spirit also made me realise something else. Last time I was there, I was nervous, new and jumpy. This time at Spirit, I felt at ease. I was happy to discuss, be challenged, be talked to and connected with. I felt alert, confident and ready. Two years of being in the playwork circuit coupled with throwing myself into a PhD has really made me a more confident advocate for play. This makes me happy for a variety of reasons which I won't go into now, but above all, I feel that I have grown to the stage in which I can confidently call myself a founder of Pop-Up Adventure Play, and a Playwork Doctorate Candidate.
The workshop that got me thinking - A Ball of String! :)
My time at Spirit may not have been filled with responsibility, but it was definitely a great moment for reflection, and I'm really grateful for the opportunity.