Question addressed to Parents in the Post-Conference Survey:
“Of everything that you experienced at the 2017 WEST Conference, what is the primary element that would cause you to return?”
- We would come back to see all the friends we've made over these few days.
- The people, the fellowship, the information that was given.
- The amazing speakers and the vendor hall. Also, the monastery - actually everything!
- The talks/speakers
- It was an amazing and pleasant experience. Everyone was friendly and helpful. The grounds were amazing. The speakers were informative. I would return for all of this.. and for feeling the presence of God.
- Spiritually refreshing as a family
- The wisdom of the speakers, fellowship with other Orthodox homeschooling families, proximity to the monastery.
- The fact that you minister to the children. Also, the spiritual guidance in the context of homeschooling. The opportunity to encourage and support other families.
- The panel of moms who spoke about their experience homeschooling highschool
- The serenity, peace, and focussing on Christ
- Interaction with other Orthodox Homeschoolers
- Fellowship with other like-minded Orthodox homeschoolers. For both my children and I, this fellowship has always been a blessing. Also, hearing the speakers and being reminded & re-energized as to why we are doing this.
- Community, connection, inspiration
- The speakers and information. I learned amidst other families like my own.
- A community of faithful families committed to raising their children in the faith.
- Having the opportunity to meet all the families and learn from their experiences.
- The activities for the children.
- Fellowship and the keynote lecture
- The location. The setting is beautiful.
- The location, fellowship, retreat, speakers, price! I can't choose just one element.
- My kids loved meeting other families and made quite a few friends. They also liked painting icons, the night hike, astronomy, and microscopy. My daughter liked story time.
- Fellowship for our children
- Having new topics each conference, so that we hear new information each time
- Prayer & worship; Fellowship with fellow homeschoolers.
- The speakers; Getting to know other like-minded families
- That the conference is focused on the Orthodox Faith
- The experience, reconnections, lectures, and vendor hall
Demographics for the 2017 West Conference:
220 people attended the 2017 WEST Conference: 100 adults and 120 children! This was the largest group at the St. Nicholas Ranch for the entire year of 2017, and the largest St. Emmelia Conference.
There were approximately 70 families represented at the 2017 West Conference.
Fifteen families at the 2017 West Conference traveled from out-of-state to attend the conference in California. Those fifteen families represented eight states: Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Colorado, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.
Two families at the 2017 West Conference live outside of the United States and crossed international borders to attend. One of these families traveled from Canada and the other traveled from Mexico.
Speakers for the 2017 West Conference represented three jurisdictions: Antiochian, Greek, and ROCOR
Attendees of the 2017 West Conference represented seven jurisdictions: 35% affiliate with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, 30% affiliate with the Antiochian Archdiocese, 15% affiliate with OCA, 10% Romanian, 4% ROCOR, 3% Serbian, and 3% Jerusalem Patriarchate.
40% of families who attended had one adult member of the family with a parent or grandparent born in an Orthodox country.
Three families who attended were catechumens.
50% of attendees had never visited the Monastery of the Theotokos, the Life-Giving Spring prior to the 2017 West conference.
60% of the families came a day early for the 'Pre-Conference Visit', which included a visit to the Kings Canyon National Park and the Monastery of the Theotokos, the Life-Giving Spring.
40% of the families homeschool independently of the state, 30% homeschool through a public charter, 15% homeschool through an 'umbrella school' not associated with the government, and 15% have not yet started homeschooling.