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men who change diapers change the world

Tuesday, 17 January 2006
The End of the At-Home Dad Convention
Topic: at-home dad convention
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At-Home Dads Convention Comes to an End -  After a ten year reign, Bob Frank's At-Home Dad Convention has come to an end. It all started 11 years ago with a phone call from Bob pitching the idea and offering Oakton College as a venue.. Using the mailing list of the (hardcopy) At-Home Dad Newsletter we sent out a mailing and got over 80 dads plus  to attend the first convention. It was exciting for Bob to pull off such a stunt. And even though it lost money for the College, the event caught the attention of the national press and gave hope to the at-home dads across the country. Bob, Bruce Drobeck,  and I had talked of ending it last year at the ninth convention and we came close to announcing it.  We hadn't changed a diaper in years, and although we still felt we were doing our daddy duties when the kids come home we were going though very different experiences then the rookie dads we saw at the conventions. We knew it was time to move on, but simply it was hard to let go... so we went on another year..  When Barry Reszel who had done a fabulous job as the program coordinator made his announcement to step down, it was an easy decision for Bob to make. 

I'd like to share the following comments Barry sent out in a e-mail sent out today. 

With sadness I write to tell you the 10th Annual At-Home Dads' Convention this past November was the last-at least in the format and at the location we have come to associate with this event.

Though Brian Chalmers stepped forward to volunteer as lead convention coordinator (and for that, I express sincere gratitude), Dr. Bob Frank and Oakton Community College have decided not to host the event going forward. The summary reason is that it's been a great 10-year run, but Bob is looking to do other things and the college is pursuing new programming strategies. We as a community would be remiss if we didn't thank Bob for his time and dedication and Oakton for its facilities, staff, and financial support. I am a richer man and better at-home dad because of my affiliation with the convention; I'm proud to say I have been to all 10.

Over the years, the convention coordinators have adapted formats, changed styles, and worked to, first, forge and nurture the at-home-dads' community and, second, to enlighten those in attendance with information, exercises, discussions, and stories. Sometimes the sessions/presentations were great; sometimes they weren't, but all-in-all, I'd have to say the gatherings achieved their aims.

To those who have called for the convention to be held at alternative places and times or with a different format, perhaps this is the impetus you need to step to this community's forefront and achieve your vision.
In closing, I simply want to reiterate a thought I shared at this year's convention. I believe the legacies we leave will determine how well we have lived. When I gather with a group of at-home dads, I somehow know I am in the midst of men who believe that, too, and live that belief by dedicating themselves to their greatest legacy-their children. For that, we are all heroes in my book.

Best, Barry Reszel

Posted by athomedad at 1:39 PM EST
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Tuesday, 17 January 2006 - 2:10 PM EST

Name: Jeff
Home Page:

Thank you all for keeping the convention going as long as you did.
This past year was my first, but it made a lasting impression.
If anyone, be it Brian Chalmers or anyone else, plans on taking over the reigns, I'd be more than happy to offer my help in any way possible.
Thanks again Peter, and good luck in the future.

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