In July I attended my first Genealogical Institute. This was something that I had wanted to do for a few years, but could never fit it into my schedule.
An institute is a week-long course on a given topic. The course is coordinated by one instructor, but there are usually several "guest" instructors lending their expertise. There are several courses happening at the same time.
The course I chose to start with was on Pennsylvania Research. It was offered at LaRoche college in Pittsburgh. This is a small private college and our institute took over for the week.
We began with check-in on Sunday afternoon. Our accomodations were dorm rooms and we ate in the school cafeteria. We had a welcome session on Sunday evening where we got to know the instructors and fellow students.
Classes began first thing Monday morning and continued all day with a couple of small breaks, and a break for lunch. In the evening, we could work on homework (yes, there was homework!), attend some optional genealogical lectures, or just mingle with other genealogists.
There are also some informal get-togethers of other groups while we're there. For example, people who had completed ProGen study met for lunch one day.
One evening I took a walk around campus. It is in a lovely hilly area north of Pittsburgh. And, as a bonus, there is a cemetery on the grounds.
We finished at noon on Friday. I came home that week a little tired, but having made new friends, and ready to dig into my Pennsylvania families.