Tinkering School is a sleepover summer camp. Tinkerers arrive on Sunday and leave on Saturday. Days are spent figuring out projects, working on projects, testing projects, feeding the goats, and eating. And sleeping (at night). With a mid-week outing to the beach (which is often capped with hot showers before dinner).
Meals are prepared by Cookie, although most breakfasts are cereal, bagels and toast, and lunches are do-it-yourself sandwiches (with a panini press option). We have accomodated a variety of dietary restrictions, including one child who was both celiac and lactose-intolerant. However, we can not maintain a Kosher kitchen.
What projects will we be building? No one knows! Each year Gever doodles in his notebook and has some general notions - sometimes only enough so that we can collect interesting materials. The challenges are announced with great fanfare and plenty of mystery - we all figure out how to build a solution together.
The best summary of "What is Tinkering School" can be found in Gever's 2009 TED Talk: Life Lessons Through Tinkering.
We also recommend you browse through the School Diaries to get a sense of what life is like at Tinkering School - every day is documented in the diary.
Tinkering School is held at Elkus Ranch in Half Moon Bay, California, about 35 miles south of San Francisco. It's a demonstration farm with goats, sheep, chickens, rabbits and a llama who may spit at you. There is a large range house with a kitchen, dining area, and separate bunk-rooms and bathrooms for boys and girls. One of the large barns serves as the workshop, and the ranch property has plenty of room for building and testing the projects.
There are 10 children in each session. We strive to have an even mix of girls and boys, although this is not always possible. There are both male and female adult staff members onsite 24/7. Tinkerers come from all over the globe, with varying degrees of experience doing tinkering projects and from a variety of educational backgrounds.
We expect a high level of responsibility from the Tinkerers: they must be able to listen, to keep themselves clean, to cooperate, and to ask for help when they need it.
During sessions we operate by a set of rules. The first four are evolved from our collective experience during the history of the school. Over the course of a session, it is common for the Tinkerers to create new rules for themselves as the need arises.
Rules Of Tinkering School:
#1 Don't hurt yourself, or anyone else.
#2 If you see a piece of fruit, and you want it, you must eat it.
#3 If two people want the same item, the dispute is resolved by ro-sham-bo.
#4 If you willfully hit someone else with the intent to hurt them, you will be expelled.
* Session 4: Aug 11-17
* Session 2: July 14-20
* Session 3: July 28-Aug 3
* Session 1: June 30-July 6
$1500 per camper (some financial assistance may be available)
Deposit of $750 required upon session confirmation, the balance is due by April 1, 2013.
If you have more than one child interested in attending, please be sure to fill out a separate application for each child.