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When to Help, Underground, Day 3, Week 3, SF

Underground (2017)Piper AlldredgeComment

How do you know if someone needs help? How do you know if you need help? Today's build session focused on asking for and offering help, from the beginning of morning circle to the end of afternoon reset, we asked these campers to think about how they're communicating to make the most of their collaborative build sessions. 

A hilarious demonstration by Owen, Evan and Nikki got us off to a lighthearted, helpful start this morning. Evan thought he had everything he needed to screw together those two boards--clamps, carpenter's square, screws, drill and driver bits, drill--but he was missing two very important humans! Owen helped him hold onto the boards, while Nikki braced his feet from behind to help him stay super stable and strong while driving in those screws. 

A hilarious demonstration by Owen, Evan and Nikki got us off to a lighthearted, helpful start this morning. Evan thought he had everything he needed to screw together those two boards--clamps, carpenter's square, screws, drill and driver bits, drill--but he was missing two very important humans! Owen helped him hold onto the boards, while Nikki braced his feet from behind to help him stay super stable and strong while driving in those screws. 

A lot of the time here at camp, collaboration looks like asking for and offering to help. Figuring out when to do that, though, can be really tricky. About how much a person should struggle their way through a tough problem depends on a lot of things. How familiar are they with the tools and materials they're using? What limitations of the tool, of their workspace, of the materials, of their own physicality, are they running into? When was the last time they drank some water or ate a snack? Knowing when to swoop in and offer some assistance is a fine art, and definitely takes practice. 

Silas holds a few boards still while Calvin drills a few wholes. A great way for partners to work is to share these two jobs: While one drills the holes, the other holds the work. Then, when it's time to drive in the screws, they trade places!

Silas holds a few boards still while Calvin drills a few wholes. A great way for partners to work is to share these two jobs: While one drills the holes, the other holds the work. Then, when it's time to drive in the screws, they trade places!

Sometimes, helping isn't all that glamorous! Here, Carys and Anika hold up the floppy pieces of the drill bit of the boring machine in mid-air while Ella takes a quick measurement to find out the length they should cut a support beam. 

Sometimes, helping isn't all that glamorous! Here, Carys and Anika hold up the floppy pieces of the drill bit of the boring machine in mid-air while Ella takes a quick measurement to find out the length they should cut a support beam. 

Helping can look lots of different ways. It can look like holding things, it can look like a partner push, it can look like talking through a tricky design problem. No matter what, we encourage campers to first talk with the person they'd like to help, or they'd like help from, in order to most accurately diagnose the problem. Because, how can we expect to help anyone if we don't know what they're struggling with?

Isabel holds a board in place while Emily attaches it with screws. 

Isabel holds a board in place while Emily attaches it with screws. 

Cole holds a little piece of wood in place while Anika and Carys finish driving in a few screws. 

Cole holds a little piece of wood in place while Anika and Carys finish driving in a few screws. 

Luckily, we certainly have a helpful group of tinkerers this week! All day long, I see folks carrying long boards with a partner, giving partner pushes, sharing drills, holding things. And I think that's what this camp is all about. 

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