We start off our last day of building full of energy, or at least some of us did. Unfortunatley, a couple campers got sick the night before and had to stay at the conference center to make sure that they are rested for tomorrows presentation.
The treehouse group put in a lot of time and effort into the zip line today, working and reworking the braking system. They first just tried to attach a wooden block stopper, but soon realized that it wouldn't stop anyone who weighed above 75 lbs. They then attached a bungee cord to a metal stake in the ground that would run along with the person riding it and stop them before the wooden block and then the wooden block would also catch them. That didn't fully stop them from running into the tree, so finally they combined all three ideas. They had the wooden block pulled up to halfway along the wire, a bungee cord attached to the end of the zip-line and to the start of it. That did the trick! They successfully got kids to safely ride on it, and to fully support collaborators.
The other half of the treehouse group worked on the bubble and railing component of the treehouse. They created a bubble around a human contraption out of pulleys and a large box of bubble juice created by the lovely collaborator Daniel. They also created a set of three swinging railings for where the platform of the zip-line is to make sure everyone stays safe.
The carousel group immediately finished attaching the carts to the actual carousel. They then spent some quality hard hours of trying to figure out how to make the bubble machines work. They figured out a different type of bubble machine for each cart, each having different mechanisms. All of them worked, they just didn't quite figure out how to get people onto the carts while still being able to spin. That is very much part of Tinkering School! Even if you don't finish your original planned project, you still got something done, and definitley ran into obstacles and different game changers throughout the week, and still being able to produce something after that is something to be immensley proud of.
Your daily dose of funny staff photos!
After dinner, we headed back up the hill to celebrate our bubble city! We played around with the bubble juice and making huge bubbles, the zip-line, and of course, shaving cream. We celebrated our successes and our failures, understanding that a failure isn't a loss, that it is a learning experience. Getting through failures and trying to find a new opportunity through that failure is hard to understand but valuable in so many ways.
We headed back down the hill once again to the longstanding tinkering tradition of having a bonfire Friday night. We burn the scraps of wood from the build week, kind of a memorialization of the hard work put in during the week and all of the great memories that we made. We do the other tradition of Love Lasers. We go around the circle and as we get to each person, other people say funny memories or thank yous, apologies, you name it really. It is such a good time to let each other know that we appreciate them.
We head back down to the conference center full of s'mores and laughter to either watch the movie Cool Runnings or to head to bed. After a long day of building and bubble making, we are all exhausted and ready for sleep.
I never officially introduced myself as the writer of the blog. My name is Gretchen Witte, and I was a camper for 6 years and a staff member for 2. I am very honored and happy to have written the blog, and it has really given me a new perspective of Tinkering School. I hope this blog has been informational and enjoyable to see your children/friends working at their bubble city. Thanks so much for reading!