Tinkering School

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Day 5 - Climbing higher

2014 Session D - JuniorsJoshua RothhaasComment

Thursday - it's back to work, after our day away at the beach. We spend the morning enjoying breakfast and cleaning up our bunks. When we finally meander up to the barn, it's with the excited energy of a group ready to build and tinker. The elevator team is on top of it - their goal today is to get the improvements on the elevator added and the elevator back in testing condition.

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Joey takes a moment to sit on top of a scaffold, gazing out.

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Kaiden sets to work on a ladder for Tower Two.

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It comes together quickly.

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An upside down Oren, with a photo-bombing Gretchen for reference.


Of course, even the excitement of working on the climbing structure can't keep us from visiting with the chickens.

Isabella grabs "Feather Foot." IMG 4652

Makai coaxes "Zebra" onto his lap. IMG 4667

Lydia and Dora have been working hard on the "zip line" turned tram. They work on piecing together rails.

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Ludmilla left us a legacy when she departed on Tuesday - a gorgeous climbing wall. Today, we managed to mount it on the side of Tower One.

Isabella tries it out. IMG 4679

Lydia gives it a go.

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Looks comfortable up top!

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Michael pauses work for a second to glance over. He's been a diligent member of the Tower One team from the start, and can almost always be found working on that tower.

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Portrait of the barn: A view from the side of Tower One.

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A true climbing structure like this one leaves room for gymnastics.

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Tekuru's grown a mustache.


Emma adds to the elevator.



Makai works on adding plywood to the side of the tower for shear strength.


Tower Two is finally stable enough to climb on top of. Mostly.

Josh tests it out.



Portrait of a Tinkerer: Michael, working.


A lesson on how to cut a rope with a sharp knife - one of the simple tasks that is so exceptionally satisfying. With a hot enough knife, it slides through paracord like butter, leaving behind perfect, fray-free ends. Something everyone should try at some point.

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Lilah, aboard the elevator - it's all smile.

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The mechanism consists of four pulleys- two on top and two on the bottom, with a cleat to stop it from slipping back down unintentionally. The rider pulls his or herself up by pulling down on the rope, and can push up on a piece of plywood controlling the cleat to drop down.

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Makai, enjoying himself.

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Your Daily Goat.

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Dora, a elf in a the magical land of Tinker.

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The elevator "handle" for pulling yourself up - Tekuru takes control.

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Portrait of a Donkey Fan: Emma pets on of the farm's miniature donkeys.


Marco, heading back into the barn.

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Michael, thoughtful.

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Kevin, one of our Junior Collaborators, explains something to Gretchen.

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Makai, armed with a drill and ready to take on any task.

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Gretchen, wrapped up as a present with a big, maroon bow.

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As a side project throughout the day, we've used stencils and blue and orange spray paint to make T-shirts. Some of the results ....

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The creativity is overwhelming.

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Satisfied with the success of the elevator tests, the team decorates. With splatter paint.

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Lilah and Emma customize their jeans.

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The creative energy extends to Josh's hair.

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We end the day with another bout at the tire swings. We've built more, bigger, higher. We're starting to see projects headed toward completion. Today's been a wonderful, exciting success.

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