Happy Fourth of July! Today being the first full day of camp and a holiday made for a particularly interesting and busy day, so buckle in.
The day started off as gorgeous as ever. We got breakfast in our bellies and made our way down to the workshop to talk about the plan for our day.
Yesterday we were so busy getting everything started and familiarizing ourselves with our tools and each other, we hadn't had a chance to play with last week's project, the Tinker Express. We start off the day giving everyone a ride, with first ride going to the winner of Roshambo competition.
We're not exactly sure what to think of the train at first, testing slow and careful.
But soon we're more confident with our junior tinkerers' work, and enjoy ourselves in the beautiful morning.
Or just relax on a leisurely roll down to Midway. It's nice to take a look at all the nature around us.
At one point, we have a bad combination of too much comfort with a system we didn't know enough about, and a flaw that had started with a little too much weight at some point. This was the final ride for the day, just before the derailment. (Not to bury the lede: Everyone Is Fine.) You can see the front guide wheel on the right has become a bit bent in the photo.
This, combined with an uneven load and an ever-so-slight gap in the track, allow the train car to catch, the guide wheel to fall into an unforgiving angle, and the cart to be in the merciless hands of Lady Gravity. Anthony is her first victim. Somehow, a photo happens during this moment.
Everyone Is Fine. Hugo lands safely, and Anthony describes heroically landing on his face, walking away from the crash with nothing but a sore wrist and a little bit of a scrape.
We take a moment to suss out the problem. Junior Collaborator Gilon shows off the faulty wheel as we decommission the train car for the day.
It's time to diagnose the problem, figure out how it all went wrong, and the best way to fix it. We decide to set it aside for now.
Collaborator Caroline rounds up the troops to discuss (finally!) the big project of the week. We have all this space! Wouldn't it be cool to make Tinker City?
The reveal happens: this week, we're working on a theater! The multi-use construction will give us a place to put on plays, project movies at night, and gather for any other entertainment. We'll need to build a stage, seating, and scenery. After a quick vote for camper interest, Caroline splits up the groups for the week into the traditional Piki, Nooi, and Kablooi, respectively.
Team Piki: Hugo, Nate, Misha, Bor, Sasha, Bryn, and Tenley, with Collaborator Kevin, will be working on the stage. At their first meeting, they decide what they want the stage to look like and what problems they might encounter.
One of the most important questions, and an excellent answer.
They also make some group agreements, and everyone signs.
Team Nooi: Devon, Kira, Anthony, McKenna, Jenna, Eve, Patrick, and Devi, with Collaborator Rhody, will be working on the seating. They start brainstorming on different seating arrangements and logistics.
They also make some agreements.
Team Kablooi: Morgan, Nora, Victor, Michaela, Madelyn, and Juan, with Collaborator Miles, are on scenery. They want to be able to change sets easily, and maybe make some 3D set pieces. Who wants to start working?
They come up with a design for the backdrop wall and a cut list: pieces they need to have exist before they can begin construction.
Kablooi, too, comes up with group agreements. They seem to be on the same page as Piki and Nooi.
McKenna pauses in Nooi discussion to eat a piece of fruit she has seen and wants.
With ideas bubbling in their heads, they have one more type of training to go to. Caroline has everyone circle up for an important discussion.
At Tinkering School, one of the keys to success is respect and trust between campers, collaborators, and staff. One way we show that we trust the campers is by presenting them with the opportunity to have a pocket knife.
There are five rules to using a pocket knife:
1. Always cut away from yourself
2. Be aware of your blood bubble (the length of your arm + the length of your blade)
3. Keep your knife locked
4. Keep your knife sharp
5. Have at least three points of contact.
To earn a knife, each tinkerer comes up one at a time to recite the five rules and demonstrate their knowledge by creating a pointy stick (a favorite amongst Tinkering School knife-wielders). Michaela proves her knowledge of the locking mechanism before telling Caroline to remove herself from the blood bubble.
Some receive their knives on the first go around, others take a second or third shot to show that they have the safety knowledge ingrained. The stick gets more and more pointy.
The tinkerers wait patiently for their turn, but soon everyone has a knife and they're off foraging for the perfect stick to pointy. Devi practices her technique.
The groups return to each other to start building. Kira on team Nooi is working out how to make a comfortable seat back.
Kablooi has built their backdrop wall in record time. Juan blows off his smoking drill.
Twins McKenna and Mo take a quick break to giggle to themselves on the sky bench.
In preparation for the fire tonight, Caroline goes in search of marshmallow roasting sticks. The eucalyptus provides.
Kablooi tests out their scenery wall and checks for mislaid screws. It's bigger and heavier than anticipated, and they're quite happy with that.
We all have good progress today, and decide to treat ourselves. Victor, Anthony, and Devon hang out on the sky bench and enjoy the evening, holding their newly acquired knives and idly feeling the weight of them in their hands while they hang out.
The porthole is a good way to take a peek at what's happening in the shop. Hugo and Nate are caught in the act.
Portrait of a Tinkerer: McKenna has it all under control, we think.
During free time, Eve practices her whittling, while sisters Devi and Kira do some braiding.
Hurry, Hugo, it's time for dinner!
We discover Bryn has the superpower to eat a full watermelon should he ever want to, maybe even two. It may require further testing.
Collaborator Dee and Cook Paul have treated us to a special homemade Fourth of July cake. America!
Finally, it's time for the fire. Usually this happens on Friday night, but for the special occasion, and our inability to use fireworks at our current location, we decide to move it up. Do we like this idea, O Chance Cube?
Junior Collaborator Gil does the honors.
Juan, Bor, and Victor work on their pointy sticks for the imminent s'mores.
Jenna enjoys herself on the tire-horse.
After a hard day of working, Misha eats a well-deserved s'more. (He wants me to write here, "hi mom and dad!")
It gets dark and drizzly before we know it, but we need one last marshmallow!
We walk back to the yurts in the twilight, lead by headlamps and laughter. Everyone falls asleep quickly tonight, knowing we all have much to do in the morning.
Blog post written by Caroline.