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Session G: Day 2 - Rising Waters

2016 Session G - JuniorsCaroline Martin2 Comments

Monday! Our first full day together. We wake up bright (or rather, foggy) and early, ready for a full day of tinkering. Teamwork is already blossoming between campers, as seen here, helping each other get to breakfast in the most efficient way possible.

After a filling breakfast, the tinkerers are split into small groups for a quick-build challenge. This week's challenge: transmit and receive two six-letter words over 100 ft, without talking, writing letters, or using power tools. Gever and Caroline explain the rules.

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The tinkerers are apprehensive at first, but after some clarifications, they seem more interested in this strange challenge.

Michael/Swiss Warrior and Caden practice signaling letters to their teammates across the parking lot. One of the tougher parts of this challenge is to transmit two letters at a time.

Ryker and his team have decided to write out numbers that correspond to the alphabet on lengths of wood. He finds the Sky Bench quite comfortable for the job.

Nathan/CR7 works with Junior Collaborator Yoel on the key to decode messages for their group.

And there are even fancy stands for hand-free decoding!

After an hour of organizing, planning, and practicing, it's time for the trials. The teams are split up to have part of the team near the benches and part across the parking lot. Each half of each team will have to send a word and receive another word. Each team has an easy word and a tricky word. The words range from PENCIL to GAZEBO, LLAMAS to PIZZAS (though some would argue that the plural of "pizza" is just "pizza." This blogger would decide on a case-by-case basis.)

Ava and Lucas send their team's first word. Their receiving end shouts back across the parking lot, "Juggle!" and a cheer goes up.

Aya's team's code involves jumping up and down. We think she just likes jumping.

Matilda/Erving and Cooper/CoopDogg on the other side like their jumping code, too.

Ryker and Ben send a word back to their team. It's a tense moment waiting for their receiving end to shout back the right word.

Caden and Swiss Warrior complete their word and await confirmation from their team.

It works! Lilly and Martha send back the second word. The receiving end pauses after they decode. "... Gaze bow?" Close enough!

In the end, there was only one message that got scrambled. The tinkerers are asked to anonymously rate how well their team communicated, and then we have a discussion about how to best communicate with each other.

Then, FINALLY, it's time to learn about the project! We take a moment to walk through all six weeks of projects prior to this tinkering session. We marvel at all the hard work put in by tinkerers of all ages, but especially the achievements of our past junior peers. Terminus Station and the first length of track to Midway is especially wowing.

When we get down to the merry-go-round though, we notice something odd. What is this? The ocean is rising? And it's filled with LASER SHARKS? Whoa. You can see it too, right? We take a moment to scope out the paracord water line.

The tide is low now, but we predict that the water level will continue to rise throughout the week, making it harder and harder to build and navigate our city. We decide we want to build and get to high ground, and create ways of getting between the main platforms we've built.

After a quick poll, we break into our teams for the week!

On team Piki: Lilly, Aya, Lucas, and Ben, lead by Collaborator Miles, working on the passage between the Merry-Go-Round and the Windmill Tower.
On team Nooi: Zyla, Caden, Swiss Warrior, Simon/Muktuk, and Matilda/Erving, lead by Collaborator Rhody, working on the passage between the Windmill Tower and the Treehouse.
On team Kablooi: Martha, CoopDogg, Ryker, CR7, and Ava, lead by Collaborator Caroline, working on building the aforementioned Treehouse, which will function as our new high ground.

We get together and come up with group agreements and start planning our projects for the week.

Portrait of Sibling Tinkerers: Mukluk and Erving are here to steal your blueberry muffins.

Team Kablooi doesn't want to harm the tree they'll be using, and thankfully a group of tinkerers from long ago figured out a brilliant method of using torque and compression to make treehouses for the original Piki and Nooi teams. Today, the team learns this technique.

Once paracord is wrapped around the blocks of wood, it can be tightened by twisting the cords until they become taut, and an object (such as a screwdriver) then holds the twist in place.

Team Nooi is working out a bridge, and they enlist the structural expertise of Gever to help them plan their attack.

Their plan is to use ropes through holes in boards to create a rope bridge. They start their exploration.

Portrait of a Tinkerer: CoopDogg, figuring out lengths for the treehouse triangles.

Portrait of a Tinkerer: Aya isn't so sure about that sharp object, but clamps all the same.

Piki's first iteration works! Aya tests out the planks. Look, ma, no hands!

Junior Collaborator Lauren provides the necessary counterweight for the small bridge. We suspect this will be an ongoing challenge for their design.

After dinner, the campers go down to explore the stream. 

They even go travel to the spooky haunted house (which some would argue is simply an old shed, but this blogger would say houses come in all sizes, and that thing is def haunted).

A banana slug is found. Dares commence.

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CR7 goes for it...


Zyla is daring, and Lucas can't look away.

And he goes for it, too. Delicious.

Everyone comes back to the yurts tired and happy. Tomorrow, building starts in earnest, a full day to work out their projects. But, through the night, the waters rise...

Blog written by Caroline.

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