Tinkering School

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TSO - G - Day 6 - The Tourney

Tinkering School StaffComment

Today's our final push; this morning on the hill is our last shot at perfecting our carts before this afternoon's joust. Like many sessions before us, we walk up the hill today with a long list of things to accomplish, and each group has their own challenges ahead of them. That being said, the air about camp this morning is not dark or imposing, but everyone's buzzing with excitement. We go up the hill ready to confront our tasks head on, knowing that the latter half of the day will reward our hard work. 

First things first, the final section of track is lifted into place and affixed. 

First things first, the final section of track is lifted into place and affixed. 

Kablooi dry runs their spinning triangle weapon; Yoel is delighted. 

Kablooi dry runs their spinning triangle weapon; Yoel is delighted. 

Deus ex Machina: Resident shop elf Kaitlyn offers her insight to Piki. 

Deus ex Machina: Resident shop elf Kaitlyn offers her insight to Piki. 

Nooi works on Mjollnir, the hammer Jared's been building all week. 

Nooi works on Mjollnir, the hammer Jared's been building all week. 

Another test of Kabloii's weapon: it does some serious damage to that poor box. 

Another test of Kabloii's weapon: it does some serious damage to that poor box. 

Flipper continues to be the cutest watermelon. 

Flipper continues to be the cutest watermelon. 

Steve is putting up a real competition, though. 

Steve is putting up a real competition, though. 

Thalia and Mia decorate Piki's cart. 

Thalia and Mia decorate Piki's cart. 

The final joust rules. Each team created one +/- 5 point rule that would benefit their cart. 

The final joust rules. Each team created one +/- 5 point rule that would benefit their cart. 

Ben explains to me how the pulley he's adding to Panda's cart technically falls under the +5 point rule created by Kablooi ("Includes functional pulley"). "It does have a function though," he says with a sly smile, "it gives us five points!." 

Ben explains to me how the pulley he's adding to Panda's cart technically falls under the +5 point rule created by Kablooi ("Includes functional pulley"). "It does have a function though," he says with a sly smile, "it gives us five points!." 

The rules committee eventually decides that the pulley needs a function other than conferring a point bonus to count for said bonus. 

The rules committee eventually decides that the pulley needs a function other than conferring a point bonus to count for said bonus. 

Just before we eat lunch, we find a very large banana slug. Samir licks it to see what happens!

Just before we eat lunch, we find a very large banana slug. Samir licks it to see what happens!

Lunch today marks the deadline for finishing our carts, and each group looks to be in great shape for the afternoon's festivities. We put down our tools and break for a quick meal.

Afterwards, we gather the group to have a conversation about the bullying behavior that has put a cloud over this week. Tinkering School is committed to being a safe place for everyone, and as a staff we believe it is paramount that everyone feels comfortable and included. In addition to that, this is a failure-positive environment where we believe that everyone can grow and improve. Today we focused on healing and learning from this experience. 

As we move into the afternoon, the Master of Ceremonies makes her entrance. 

Caroline, as the only member of the staff without a horse in this race — err, cart in the joust — is made the arbiter of the competition. 

We interrupt our regularly scheduled broadcast for a message from Ben: "Twas almost time for the joust to begin; the leaves rustle intently, anticipating the coming battle. Ready for use, giants snore under their tarps and overhangs, dreaming of victory, lusting for blood."

Thanks Ben. Now, back to our regular programming. 

Panda and Kablooi line up their carts for the first tilt. In the end, Panda derails Kablooi, but loses on a technicality. 

Panda and Kablooi line up their carts for the first tilt. In the end, Panda derails Kablooi, but loses on a technicality. 

Panda estimates that their cart accelerates to a top speed of 15 miles per hour.

Panda estimates that their cart accelerates to a top speed of 15 miles per hour.

The Master of Ceremonies examines Piki's cart. 

The Master of Ceremonies examines Piki's cart. 

Nooi sets up their cart. 

Nooi sets up their cart. 

The aftermath of a Piki-Nooi collision.  

A Panda-Piki collision. 

Piki's watermelon, though, excapes unscathed. 

Piki's watermelon, though, excapes unscathed. 

Kablooi and Nooi mid collision. 

Panda and Nooi brace for impact in the final joust. 

Panda and Nooi brace for impact in the final joust. 

A Panda-Nooi collision. 

We assure you that these are the mortal remains of melons, not of human camp members.  

As a finale Elijah hurls our final melon off the top of the windmill. 

After dinner on Friday, it's tradition here at Overnight Camp  to build a bonfire out of the wood scraps we've made throughout the session and burn them in recognition of our hard work. 

Caroline takes off her Master of Ceremonies hat, and replaces it with her Camp Captain hat to make an impressively tall fire—pardon me, unicorn. 

Caroline takes off her Master of Ceremonies hat, and replaces it with her Camp Captain hat to make an impressively tall fire—pardon me, unicorn. 

Sitting around the fire we share stories about each other, and appreciate the awesome things everyone did throughout the week. 

Sitting around the fire we share stories about each other, and appreciate the awesome things everyone did throughout the week. 

As the fire burns down it's time to have some fun with it. First we burn one of the water jugs we took to the beach. It's made of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), which, when burned, only produces water and Carbon Dioxide as products. That means we can burn it without worrying about harmful additives in the plastic — plus, it makes a really fascinating noise as it burns. 

After that we take turns spraying cooking oil into the fire. Because the cans are designed for use in the kitchen around lots of heat, we don't need to worry about them around the fire. If you get the angle right you can spray the oil in the fire and create a fireball in the palm of your hand (it's not actually burning in your palm). 

And that's it! Carts have been built, carts have been smashed, carts have been repaired, we smashed an additional melon, and we had a fire. We'll see you tomorrow (or, as Mia wants me to write it: wheel see you tomorrow) for some more excellent cart mashing, and we'll see (or, as Mia again amends me: wheel see) who the ultimate winner is.

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