Tinkering School

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TSO-F - Day 1 - Tools and Rules

2018 Session F - MiddlesTinkering School Staff2 Comments

Hello! As you may already know, here at Tinkering School Overnight, we have a fun blog for parents, siblings, ants, uncles, grandparents, and even friends to check out what the campers are up to this week. We capture the fun and creativity campers experience here and put it into a blog to tell a story of how the day went, and we explain the projects campers are working on. So lets get started and we hope you enjoy this weeks blog. 

Campers arrive at 3. Some settle down and head in the conference center. Uno instantly became a popular game. Lock picking has also absorbed some campers. Daniel teaches a few campers how to lock and unlock the handcuff. Viggo decides to test his new knowledge by handcuffing himself to the chair.  

A few people begin playing with straws.  We found out that they make cool structures, and awesome hats.

Fisher, Kenzo, and Niko quickly become friends, and start working at the tinker table together.

At around 4:15, the campers circle up. Before the meeting,  conversations are silly and mainly about the things they've done over the summer. Caroline, our camp captain, starts off the meeting by off by having the campers go around the circle and saying their name and what they consider their spirit tool to be.

The campers learn about the three main rules of Tinkering School with Caroline explaining in detail and with visuals. As Caroline explains, Kaitlyn acts as her scribe, recording the rules onto a whiteboard so that they can be displayed throughout the week and easily followed. The rules are:

1. Do not hurt yourself or anyone else.
2. If you see a piece of fruit, and you want it, you must eat it. *Unless it's on a tree
3. Any dispute is solved by RO SHAM BO.

Next, they started the night activity. First, the challenge was described by Kaitlyn, then the campers were split into groups. In the challenge, one team member would view a hidden object and then  describe it to their group without the ability to see what their group was making. As the challenge went on, the groups were given the option to change the viewer for a new set of eyes. The challenge ended after many rounds and lots of tinkering. Many new friendships were formed. 

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After the challenge, they all circle up and Caroline teaches the campers how to defend oneself against a mountain lion, should they encounter one. Although we haven't seen a mountain lion this year, one was spotted last year near the camp site, so teaching proper protocol seems necessary.

By dinner, new friendships had begun to form. It was a great opportunity to get to know new people, or make faces at them. At dinner, Caroline also introduces the dish washing process.

As dinner was wrapping-up, some campers experimented with the projector Daniel brought out. They began to "draw" on each other.

Clothespins have become a big part of Tinkering culture in the past few weeks. A clothespin war broke out resulting in the clothespins being taken away. Because of this, Viggo decides to create his own.  


After dinner, we head up to the worksite to start tool training. Group 1 starts off with Daniel and he explains why it is important to pick up screws and other materials they use. We call Screws on the ground "Dead Baby Goats" because during the off season, when we are not here, goats come up to the area to eat grass. If there are screws, the goats could eat them.

Kaitlyn is in charge of the chop saw training and she explains all the important things to do before you can cut the wood. These things include:

1. Getting your safety goggles and ear protection

2. Have a collaborator that is at least 18

3. Make sure everyone is ready by asking "Is everybody ready?"  If one's in the workshop, and they're ready, they'll give a silent thumbs up. However, if they are not ready, they'll say, "I'm not ready!"

 I saw a fox while the campers were exploring the forrest and playing on the swings.

I saw a fox while the campers were exploring the forrest and playing on the swings.

Daniel shows the campers what poison oak looks like.  He also shows the campers what Tecnu is: a special soap that gets the oils from poisonous plants, like poison oak, off of your skin to stop an allergic reaction from occurring.

As the sun goes down and the fog rolls in, tool training wraps up. The campers head back down the hill and into the conference center.

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During quiet time, the campers were each given a sketch book to put all their amazing ideas and drawings down on paper.

 AJ notices me taking photos and pretends to be writing something, which was fine, the only problem was that he forgot to grab a pencil.

AJ notices me taking photos and pretends to be writing something, which was fine, the only problem was that he forgot to grab a pencil.

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In the kitchen, hot cocoa is being made. A few campers decide they want whipped cream on their cocoa.  They discovered that we have no whipped cream in the fridge, so Alex and Kennedy put Heavy whipping cream in a bowl and started whisking it. After a few minuets they decided to use a drill and a fork to mix it faster. That, however, did not work very well and they ended up putting it into a jar to shake it until it turned in to whipped cream, which worked faster. 

After cocoa was served, The campers got ready for bed and it was lights out by 10 most of the campers stayed up a bit longer to read.

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