“Developed pink-eye. Plan B in full effect. Check your email.” – Gever, 12:09am
That’s the text that started a day that will most certainly go down in Tinkering School history. With Gever out sick, Josh was called to run Tinkering School this week. With Josh running Tinkering School, the staff of San Francisco Tinkering School will be running their program without him for the first time. After a series of incredible coordination emails, phone calls and texts; a prolonged rental car debacle involving 3 people, a declined credit card and several loops around the wrong arrivals circle we found ourselves nearly ready to start the day.
Before camp even began Daniel, one of our collaborators, introduced some of the campers to ultiamte-tic-tac-toe.
Sajal and Jonah Ended up playing for over an hour
We officially started with a series of collective agreements and safety warnings like “Treat others as they’d like to be treated”, “Don’t hurt yourself or anybody else” and “things designed to destroy wood will destroy you just as well”.
Josh talks with the kids about the dangers and freedoms of Tinkering School
Then it was off to Safety Training were we learned how to use the chop saw and the hand drills.
We talked about how to make strong connections between two pieces of wood.
Sejal Balances on wood held together by three secure screws
We did experiments to demonstrate how strong wood is in one direction and how weak it can be in another.
Sophia Jumps to Break Some Wood
Josh admires the beauty of a shattered 1×4
Then we practiced.
Anya working with Katia on drilling some holes
Then we stumbled. The day came to a screeching and awkward halt when we ran out of screws. A detail lost in the morning shuffle of Camp Directors, support staff and supply runs. As Collaborators Daniel and Michael scurried of on what would be no less than a 2 hour round trip up to Colma the kids broke into two groups. The larger one set off to hunt Crayfish.
Elizabeth and Ben work to keep their shoes dry
An old bridge is found
Jonah enjoys a moment on a fallen tree
Zada works like mad to keep her cast try and still play in the water
Neil and Ben showing off
A smaller group stayed behind and helped Josh. We scrounged together the few long screws left and used them to build some additions to the shop. Sophia and Blake worked on a new Chop Saw block should help with long cuts. Sophia, Blake and Addison worked on a battery and charger holder will help keep all the drills humming along nicely. Sejal, Anya, and Katia mounted some bracers to our shelf for a future tool wall.
Sophia and Blake make sure their Chop Saw Block is square
Sophia and Blake wrap up their battery charging station
After a long day of hiking, wading, building, tinkering and improving we retired to the house to eat, play cards and rest. Nearly 4 hours after their departure there was no sign of Daniel and Michael. They had been on an epic quest buying out whole shelves of 1×4 and hunting down the ever illusive Roberts head screw. Home Debot regularly had to pull out the fork lift to re-stock as they baught up the place. Home safe, they joined us and filled their bellies with now cold left overs as we all settled into some great conversations.
Some, but not all of the wood they purchased