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Tinkering School

The Blog of the Sleep-Away Program at Elkus Ranch – Updated every night during camp

Category / 2012 Session 1 – Juniors

Session One – Creek Houses

Well, I think it’s safe to say that it was a great week of Tinkering School down at Elkus Ranch. Day One – Fooling Around, With a Purpose Day Two – We Get Into a Spot of Bother Day Three – We Get Down to Business Day Four – Whistle While You Work Day Five […]

Day Six – We Go The Extra Mile

It is the final push to get the houses ready to sleep in. In complete honesty, Gever is overheard to admit that he’s not sure this is a sustainable tradition at Tinkering School – “Next, we’ll be sleeping in the cars and boats we make,” he says, suddenly grinning like a fool.

Photo documentation is spotty today because we are all pitching in. Gever keeps saying “All hands on deck” until one of the tinkerers asks, “What does that mean?”

Despite the vast amount of work in front of us, Leslie, the ranch manager has offered an animal tour and chore duty – both seem equally exciting to the tinkerers so we opt to spend the morning working on the farm.

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While we wait for Leslie and her assistant Cathy to take us around the ranch, we sit with the chickens for a spell. Continue Reading

Day Five – Work, Work, Work

The home stretch, the last stand, the final push – Thursday. There was a faint hope this morning that some of us would be sleeping at creek tonight but by midday we can all tell that it is not to be.

It is the very nature of this kind of project work to present emergent and progressively harder challenges as it unfolds. The stakes (the accumulated effort of the teams) are raised by the very fact that there is a deadline; no one wants their existing work to be for naught. So we work. We lash poles together, we saw exotic angles into wood to handle complex joins, we schlepp more pallets, we return to the forest of yellow jackets and sneak away with the trees we felled but could not take on Tuesday.

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Jared learns and applies the official Tinkering School lashing technique. Continue Reading

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