A Week at Tinkering School

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Last week was an awesome one for the Rocket Boy. Instead of homeschool and all the other usual weekly events he went to a camp. But not just any ol’ camp. This one was… drum roll… the Tinkering School!

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Turns out, hooray-hooray, there’s one of those awesome tinkering schools-camps not terribly far from us. The owner (and the camp leader), Don, promises

An immersive, five-day building experience in an AWESOME farm setting!

Well, guess what? The camp is all that and more.

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Yes, it is in an AWESOME (all capitals) farm setting. There is plenty of room to run around and play outside. There are lots and lots of animals to pet and feed or just watch.

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Like this absolutely adorable pig.

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Then there is the spacious workshop that is the Tinkering School proper. This time around the kids worked on two big projects. For the first two days they worked on converting a recurve bow into a tripod-mounted cross-bow.

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The next three days they spent building (from scratch) a drill-powered go-cart. I had no idea that a cordless drill is powerful enough for this. Turns out, it is!

Now, these are life-size working projects, not tiny models. So they required real-life working power tools which the kids got to use a-plenty.

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What the camp website doesn’t mention is all the extra awesomeness that happens at camp. And, according to Rocket Boy’s stories, there’s so much of it – going to the lake, playing in the creek (the weather’s been very warm the first few days), sitting around a campfire in the woods, chasing escaped bunnies, finding a large fallen tree and launching it into the lake, and on and on.

Every single day we would pick him up from camp – muddy, wet, tired, hungry, bursting with new stories – and absolutely happy.

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Last day of camp is an early pick-up. Well, not really. Rather parents are asked to be there a bit early to celebrate their kids’ work. We might’d gotten there a bit too early. The boys just finished making marshmallow shooters and were having an all-out marshmallow gun fight in the yard.

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Perfect! I spent this time feeding the sheep and the goats. And petting the guinea pigs. And trying to catch Buttercup, the escaped baby-bunny (yes, things are that cute there).

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Once the rest of the parents arrived, we all gathered around the fire-pit for a marshmallow roast (no, not the ones used for ammo), freshly baked cookies and hot chocolate.

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Then it was time to watch the cross-bow demonstration.

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And afterwards everyone got to test-drive the go-cart. Do you know that it can go forward AND back? (you just flip switch on the drill)

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So, the marshmallow shooters were one of the small projects kids got to create at the camp. The second one was this memory book with pictures from their camp experience. And how AWESOME is that?!

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Is Rocket Boy going back to the Tinkering School? Heck yeah! Did I mention that no two camps are alike and each time they build something new?!

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