Session D: An Explosive Ending

Thursday is always a big day at camp full of the "nearly there" challenges that are a part of any big project.  We've accomplished a huge amount already, transforming our site from a stock pile of wood and screws to large contraptions that almost work.  But the difference between almost working and working is often a tremendous amount of work - it's the heart of tinkering. 

The collaborators welcome the kids into this part of the week, letting everyone know that experiencing frustration is often an indicator that you're pushing yourself past your comfort zone and learning something new.  Not only is okay to feel frustrated, it's usually a good sign.   Check out all of Thursday's progress in this slideshow from teamwork to tests; and read on below to see Friday's big show!

...And it's almost showtime!  Our guests show up at 2:15 on Friday, which only gives us 30 minutes after lunch; that means this morning's build session is really all we have left.  It's a time to talk about what's working, what we need to scrap, and even what may save us time to undo and rebuild.  In an ideal world, each group will have started testing on Thursday.  We're racing the clock this week and the DROP team has still yet to test their conveyor belt connection with their rainbow tear clown.  

SQUEEZE ran some successful tests yesterday with Nayeli, TJ, Danny, and Jose each riding down on their squeezing platform.  They've confidently moved into the beautification realm, painting their tower and elevator bright colors and adorning it with decorative tapes to boot. 

It's all hands-on-deck as the DROP team raises the conveyor belt and tower into place.  All of the parts are together, but the conveyor belt is still proving unreliable.  The crank they've created keeps catching on the paracord and snagging.  It's also really heavy.  126 lengths of 2x3 really adds up fast, and although the conveyor belt is beautiful, there's already some discussions on what they would do differently next time. 

There's not much time left to problem solve, and it's looking unlikely that they'll have a chance for a full run-through before families arrive.  Nothing like a little suspense to keep the team focused!  

Meanwhile, LAUNCH has had a morning full of successful tests.  They've tried it at full power, half power, and lot of in between powers.  At full power, the balloons burst before they even leave carriage.  

Griffin and Aakash study a test launch carefully to analyze what exactly happens when the balloons burst early. 

Soon time is up.  There's lots more we would do if we had another hour, another day, another week.  As families and friends arrive, we gather for our closing circle ritual where we share favorite moments from the day and say nice things about each other.  It's the best. 

And now, the moments we've all been waiting for... Color Explosion!  We've been testing with water filled balloons, so everyone is really excited to actually see the color fly.  DROP is up first, and the Arunima, Lucia and Amarachi load up the conveyer belt. 

Our first ballon doesn't quite make it into the funnel, so Josh helps redirect the next few so we can see exactly how the Barrel of Doom works.  James is on the crank, and right in the splash zone.  These paint filled balloons don't stand a chance against a spinning barrel covered in sharp screws. 

Next up is SQUEEZE.  Nayeli loads the balloons into the funnel as Hector climbs the ladder to sit on the elevator platform.  With the help of four collaborators and four pulleys, he is lowered safely to the ground.  Did the balloons get squeezed?  An extra jump makes certain!

Finally it's time to show off our most tested contraption for the week - the LAUNCH team's catapult.  Ronan takes the charge on loading the cup and firing away.  

Elliot is back, a welcome visitor from Session A.  He can't wait to see the catapult in action and asks for a photo to commemorate the moment. 

Some explode in mid-air.. 

Some explode on the tarp (along with keepsake piece of splatter art scrap wood)...

And some ignore our carefully laid tarps and decorate the blacktop.  (We'll be back to scrub this weekend!)

Thanks to everyone for a fantastic week! We hope everyone has a joyful rest of their summer and that we'll see you all again soon.  As for us, we're headed to San Jose for two more weeks of camp at RAFT.  Thanks for all the memories Black Pine Circle.  We can't wait to come back next summer!