Zipline 2018 was, of course, a feat of engineering, but it was also a picture perfect, hiccupy-struggle of stop and start in how project planning at our tinkering summer camp works.
"I won't build it for you," I overheard one of the counselors tell a tinkering camper. It wasn't the first time I heard him say it so I knew that the zipline builders were hitting snags and were frustrated. Just as every camper brings personal interests and skills to the play, the counselors (all young adults) do too and this counselor was identified in some magic way as a person who "got" ziplines.
In some settings, this adult help might mean setting out not just the materials, but the actual plan for some project or another. There are even reasons why this would be done, safety maybe, but more likely it is about achieving success.
In this case, NOT helping or rather helping in a very certain way meant true, to the core, success. Success for the campers and at the same time for this particular counselor and for the program itself.
We train our camp counselors and what a lovely thing to see the training stick. In this case, the counselor brainstormed with the children and he did something that I can assure you rewired the campers' brains! He walked them through how to both draw their ideas for the zipline and how to build a model of that zipline.
Now this is surely a successful venture!