Construction Camp, Day 3

Today was another beautiful day at Brightworks Summer Camp. Day 3 and we are finding the edge of our bravery, the depths of our kindness, and the improvement of our skills.

The day started with a lovely surprise from Isaac and his father: plums from the tree at their house. They were so red that they looked more like big cherry tomatoes, but one bite was all the convincing you needed to know that these were sweet delicious plums with just the right hint of tart.



We built more and learned about how to drill holes.


We chopped more.


I got more photos from 3 feet lower.




Our base took shape!



It got very strong.


Drawing and math are a strangely spontaneous occurrence here.


The kids took our new game “Fire in the forest” very seriously.


I took park time today to re-experiment with the powerful and empowering tool of narration. The kids clamored “Josh! Push us!” as they spun them selves on the local merry-go-round. Instead of responding, I hopped on for a ride and said,

“I see Tessa pushing. I see Cayden hanging of the edge. I see Milo dangling…”

And so on, name after name of every person in the group and exactly what they were doing over and over again. The kids (and any group of kids I have ever known) respond to this incredibly well. It seems to do two very important things. It lets them know they are known and seen, and it makes their life a story. They exaggerate, they play, and the group always grows. Slowly but surely half the camp gathered to have their story told. It was never fancy, I didn’t use funny words or a big voice, I just narrated what I saw and was excited about it. I got this idea from Teacher Tom. He is one of my favorite teachers in the world. He does narrative play very well.


Today was also a day of fear, bravery and kindness. Kids who where unafraid to admit they where afraid. Kids who faced their fears head on. Kids who faced their fears with a little support from a friend. Kids who were wonderfully gracious when something they found easy was nearly impossible for another. There was one moment where Cayden just simply could not bring himself to jump from a high height at the park. Jaewon jumped off and said to Cayden, “I know it looks easy for me, but it really is scary. Don’t worry if you can’t do it”.

Milo wanted to jump off a wall.


He did, with a little help.


The older kids are building a giant cube, and a new house in kid city. Projects they picked and created. I am excited to see how far they get.