Building cars for a pinewood derby race is not a qualification for our campus carpenters, but that is just what the U Facilities’ Carpentry Shop did in joining forces with the Club U Summer Campers recently.
It started as a simple request from Club U asking if they could rent hammers for their pinewood derby. While the facilities organization does not rent equipment, the need to help the campers spread like wildfire amongst the U Facilities’ teams. It wasn’t long before a turnaround request was made, “Can we invite the kids to our carpenter shop to build the cars?”
The carpenters and several other U Facilities employees jumped at the chance to engage with the campers and lend a hand in safely hammering wheels, sanding, painting and decorating the derby cars. With the help of woodworking professionals and self-described derby aficionados guiding the learning process, the campers quickly grew confident in their new abilities.
Once the campers finished their cars, some were so excited to see the cars in action that they did impromptu races on the carpenter shop floor. Then all campers admired one another’s hard work and creativity with a mini pinewood derby car show.
The U Facilities employees truly brought their A-game to the activity as their enthusiasm and excitement created a unique and fun opportunity for the kids to not only learn how to build a derby car in a professional carpentry shop but to connect with the kids on their level to help them build new skills. They showed the campers how to positively engage in a team atmosphere, sharing and exploring new ideas to turn creativity into a reality. Hopefully, the U Club kids enjoyed their time in such a unique atmosphere and will fondly remember the opportunities a university campus community can provide them now and in the future.