Who knew! Apologies, but I am still stunned that people are really taken with the idea of rebuilding a neighborhood playground. It’s what I imagine it must be like being a florist – everyone loves the project and is super supportive. How fun! How tremendously rewarding. And really, I don’t need sleep (pity my children don’t seem to need much sleep either), so of COURSE I can fight the good fight, start a marketing company, and rebuild a playground (SNORT/maniacal laughter).
OK, late-night-chocolate-overdose-fueled excitement is wearing out, so here is a quick report on the Easter Egg Hunt the rather awesome team of the Rebuilding Rounds project put on last Saturday at AP Rounds Playground. I’m guessing a hundred people showed up to search for close-to-a-thousand eggs. Everyone agreed that the playground needed help, lots of people signed up for the email list to get updates on the project, and we got a surprising amount of donations ($312). Dunkin Donuts on Main Street in Stoneham donated 5 dozen donuts (hurray) and lots of warm fuzzy feelings.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that it’s been a bit quiet on the Playground Hunt blogging front. And really there are no excuses, other than that life got busy. I started a marketing company, which is weird, because by training I’m a scientist – Ph.D. and everything. But it does mean that every spare moment when Alex and Jen are asleep I try and help local businesses grow. It actually really suits me – I like helping people, but one of the reasons I started this blog is that Jen and Alex would have a record of all their adventures.
So, really back to basics and re-starting blogging about the basic joys of having a couple of high energy kids who like to be kept busy and visit new places. Yes, I’m still trying to get the local community together to rebuild Rounds Playground, so here’s a quick plug for that:
So now I’m off to dig through my photos of the last couple of months and put together a summary of everything we’ve been up to. We’ve been to some sledding, a few playgrounds, a few sandcastles, a lot of trips to the Wenham Museum, the Science Museum, and the Children’s Museum… We’ve also done lots of painting and gluing and coloring and baking… but I’ll put photos in the next post. Baby-steps to getting writing again 🙂
I have put up the banner at Rounds Playground. If you are reading this post because you saw the banner, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org . I’d like to add you to my list for updates.
Absolutely no SPAM and total privacy guaranteed.
It’s time to seriously get ready to rebuild Rounds Playground in Stoneham. With KaBOOM and Playground Hunt, our local community will rebuild this neighborhood playground. Rounds Playground has fallen into disrepair, and it’s not much fun. It starts with a playground, but we hope to build and strengthen the whole community. Be inspired, inspire, and come together and help build a new playground in a single day: BUILD-DAY.
Sign up to volunteer HERE
We’re shooting for a build day of July 2, when about 150 local volunteers will come together and make it happen.
Sample volunteer tasks
Here are some of the many jobs that build volunteers can do on BUILD-DAY:
- “Deck and Post” assembly
- Component assembly
- Border assembly (for surfacing)
- Mixing concrete (to secure posts)
- Installing surfacing liner/drainage
- Hauling surfacing
- Site set-up (tables, tents, etc.)
- Site Clean-Up
- Food service
- Registering volunteers
- Supervising children’s activities
- Posting signs/banners
- Monitoring site safety (coordinate with your fellow team captains)
- Running errands
- Tool distribution/collection
- DJ/performing music
Q. Do volunteers need construction skills?
A. There are no specific skills that are absolutely necessary to build a playground, skatepark or sports field. Although there are many types of community builds, the KaBOOM! model involves purchasing easy-to-assemble equipment from a certified playspace manufacturer. Assembling this type of playspace is like putting together a puzzle, and the most common tools are hand-held tools like ratchets and wrenches. You’ll have detailed directions – make sure the volunteers read them! To ensure proper installation, many play equipment companies will also provide or refer a professional community-build installer to oversee the construction. He or she can be responsible for leveling decks, orienting components, tightening bolts and so on.
You may need a small number of skilled volunteers or professionals for site preparation, particularly if it involves heavy machinery such as a power auger. On KaBOOM! site preparation days, we dig holes for the playground posts using a bobcat with auger bits, which is operated by a trained professional. Talk to your construction captain about specific site preparation tasks that you’ll need to complete. You’ll also need to consult closely with your co-chair(s) and construction captain if you are planning to build your own playspace from scratch. There are rigorous safety and accessibility guidelines for public playgrounds.
Q. Do the people working on the playspace need to be really strong?
A. No – although having some “muscle” never hurts! A community-built playspace project relies on teamwork for results. Remember – what might be a strenuous task for one person is an easy task for four people. Energy, stamina and cooperation are the most valuable qualities a volunteer can have.
Also keep in mind that a community build involves a lot more than ratchets and bolts! There are children’s activities, food, registration, and side projects. Work with your fellow team captains to plan your build so that people of all abilities can participate in some way.
Q. What volunteer skills can I use for my playspace project?
A. There are ways for skills and experience of any kind to be put to good use!
- Meeting facilitation
- Food prep/service
- Child care
- Communication skills
- Transportation (cars, trucks, machinery)