Everything Is A Programming Opportunity

How do you become a chainsaw artist? That is the question that has been “stumping” me lately.

You see, I work at a camp in a forest, and while there are thousands of trees, there are also thousands of stumps (maybe not thousands, but it seems like it).

I was thinking that I would just get a company to come in and grind all the stumps down to sawdust and be done with it.

But then I decided to think creatively about my problem.

What if I could “program” a tree stump?

I think the difference between an artist and everyone else is that an artist sees what could be instead of what is. I want to be an artist, and my canvas is a tree stump!

I hate to admit it, but I got paid this week for thinking about how I could program a tree stump at camp.

Could I cut out a throne with a chainsaw and create a great place for campers or parents to sit and get their picture taken?

Could I attach riddles to the stumps and create a “Stumped by the Stump” game throughout camp?

What if the stumps at camp were a giant game of Memory, where two stumps in different places at camp were painted exactly the same and you would have to remember where you saw the other one?

I have not figured out my entire plan of what I want to do with the stumps at camp, but I do know this: Tree stumps can be a programming opportunity.

I have two questions for you:

What is around your camp that is a programming opportunity that you have been missing?

And maybe more importantly, what would you do if you had hundreds of stumps at your camp?

Dave Bell has directed day and resident camp programs for more than 15 years. Currently, he is the Executive Director of Camping Services for the YMCA of Greater Seattle. He is a former American Camp Association Southeast Section board member, a certified Y-USA Day Camp Director Trainer and a Y-USA partner YMCA camp consultant. Reach him via e-mail at dbell@seattleymca.org.