A Hand Up

Build Day

While we were building houses for Habitat for Humanity (more on that later), the KaBOOM! team finished up the site prep and got everything ready for the big build day on Saturday.

Over 150 volunteers, from the military, AmeriCorps, and the community showed up to assemble the playground. Here's what we found when we arrived bright and early on a perfect spring morning.


Because the folks in my group were acting as build captains, we got to the site at 6:30 am to get our briefing and get our flare. I headed up the Scarecrow team; in a brilliant display of humor, the KaBOOM! leaders assigned the two biggest and brawniest guys to lead the Puppy and Butterfly teams. Hee!

I had a great group, especially given that I know next to nothing about hardware and the assemblage thereof. My illustrious Scarecrows built two of the more complex components of the playground, the tire swing and the transfer station on the main structure. Here are some of my scarecrows, helping to attach the transfer station.


We were supposed to take a 20-minute lunch break, in shifts by team, but we were so far ahead of ourselves that Bing, our project lead, had everyone take lunch at the same time for one full hour! Box lunches and drinks were provided by the community, and they were damn good, too.

After lunch, it was back to work. Concrete was mixed and poured, the barren slab was painted brightly, plants were planted, benches and trash cans and planters were built and placed, and finally, last of all, yards and yards of mulch were spread evenly and deeply all over the playground.


And then, just after two o'clock, it was done! (Almost) nothing to everything in six hours!


We even had a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The kids themselves made the ribbon, there were a few brief speeches, and then this sweet little girl officially cut the ribbon!


(I took about a ton more pictures than the few I've shown here; I've got them all posted here.)

Today, Wednesday, is the first day that actual kids can actually play on the equipment, because the concrete had to cure for three days. I wish I could see them; heck, I wish I could play on it my own self!