Our one-day fall extravaganza was very successful. The school was packed with guests who climbed up and down our townhouse stairs visiting classroom after classroom which were converted into magical vignettes — from a medieval forest to a crystal filled cave. And, of course, our guests paid a visit to our basement woodshop.
One of the attractions that drew kids and parents to our woodshop was the log-sawing contest. Kids worked in pairs, or with one of their parents, to saw branches into segments that could be used as trivets or coasters. We made sure two adults were supervising the sawing, and only 3rd graders and up could participate. We kept a time sheet that noted how long it took each pair to saw through the logs. The fastest pairs managed to finish sawing in just under 17 seconds. Some kids got so exited that they asked for another round of sawing, sacrificing more fair tickets that could have surely be used for buying maple syrup cotton candy. Who knew that sawing logs could be so popular!
While the young kids were standing in line for the log sawing fun, I and a few 10th graders, who volunteered for the job, demonstrated wood carving and box making.
At the same time, on the other side of the room, guests were fascinated by the woodwork that our parents created for the sale.
It was hard to say goodbye to our animals, swords and shields that we hand-crafted, but the proceeds will help us continue to run the school and make more beautiful objects for next year’s fair.
I hope that our fall fair will inspire some of you to initiate a woodworking-related event in your local school, or the school that your children or grandchildren attend. Most schools have some kind of fundraising events where baked goods or other objects are offered for sale, children put up a performance, and parents contribute donations for raffle events. If your school has a woodshop, organize a parents’ workshop to build toys and other objects toward the fundraising. Even if your school doesn’t have a shop, you can offer the log-sawing contest and put up a booth to demonstrate some woodworking activities and to sell items donated by woodworkers from your community. It’s a great way to spread the word about our craft, and perhaps spark interest among teachers and parents that might lead to some future woodworking activity in the school!