This episode is something special. I was honored to be asked by a former guest of the show, Albert Marasco, to participate as a counselor for his inaugural manufacturing camp, called Base Camp. They has selected 13 students to participate via an online application and they rented in age from 11 to 13 years old. During the week the campers learned how to start a business, design a product, and then manufacture that product that would be customized for a local small business. In this episode I ask them about their views of manufacturing and their experience with the camp. Here’s a little background on what how the camp went…
The week began with students hearing from 5 local business owners about the features they would like in a custom bicycle. The business owners also silently wrote down a bid they were willing to pay if they were chosen by the students to be the one to receive the custom bicycle. The campers then broke down the features requested and determined how long it would take to build each of the custom bicycles. In the end they chose to do a custom bike for a local brewery, Reclaimed Rails Brewing Company.
Before getting hands on the kids had to do some planning around the process of designing and building the custom bicycle. They toured the facility so they could get an idea of the resources. They were also provided with many “reclaimed parts” from old projects and scrap in order to match the customer’s brand and belief in up-cycling.
As the week wend on the kids were able to learn a variety of new skills and use a wide array of tools. They learned how to weld, plasma cut, bend, CAD design, laser cut, drill, mill, powder coat, and more.
Throughout the week there were several other local business owners lined up to come in and serve as mentors for the kids. There were several Q&A sessions but they also worked hands on with the kids as they worked on their project.
In addition to the mentors, several other folks came in and spoke with the kids on topics such as servant leadership, product liability, and entrepreneurship. They group also engaged in discussion on building confidence, a personal philosophy on life, and ways other than money to define a successful life.
The week finished with a massive hog roast celebration with nearly a hundred folks in attendance. The bicycle was unveiled to the crowd that included the business owners from the beginning of the week. The students took a few minuted explaining what had been done to create the bicycle and the challenges they had to overcome throughout the week. Every single camper said they wanted to come back and participate in the future.
Thanks for listening!