Play-Well Summer Kick-Offs: Grown Ups playing with LEGO

At the beginning of every summer, we have our annual Play-Well Summer Kick-Off’s.  It is when we gather all of our instructors in the area to come together to play, learn, and share lessons learned throughout the year in preparation for running awesome programs during the summer.  We do role-playing, we tell stories, we of course build with LEGO, and we ultimately just have fun.  At this year’s kick-offs, we asked our staff “how many of you were that awkward, nerdy kid growing up?”  Almost all of our instructors hands go up.  So, we then tell them that in our camps this summer, we are going to have kids that are just like you, trying to figure out where they belong.  By simply being your full, nerdy self, we give that child permission to do the same.  And even better than learning about the world of engineering, that could be the most memorable lesson they learn that summer: To just be themselves.

Check out pictures from our many kick-offs around the country leading up to summer.

Play-Well Northwest Kick-Off (Seattle, Tacoma, Portland)

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Our Play-Well Northwest Staff recreating the Hadouken Meme, Play-Well Style.

Play-Well East Coast Kick-Off (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey)

It is tradition that we end each of our Play-Well Kick-Offs with the Rock, Paper, Scissors Competition.  This is the Play-Well East Coast one.

It is tradition that we end each of our Play-Well Kick-Offs with the Rock, Paper, Scissors Competition. This is the Play-Well East Coast one.

Here is our strange Play-Well East Coast photo.  Don't mind the person in the middle.

Here is our strange Play-Well East Coast photo. Don’t mind the person in the middle.

Two of our Play-Well Staff still trying to figure out what they built.

Two of our Play-Well Staff still trying to figure out what they built.

David has created a contraption that uses more LEGO Pneumatic tubes that we have ever seen.

David has created a contraption that uses more LEGO Pneumatic tubes that we have ever seen.

 

Our staffer member Michael is building a life size Iron Man Costume and brought in the helmet to show us.

Our staffer member Michael is building a life size Iron Man Costume and brought in the helmet to show us.  And yes, he is wearing the Game of Thrones emblem of the hand, which he 3D printed.

Play-Well East Coast Show & Tell.

Play-Well East Coast Show & Tell.

Play-Well East Coast Staff sharing stories.

Play-Well East Coast Staff sharing stories.

Play-Well Texas Kick-Off

The Play-Well Texas staff in the most calm state.

The Play-Well Texas staff in their most calm state.

This is normal attire at our kick-off meetings.  Play-Well Texas Kick-Off.

This is normal attire at our kick-off meetings. Play-Well Texas Kick-Off.

Still trying to figure what that is. Play-Well Texas Kick-Off.

Still trying to figure what that is. Play-Well Texas Kick-Off.

In Texas, they don't play around.  Everything they do, they do big.

In Texas, they don’t play around. Everything they do, they do big.

During our role-playing workshop, some people truly committed to their roles as kids.

During our role-playing workshop, some people truly committed to their roles as kids.

At the Play-Well Texas Kick-Off, this was a normal meeting.

At the Play-Well Texas Kick-Off, this is considered a normal meeting amongst colleagues.

Play-Well Chicago Kick-Off

Play-Well Chicago staff are quite normal.

Play-Well Chicago staff are quite normal.

At the Play-Well Chicago Kick-Off, Chris finds himself without words during our role-playing workshop.

At the Play-Well Chicago Kick-Off, Chris finds himself without words during our role-playing workshop.

At the Play-Well Chicago Kick-Off, LEGO art was on display.

At the Play-Well Chicago Kick-Off, LEGO art was on display.

Play-Well Mid-Atlantic Kick-Off (Maryland, DC, Virginia)

This is how you spell LEGO with human beings.  Play-Well Mid-Atlantic Kick-Off.

This is how you spell LEGO with human beings. Play-Well Mid-Atlantic Kick-Off.

Bow Ties are ready for staff to wear at the Play-Well Mid-Atlantic Kick-Off.

Bow Ties are ready for staff to wear at the Play-Well Mid-Atlantic Kick-Off.

At the Play-Well Mid-Atlantic Kick-Off (DC, Virginia, & Maryland), a few of us having a lot of fun with the LEGO inventions we made.

At the Play-Well Mid-Atlantic Kick-Off (DC, Virginia, & Maryland), a few of us having a lot of fun with the LEGO inventions we made.

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Play-Well Mid-Atlantic Staff (Maryland, DC, Virginia)

Play-Well Colorado/Utah Kick-Off

These are the normal faces of the Play-Well Colorado & Utah Staff.

These are the normal faces of the Play-Well Colorado & Utah Staff.

When we create stories with LEGO, every piece of furniture is fair game.

When we create stories with LEGO, every piece of furniture is fair game.

Time to hear Tim Talk.

Time to hear Tim Talk.

At the Play-Well Colorado Kick-Off, this team is combining all of the elements from the Avatar.

At the Play-Well Colorado Kick-Off, this team is combining all of the elements from the Avatar.

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