2nd Annual Fathers Day Make 'N' Take, June 26, 2013
From William Mitchell, IPMS# 45531:
We held our second annual Father's Day Make 'N' Take at Bakersfield,California's Beale Memorial Library this year on June 15, the Saturday before Father's Day. Last year's event was quite a success, with fifty-one modelers building F-14 Tomcats. This year was a little different. Our team of five adult modelers arrived at the library about half an hour before show time to make sure we were set up. The library had tables ready in the auditorium, and we set out the kits. Ten minutes before things were supposed to start, the library was very quiet; not a soul was waiting at our door. I began to wonder if all of our effort was for naught.
However, right at 2pm, a mom, with her little boy in hand, came through the door, and more followed after her. I'm not sure where everyone came from, but we had a steady stream come through the doors until all of the tables were filled. The rest would have to wait for the second shift. For the first hour, our young modelers built either F-14 Tomcats left over from last year, or this year's airplane, the F-18 Blue Angels Hornet. It didn't take too long until the first mother and child team were finished building their F-18, and I am not sure who was more pleased, the mother or her little girl. As always, there was some creative building, with the most original approach being all the different ways the F-18's vertical stabilizers could be inserted. Our team members were on our feet going from table to table offering assistance where needed and passing out IPMS brochures to those interested. The second group of new model builders came through the door at three. Our kit for this session was the more complex 1963 Split-Window Corvette Coupe, and it took a little longer to complete. Nevertheless, throughout the Make 'N' Take, as young builders finished with their models, they came to us with big smiles on their faces to show us their handiwork; I am sure we started a new hobby for many of those families.
The challenge for doing a Make 'N' Take in Bakersfield is that there do not appear to be any other IPMS members here in town. So, my team of adult builders was culled from friends, family, and from colleagues at Bakersfield College, where I work. What may sound scary is that I am the only experienced modeler in the bunch. However, courtesy of a VISA card, we had procured kits of the models the kids would build, and had our own Make 'N' Take before we drove over to the library, so we all had a good idea what issues might come up. Another help is that our Make 'N' Take required that all of the youngsters be accompanied by an adult who would share the experience. With all of this adult supervision, we were sure to succeed - or so I hoped.
Our initial fear that no one was going to show up was altogether wrong. We had seventy-two teams complete their models! So our Second Annual Make 'N' Take turned out to be a great success.
If other members of our society are by themselves in their area and do not have a local IPMS chapter, it is quite possible to bring our hobby to the public through the presentation of a Make 'N' Take. The use of inexperienced modelers for our adult team worked very well. My colleagues each have a new skill, and their own models, to serve as reminders of a great day surrounded by happy kids, equally happy parents, and the models they all built. It doesn't get much better than that.
There was a fair amount of preparation involved for our Make 'N' Take; the Beale's head librarian worked with me to schedule time, resources, and logistical support; the Friends of the Beale Library provided financial support for getting the kits from IPMS to Bakersfield; and my team of builders came from locations near and far. Thanks to Jim Brooks and IPMS for all of the help and support that was so essential to make the Second Annual Father's Day Make 'N' Take at the Beale Memorial Library in Bakersfield such a wonderful day.