This weekend I went over to central Washington to the small agricultural town of Wenatchee, Washington. Boasting itself as the apple capital of the world, and sitting pretty between the Cascade Mountains and the Columbia River, it is home to farms, wineries, mountain biking, and secretly hosts quite a bit of innovative people. Nearby Boeing tests their planes, and several server farms for major tech companies are housed on the plateau between potato fields and sod farms.
It is also home to a woman that I met via Roller Derby, Brigette Weigand, that happens to be the 2018 Mentor of the Year at the VEX worlds Robotics Competition for her Robotics Team at Foothills Middle School. (Robotics Head Coach Receives Award)
She has also been inducted into the STEM Hall of Fame (https://www.roboticseducation.org/inspiration-all-stars/ )
Needless to say, she is an amazing and inspirational person, and she asked me a few months ago if I would be interested in coming over and doing a booth at the Wenatchee Mini Maker Faire. She had seen the work I did at the other Maker Faires, and figured it would be a good fit for this community. It was! I had a blast! The overall event was shorter and easier than some of the other maker faires, but working with all of the people coming through was a lot of fun. On top of that, I was asked to do a talk about kite flying. This sparked off what I have decided will be one of the next big goals or bucket list items, and that is to give a talk/presentation on the Center Stage at the World Maker Faire!
I would be remiss if I didn't also mention that members of Team Evidence (A kite flying team in Washington State) Scott Davis and Michael Dirk were there helping build kites at the booth. Scott has been a long time friend of mine, and an even longer time friend to Michael. In fact, they were the two that started the whole pairs flying and team flying together that would later grow into Team Evidence about 15 years ago.
Around mid day I did a presentation about indoor kite flying and all things kite related, and was amazed to see not only some very interested kids, but also an old high school friend! We had somewhat stayed in contact over the years via Facebook, but, hadn't seen each other since graduation day. It was good to reconnect, and I am looking for more of those connections in the coming future.
The event left me thinking about a critical question regarding sport kite competition. If as a community we were to completely start sport kite competition from the ground up, completely ditch the current system, how would it look. There seems to be difficulty with figuring out exactly where the place for the Sport Kite world and competition is. The conversation ranged from the extreme to a bit more middle ground, with perhaps no real solution other than the agreement that something needs to change. My hope is that I can continue conversations like this, and people will spark off a grassroots approach to something different. Something a bit more current, a bit less complicated, and a bit more engaging to the public. Perhaps I will write another blog entry and spark off that conversation with more folks.
Much love everyone, I have to unpack my car of all of the kids kites, and fill it with the 'adult kites' and head to Ocean Shores in a few days!!