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Maker Scouts Moving Forward


Maker Scouts Moving Forward

So  a lot of thought has been put into Maker Scouts so far but it is time for action. There are two tasks that need to get done for Maker Scouts to move onto the next level. First we need to define leadership roles. I want to explain this a bit. Maker Scouts will be maintained as a transparent and open organization. This site will be maintained and discussions will continue to occur here. Everyone's participation is appreciated and encouraged. However, we need some people to step up and take responsibility so that we can get tasks done. These might be things like drafting a Maker Scout Handbook, making marketing materials, curating curriculum, or writing a newsletter. It also means that you will need to be involved in regular planning sessions via google hangout or something similar (think every other week). If you are interested in being one of these people leave a comment and we will begin organizing the team.

The second task is starting our test tribes. If you have a kid and want to organize one let us know. We are also working on some marketing materials so that it will be easier to talk to interested parents and child based organizations like BBBS and schools. This is going to require some early footwork to get a small group started. Once it is running there will be weekly Maker Scout meetings and the planning required for each week's meeting. If you are someone who wants to do this please leave a comment and let us know.
I appreciate everyone's enthusiasm so far and I hope that we can move Maker Scouts forward.

Bright Regards,
Jarick Cammarato

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im in for the google hangout meeting, making any material we need, ie (handbooks, marketing material and so forth,). i think when we have our first google plus, our first order of business should be define leader roles for maker scouts because i think it may get a bit confusing if we try to origanize it over text. i also want to try to get a test troop togeather but i want to make sure we have agreed on the proper ages for crews and how big they should be so on and so forth. you know im in for what ever u guys need. thanks and see you on our first g+ meeting (we need to get a time and date for that to)


I'm in it full on. I have talked with Sam in Berkeley about helping with the Maker Scouts tribe that would be attached to Ace Monster Toys (and Hackermoms?) in Oakland/Berkeley. I've also talked to Budi at Jigsaw Rennaisance about helping to launch a Maker Scout tribe up in Seattle, too.

Include me in hangouts and such, please.


I'm interested in helping set things up either in Chicago or Indianapolis (I live in Chicago but have many ties in Indy.) Include me on any Google Plus Hangout details for certain. Douglas Lee Miller New Media Manager


Hi Jarick,

I'm interested in helping with the logistics on this. We're working on bootstrapping a hackerspace for mothers in Palo Alto. We're not ready to coordinate any groups yet, but it is a natural relationship. I'm also in contact with Lisha in Berkeley.



Jarick, I'm going to ask Meghan Koven (here in this group) to start scheduling G+ hangouts according to the Strategic Timeline we developed so we can help move some of this work forward--at least schedule regular events where we can talk and work together.

I know Bucketworks is interested in hosting a tribe; I'm thinking of Pete Prodoehl and a few others who I know have children, as I do.


Sounds good. Let's try and keep meetings sometime during the Fri-Sun time frame as this deconflicts with work schedules and time zone differences.


Hey folks! I'm a new addition over @Bucketworks in MKE -- very very interested in this project. My background is alternative/community education and the arts. I've designed and facilitated several small scale community programs for kids and teens (infant-16ish). I've done the camp thing, the class thing, the workshop thing, the club thing -- and have tons of ideas. Was also a girl scout (so I have scouting background, enough to have a really solid framework for reinvention/deconstruction/inspiration.)

I've got a pretty solid following of families with kids of all ages in the Milwaukee/Waukesha area and only see that growing, so I probably *already* have kids enough for a test tribe. I've also got a pretty solid understanding of ability/value based assessment and critera creation for constructing meaningful activities which are measurable and enduring. 

I'm currently working on a creative education start-up emphasizing play and personal-wellness in Milwaukee. Basically - I'm an idea person, educator, entreprener, animal-lover, and artist, and I can do anything from admin/planning to facilitating/coordinating to marketing/research. Would love to help. My experience with makerspaces is limited, but that's about to change and I'm kind-of a fast learner. 

@Jarickc FRI-SUN works for me for G+ hangouts.

RE: Activity creation - probably a good idea to have people with strengths in each "field" brainstorm several potential activities (responding to timelines) and then connections can be made from there. Wondering if your entire stucture needs to be to priority (looking @principles and vision statement) before activity creation, as there are a million things to teach, but it's important to design activities with core values in mind as it's easy to focus on technique & details & practice while ignoring deeper meaning (schools do this *all the time*) 

These principles - are these things we want to embody or cultivate in others? Those two things are connected but not always the same. Our openness, for example, might facilitate the cultivation of curiosity in scouts (essential root value for self-directed learning and creation). If openness is the end result, then this needs to be better defined. Why should anyone care about openness? These things need to be framed and made obvious.

I think values like self-efficacy and culture creation and self-awareness are things that children don't get enough of, and are also really important if we want to promote values like sustainability and compassion and community (if you don't know who you are, how could you possibly know/care about other people or other parts of the world?). I would advise adding reflective values to your list, and making them explicit and outspoken!

I am kind of a canon of thoughts and reflections, so put me to work. I can ask questions, write content, coordinate meetings, make-art, write lesson plans, create lists of resources, connect with families, research, ramble, perform strange rituals, invent games and so on. Hope you don't mind me jumping in! I would love to work on this. You folks are doing something amazing here. :)



Hello Everyone,

I'm the new Operations person here at the School Factory, and I'm happy to join the team!

Before accepting this position, I was theExecutive Director at ArtWorks for Milwaukee who exclusively serves minors, so I've been thinking about this project from a liability standpoint.

Working with minors is very rewarding, but it requires significant attention to legal liability issues. For example, any adult that is working with minors needs to have a Criminal Background Check completed. In Wisconsin, it's a $7/person process that can be accomplished online. I don't know what the requirements or processes are for other states. Essentially we have to prove that we've done due diligence with the people that have contact with minors.

I have created a couple of documents (attached below) for you all to look at and consider:

These documents are by no means set in stone, so please leave me your feedback.

Additionally, the School Factory is drafting a policy Handbook for all School Factory staff, contractors and volunteers. It has an Acknowledgement Page included with it, which each person would need to sign (and store electronically?) on an annual basis. I'm really hoping to have this document completed by the end of July to roll out to everyone.

I will respond separately to getting a bi-weekly meeting set up over the weekends, to help everyone's availability and time zones.


One of the other things I do is coaching figure skating. Since US Figure Skating is a national organization, it uses a national background check instead of a local state-by-state one. I think that this may have advantages for us also. The down side is that it costs more. My annual background check for US Figure Skating costs $25. I don't know if we really need to do background checks every year for Maker Scouts. (I've always thought that an annual background check is a bit over the top!)

US Figure Skating does background screenings through NCSI which specializes in this sort of background checking for people who work with kids.


I'm not sure that a national background check is needed, but maybe I'm being optimistic. I do think each Makerscout tribe does need to conduct a background check for all the adults involved with that tribe, which would be good for one year.

In Wisconsin, the resource to get this done is: There are additional free resources (In WI there's but these public record sites have notoriously bad/outdated information, and no HR Department I know of relies exclusively on them.

I would think each Makerscout space would need to use the School Factory's 501c3 EIN to set up an account so background checks could be billed at the nonprofit rate (In WI it's $7) and be billed monthly.

Is Makerscouts planning on having tribes anywhere other than WI to start?


Yes--we're thinking there are at least three spaces to start which would be a good home base for a new tribe: Bucketworks in Milwaukee, All Hands Active in Ann Arbor MI, and Hackermoms Mothership in Oakland CA. We have to start contacting those spaces now, and see what they think of the idea and if they have some likely reach to parents. I'm basing this on the existing educational activities at these spaces plus a high level of family / kids participation.

See Near-Term Strategy (Book page in Makerscouts)


Hello Everyone,

In order to move the Makerscouts Program development forward, I'd like to get a bi-weekly Skype call/work session set up.

I have created a Doodle (schedule availability tool), and need you to respond to it with your availability to meet via Skype.

Please note that I am sending out this Doodle for the FIRST SESSION ONLY. I am assuming that your response to this session means you are available every 2 weeks after this first session at the SAME DATE & TIME.

Once a bi-weekly date & time is established I will send out an Agenda for each session based on the Near-Term Strategy (Book page in Makerscouts)

Thanks for taking care of this task as soon as possible.


A friendly reminder:

In order to move the Makerscouts Program development forward, I'd like to get a bi-weekly Skype call/work session set up.

SEE COMMENT #9:  I have created a Doodle (schedule availability tool), and need you to respond to it with your availability to meet via Skype.

Please note that I am sending out this Doodle for the FIRST SESSION ONLY. I am assuming that your response to this session means you are available every 2 weeks after this first session at the SAME DATE & TIME.


I put my times in. I'm really looking forward to this discussion.


I Responded to the Doodle, and just now when I looked at the Doodle it had my comment but not my "yes" "no" and "maybe" answers. Should I put my answers in again?? :/ - Lish


I put in my availablity.. which is limited in the calendar given as I am traveling tues/wed (yeah it takes a while to go 6000mi .. nearly the breadth of USA.)

I take it the Doodle calendar had timezones setup as it didnt show any or give me any options to show in HST.


There may also be some best practices to be learned from City Year's City Heroes & Young Heroes programs. City Year is a national service organization through Americorps. City & Young Heroes was the high school and middle school equivalent, where weekend overnight retreats were held to discuss different topics (environmentalism, racism, LGBTQ, abuse, etc.) and followed up with a community service project associated with the topic the following weekend. I worked with high school students in Seattle in the City Heroes program 07-08.

City Year has completely revamped their programing to almost entirely focus on early childhood interventions, so these programs do not actually run anymore (as of last year I believe). I've asked a friend to put me in touch with the program managers at their Boston HQ who ran these programs. There may be some guiding principles and I'm sure tons of literature on how to run a teen and pre-teen program across 20 states. It may be especially useful if Maker Scouts will include overnights. 

Here is a quick look at Young heroes

Let me know if you have any specific questions for whoever I speak with.


Happy 4th of July every one cant wait for the meeting.


So far, 4 people have responded with their availability for these meetings. Saturday, 7/7 at 3:00 pm CST is looking to be the best so far for everyone who has responded, but I will keep this Doodle open until tomorrow before making a final decision.

Please -- If you haven't yet responded and want to be involved with the development of the Makerscouts program, doso by noon tomorrow. I will close out the Doodle & communicate the scheduling decision then.


Well Unfortunetly I'll be going to work at that time (I'm working Midsshifts in my rotation now) so I have to pass. :( 



Bi-weekly Makerscout meeting has been scheduled for every other Saturday from 3:00 - 4:00 PM CST. The first meeting will take place on Saturday, July 7, 2012 (tomorrow.)  Please mark your calendars accordingly.

The meeting agenda (draft) can be found by clicking here.

Someone will need to make a copy of this Google Doc and record minutes from each meeting. These meeting minutes can be stored along with the agendas in the same Google Drive folder.

This meeting will take place via Skype. Username for James is Bucketworks.



there are two bucketsworks on skype which one is james.

im onetearfalls1 on skype 

thanks very much 


Meeting is at 11am HST tomorrow ... on calendar.

On a sorta related note ...


Back in early June I got an invite from the folks at the Curiosity Machine about a contest for kids to build a working (toy) submarine and answer some questions about how it works, etc.  One of our Maui Makers Kids (Shion, 10yo) took up the challenge (video on youtube) and was notified today yesterday that he won the "Be Brave" category -- and gets an iPad for his work!! 
Note there were several "adults" who played with the sub and had at least as much fun as Shion.... myself included. :-)


Well I guess I'll see you guys in August when I'm not working weekends. :)



We are getting going on the meeting. Hit me up on Skype if you want to join us! (bucketworks)


Bummer - my time zone management had it off by 1hr.

Suggestion - next time you schedule using Doodle, enable Time Zone Support on the enter time slots screen.  This is especially important with a widely dispersed invite list like ours.


I also missed the meeting today despite thinking that I had the meeting set with an alarm in my calendar. Did the minutes get written up in the same place as the agenda?

- lisha

On Jul 7, 2012 3:07 PM, "Jerry Isdale" <> wrote:


Thanks for the Doodle suggestion Jerry.


yes they did. We made it most of the way through item 4. We delegated some responsibilities but keep an eye for the next couple weeks as we do the work. Stay involved and add comments. Then we can all convine on the 21st at 4 pm EST, 3 CST, 2 pm MST, 1 pm PST, and 11 am HAST. Sorry if I am excluding Contintnetal Alaskans but you should be able to figure it out.  


Great meeting today; we made good progress:

  • Vision, mission, principles are a go for now; we'll review them later but shift focus to the 'what' from the 'why'
  • Focus is on Activity Template Design, Activity Design, and Invitation Design for the next step in the Short-Term Plan
  • Next meeting we'll review progress and work our way down the same agenda from 4j onward.

All input is appreciated!


Hi there.  I just signed up here and am very excited about Maker Scouts.  I have three kids, ages 5, 7, and 9.  All interested in the electronics and programming stuff that I do for fun at home.  I'll try and sign into the next meeting to get a feel for where things are, but wanted to offer my help.

I do more Google Talk / Hangouts than Skype, but I do have a Skype account.  How exactly do I go about joining the next meeting on the 21st?


Just logon to skype and call myself (Makelab Charleston) or James (Bucketworks).


Share your skype ID and I will add you to the call!




Thanks to all who participated in today's call: 

Tai, Dan, Matt Smith, Lisha, Paul, and James

What did we do? Review excellent progress, welcome two new leaders, and plan our next steps!

On the task of creating an Activity Template:

  • Tai made great progress: Activity Template (Book page in Makerscouts)
  • We made some additions to the template thanks to good suggestions from Lisha, Paul, Dan, and Matt in the Google Doc
  • We observed that the four starter adventures might take more than one 'activity' so decided to connect them with a larger arc
  • Tai will work on a template for the 'Adventure' or 'Arc' which is a cover sheet for a string of related activities based on the existing template: See related Task and example 'arc' or 'adventure' template

On the task of creating 3-5 Sample Activities:

  • Progress from Jarick (who was out this week due to his wife coming due! Congratulate Jarick--maybe by the next call Aug 4 we will know weight and eye color of his new life!), who made excellent lists of skills and activities, and boiled them into three starting arcs or adventures, "Balsa Glider", "Box Banjo" and "Beedroom Security System" (see thread)
  • Example from Lisha on the "Computer Simulator [sic]" (see thread)
  • All members agreed that we'd proceed with these as our starting activities, subject to some input which is contained in the google docs
  • All are invited to continue work on defining the four initial adventures based on Tai's activity template by the time of our next session Aug 4 - see Create title and teaser for 3-5 Activities (Task in Makerscouts)

On the task of creating a kit that we can use to distribute and print Makerscouts activities:

  • Dan made excellent progress with an image that can be extended
  • We also, while talking about the template, realized we need a danger rating! 
  • Dan will work on a 'fingers chopped' rating graphic for the next meeting so facilitators know how hard something is
  • Now that we have four initial activities, Dan can work on initial badges for these!

Finally, we continued the agenda for item 4, discussing how to measure our success. Paul, a new member, has been volunteered by Lisha to take on the task of Develop a template of assessments and questions for Makerscouts (Task in Makerscouts) so we can connect the dots to outcomes that matter to future funders and supporters. (See also: Measures of Impact (Book page in Makerscouts))

Next talk: Aug 4, where we'll continue with item 5, 6 and beyond and review progress. Thanks again!


Check out the Makerspace Playbook for information about safety considerations -- Pages 15-17

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