Every workshop leader’s nightmare among earth- and strawbale builders: Rain on day 1 of the workshop- especially for a weekend workshop. There you are, ready with tools, tarps and Straw hat and a handful of curious and excited future cobbers and the sky opens up…
Here are some ideas to keep up the spirit in your group:
- Go outside and meet at the building site: its important not to get stuck in “under cover” or “inside” mode
- Use positive language: gratitude (rain is good for growing…) and avoid talking about the weather .
- Mix mud, even if you can’t build it: people want to learn the feel of the mix.
- Have a fire where people can warm up and even dry a bit: the fire always becomes a community spot and allows people to connect
- At break time serve hot drinks, perhaps some cookies: we like our treats and warm cups =warm hands
- If you have to retreat to shelter use this time to teach about building with earth and natural design: keep it lively with sketching on whiteboard or paper, allow plenty of questions and discussion
- Build models under a roof: models allow creative ideas to develop and people work with mud
- If rain persists, build a temporary roof to work under: now this is something to consider having in place to begin with. A roof not only protects from rain but also provides shade when it gets hot
- Finally: Good food, it feeds the body and lifts the spirits.