Monday, July 15, 2013

RFL Camp Reports: Relay Wizards for Spunky Team

By DrFran Babcock

This is a true story about a Relay for Life Camp that came together in through the input, creativity, and hard work of a true team.

When the Status Quo Gets Disrupted

Relay Wizards for Spunky Team Captain Shawna Montgomery planned for her team’s sixth year without a care. She had a solid team, and a builder who was renowned throughout Second Life™ for her skills: Anhayla Lycia. Last year, Anh won the award for the Best Designer Build during 2012’s Relay for Life. So, everything was sweet. That is, until the Relay Committee asked Anhayla if she could do a second build, because they had another parcel available. Shawna did what any competent leader would do, and asked Anh if it would help not to have to build The Relay Wizards campsite this year. That was when she looked at her team roster and decided to ask if I could build the campsite. Oh, and the sims will close to building on July 10th, less than two weeks from the day the request was made! 

Putting Together the Team

This was a situation that called for quick action. Team member, HALEY Salomon, skilled motivator, but not a builder, volunteered team member Thickbrick Sleaford to provide scripting services. I remembered that my friend Catboy Qunhua was running around SL10B volunteering to help people the whole time. I figured I would ask him. 

The hard part was to decide what to do, and I thought about it, until it hit me. I was still thinking about how wonderful SL10B had been, and what wonderful exhibits I had seen. Chaffro Shoomaker had given me a tour of the Raglan Tinies build, and I was struck by the moving platform they had in the air, that Chaffro told me had been scripted by the amazing Panacea Pangea, and used a new function Linden Lab had added to the Linden Scripting Language (LSL)—one that allowed a prim to move an avatar just by standing on it!

Here I Come to Save the Day!

Catboy said yes to my request to build, and quickly demonstrated his Mighty Mouse gesture of rescue: "Here I Come to Save the Day." Thickbrick was excited to try the new scripting function. We decided we wanted to do something that related to history, because it was the 100th anniversary of the creation of the American Cancer Society, and something that used the people mover script. That was how the design for the dioramas throughout history was born. I did a schematic, and we met. Before the meeting was over, Thickbrick had consulted the LSL Wiki, and constructed a large moving walkway. Catboy and I consulted on the history we wanted to highlight, divided up the work, and ran off to build.

 Little by little we constructed the campsite on land set aside on Anhayla’s island, while she, in turn, worked on her two designer builds for the Relay track. Catboy worked secretly in an undisclosed location, and then brought his builds to Anh’s land. Each time he placed another diorama we gaped in wonder, and cheered our growing creation. Thickbrick’s moving sidewalk became a sensation. We started to congregate on it, moving slowly around the growing campsite, chatting, making plans, arguing over decisions about the build, and coming to see the people mover as a kind of Town Square.

 As we neared completion we started to encounter a problem. The center of the build looked very bare, and there were no signs of the mystical and magical landscaping and objects that typified Anhayla’s camps of the past. We put our heads together and Shawna, HALEY, Catboy, Thickbrick, and Anhayla came up with the idea to put all the mystical items in the area that made up the “donut hole” of the people mover. In this way we separated the grim reality o f cancer from the more lighthearted world of dragons and runes—specialties of Anhayla.

Putting It All Together—Telling Stories Camp

I conceptualized the theme of the build on the basis of the way the build turned out, and not the other way around, because our time was so short: Catboy and I on the outside perimeter with our dioramas of history, separated from the mystical world of Anhayla Lycia by the people moving circle made by Thickbrick. Telling the story of the history of cancer and Relay on the outside, and telling stories of magic and mystery on the inside, as a means of escaping from the relentless woe of the cancer. Also, the word telling has a few meanings. Telling means to recount, as in telling a tale or story. Telling, as an adjective means that a telling story is one that is striking or revealing. The stories that we hear on T1 Radio, told by survivors and caregivers, are indeed striking and revealing.

Come visit The Relay Wizards for Spunky campsite at: .

Team photo: Left to Right: Catboy Qunhua, Selina Greene, Shawna Montgomery, HALEY Salomon, katfancy Kiergartan, Brokali, and ρєαяℓч (Pearlygurlee Ducatillon)

Team members missing from photo: Thickbrick Sleaford, Spunky Young, Anhayla Lycia, Amber DeCuir, Arctic Kas, Silverthorn Karu, Explorer Dastardly, Mickey Darkward, Orchid Jameson

By DrFran Babcock

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