Kite Contest

Event Start Date:
May 9, 2020
Event End Date:
May 9, 2020
Event Venue:

Due to COVID-19, our Kite Contest Event has been modified. There will no longer be a picnic – it will be a “do it on your own” event.

We are encouraging every daughter in the California Wild to make a kite with their dad. You can do this entirely on your own if you prefer, or you can use the materials that the expedition is supplying. Starting soon, you will be able to pick up materials needed to make a kite – the materials will be put in a box on the front porch of one of your circle leader’s house. Specific information regarding the time the boxes will be delivered to the designated houses, and the address of the designated houses will be emailed to each circle (and your circle leadership will also let you know soon).

Each daughter can get (2) 24in x 24in light-weight papers, (2) 1/8in x 3ft super-light weight balsa wood sticks, (2) 1/8in x 3ft birch rods, (2) ribbons, and (1) 100ft spool of thread. This is enough material to actually make 2 kites (but only 1 string). The reason is that I bought the balsa wood, and realized that while it is ideal for being light weight and making it really easy to get the kite to fly in the air, it breaks easily if it is not handled fairly gentle. So I ended up ordering birch wood to be more sturdy.  Each daughter/dad can feel both woods for themselves and decide which they want to use – and if one breaks then they will have a back up set of rods. UPDATE: The balsa wood breaks if there is a good breeze, so you probably don’t want to use the balsa wood. The round birch rods have withstood a moderate breeze very well so far.

Try to assemble the kite by Saturday, May 9, and email or text a picture of the kite to your circle navigator. The daughter who makes the best looking kite from each circle will get a $5 e-gift card from either Cold Stone Creamery or Amazon. And an extra $20 e-gift card will be given to the one that is the best looking from the entire expedition. The deadline to email/text your circle navigator a picture is May 9 by 11:59pm. Winners will be chosen May 10/May 11, and notification will occur shortly after that. We encourage dad and daughter to find a local place that they can fly the kite together on May 9 – please respect social distancing.

Below are some photos and instructions for how to assemble a simple kite – I tested it on my street with almost no wind at all and it was still pretty easy to get in the air with just a light jog (when made with the balsa wood rods). You can use any design you want – you do not have to use my simple design below. You can use any materials you want – you do not have to use the materials supplied. If you buy a “DIY” kite kit online, it must have a blank/white material that your daughter can color/decorate in order to compete in the “best looking” contest mentioned above.

NOTE: you probably will want to finish Step 3, and then remove the rods and have your daughter color/decorate the paper, and then tape the rods back on and complete the rest of the steps.

Step 1 – place the rods in a “lowercase t” pattern as shown below. I measured 14mm above the side corners to position the side-to-side rod. I placed the up-and-down rod in the middle. I then used Scotch Tape to affix the rods in place.

Step 2 – cut the excess wood from the rods (scissors worked fine for me on both wood types).

Step 3 – draw a straight line from the corners to the bottom

Step 4 – cut along the lines to remove the excess paper

Step 5 – tie the ribbon to the bottom

Step 6 – tie the string to the point where the two wood rods intersect. Tie it in a manner that also holds the two rods together. I have demonstrated a simple way to do so below – by passing the spool through the loop of the string.

Step 7 – I discovered during testing of the kite that it worked better when a little extra scotch tape was used to hold the paper to the rods at a few extra spots

Step 8 – go fly the kite