Sometime Mid October …… It begins!
Mid October there is an event unlike any other in Gillette Wyoming. The Father Son Duct Tape Duel is an event for Fathers and Sons to build a project from a pile of junk and duct tape. It is a lot of fun and there are some great sponsors.
Starting at 5:30 you and your son(s) check in. After being assigned your tape you proceed to the supply line. Sponsors have all kinds of stuff. Boxes, Paint Sticks, Tongue Depressors, Water Bottles, Pipe Cleaners, Plastic Tubes, Etc.
It is best to have some idea of what you are trying to accomplish. There are a lot of supplies to choose from and it can be overwhelming.
Once you are through the line you have about 2.5 hours to build your project. During that time they have food, drinks, and cake. Once the time is up everyone brings their project to a judging area.
The winners get a prize or something. We have never come close to winning so I can’t remember what the prizes were. Whether you win or not, everyone gets a certificate showing they were there, which is nice.
Building your tape project is a lot of fun. It brings up all kinds of questions and ideas. I learned things about how my sons think and how they solve problems that wouldn’t normally come up. It was a new way of seeing them.
Going more than one time let me see how they changed over the years. How one year they were both really into helicopters and the next year they were into hovercraft. Getting to see them be little problem solvers is a lot of fun. When taking pictures of the final product they always look so proud.
While the whole event is pretty loose on structure there are ways you can ruin it for everyone else. Here are a few things to avoid.
Try to hold back from taking all of the supplies. There is only so much to go around so you may need to supervise what your son grabs. I have had my boys show up with way too many paint stir sticks or all of the plastic bottles. Get only what you need and share the supplies.
I feel this is the biggest “dont” ….. No one came to see a grown man construct a crude model of something while his son watches!! This is supposed to be a project for you and your son to bond over. Yet year after year I see fathers building furiously while their sons wander around. No one is impressed and it wastes your time and everyone else’s.
Finally, don’t be ass. If you and your son have a less than favorable opinion about someone else’s project feel free to keep that to yourself. These events attract all kinds of people and I find some of them don’t have basic manners. Keep it classy folks!
Do come on time or a little bit early. I have never seen them run out of supplies. However, they run out of certain types of supplies. Showing up early will help ensure you get what you need for your project.
Do let your son take the lead on most of the project. I find that my son has a better imagination than me and I am better at helping with execution. I may be able to make a life-size replica of blah blah blah, but it’s supposed to be about the kids.
Do have fun and Don’t take it too seriously. It’s about spending time together, not creating a masterpiece. If I get too focused on winning or creating something in just the right way, the project can go from fun and light hearted, to something that feels more like a chore.
For more information on the event and how to register here is the link to the official page. Below is the link to the Facebook page as well. Have fun and hope to see you there.