Staff from Dulwich College Shanghai gathered at Yangshe Village near Dianshan Lake on the 28th of February to kick off their new year with a team-building activity. They chose to challenge themselves, get their hands dirty and learn a new skill by participating in a carpentry workshop organized by Green Initiatives and Lakeside Commune.
Discarded Wood – Trash or Treasure?
The local village has plenty of old wooden planks, slabs, and used furniture that is regularly discarded by the village inhabitants, which would usually end up in the trash, burnt as firewood, or remain lying around to disintegrate slowly in nature. All very inefficient uses of wood that is still in perfectly usable condition.
Green Initiatives use this opportunity to bring city dwellers to the countryside and teach them a new skill, make them aware of local arts and culture, and provide local village residents with economic opportunities.
The Carpentry Workshop
In our latest team-building workshop, the group from Dulwich College participated in this carpentry session and learned to build furniture using discarded wood, the old fashion way without using any power tools. This session was focused on precision cutting and molding wooden wedges to interlock and form free-standing structures.
The group warmed up and learned some basic carpentry skills with a trial session of measuring and marking, sawing, planning, chipping, and hammering.
The local carpenter patiently guided the group as they went on their mini-project of building a small stool. Since this workshop focused on building interlocking joints, without the use of nails; one miscalculated error or saw in the wrong direction meant redoing the entire piece of wood from scratch.
There were moments of excitement, happiness, frustration, laughter, and finally a sense of achievement as they proudly held up their final completed product. All in all, a great team effort with each one encouraging and covering for others, whenever needed.
Local Village Life
After an inspiring session of using their hands and pushing themselves to new limits, the group settled down to a delicious home-cooked vegetarian meal prepared by one of the villagers, made with some of the locally grown vegetables.
After a satisfying lunch, they took a slow boat ride around the beautiful Dianshan Lake in one of the traditional hand-operated cement boats, once again led by one of the local villagers. An ideal way to wind down the afternoon and prepare to head back to the city.
About Lakeside Commune
The Lakeside Commune located at the beautiful Dianshan Lake, in the suburbs of Shanghai is a vibrant community that pays great attention to the sustainable development of the local ecology and culture and advocates a harmonious lifestyle with nature is at its center.
Through these workshops, Green Initiatives and LAC hope to educate people on how to co-exist with nature by experiencing traditional low carbon lifestyles, encouraging the spread of these eco-friendly traditions, and stimulating a relationship between humans and nature by understanding the idea of “Symbiosis with Nature.”
If you are interested in conducting similar team-building activities or willing to support Dianshan Lakeside Commune, please write to us at email@example.com.