Sprucing up the Den

Sprucing up the Den

At least 23 (probably more) Pax participated in a #CNAUI (Completely Necessary and Utterly Important) by heading to Waxhaw Elementary for some manual labor kind of 3rd F.

Warm Up

About 10 days ago, I saw a tweet from the school, asking for help to clean the areas around the school. My M works there, so I checked in with her about it. “Yeah,” she sighed, “Not expecting a lot of turnout there. I can’t get parents to show for Field Day, holiday parties, or even PTO events. And with a new principal in place, there will probably be even fewer people.”
She’s awesome at her job, and loves most every day there, but the parental involvement has always been lacking since she’s been there. With our 2.0’s having been in Marvin & Cuthbertson cluster schools, we are well aware of what a highly involved community looks like on the inside.

So it seemed like a good time to do what I could to help.

Step 1 – sign up my family to volunteer.
We have a thing in our family called Super Summer Saturday (#protip: things sound more fun when you use alliteration) where we try to create a memory. It could be putt-putt, or a museum, or anything we can find. This would be our first time making S3 a service project (S4?).

Step 2 – Throw the idea out to the Pax.
Imagine my surprise when this #DancingIdiot gets the #FirstFollower in Bottlecap (see video for leadership explanation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW8amMCVAJQ). With the speed of joining, we quickly move to…

Step 3 – Realize your bluff has been called. Go all in.
Now begins the Weasel Shaking Marketing™. Unrelenting BoneFrog-like announcements across every media, scattered throughout the day. Attend a workout every day to talk about it more. Call out positive deviants.

Step 4 – Pax raise the ante. Realize there is a higher level of all in-ness.
Now enough Pax have hopped on AND asked good questions I didn’t even think about, so I have to start calling the school every day to figure out if WXES could handle F3. They don’t know what’s coming.

Step 5 – Understand the Last Minute Larry
While we have gotten better as a region to commit to an endeavor before the last minute, it’s still in our DNA. Don’t fight it; invite it!
Unfortunately, that means having to attend Wolverine’s Q at Commitment. Even as I see others leave early to pick up family or tools, I know I need to stay for the final announcement. But it pays off – 15 of the Commitment Pax show up (6 of which didn’t fill out the Sign Up Genius)!

The Thang

The fam pulls up on Posse/Jingles time. SO MANY Pax! Dasher is already power washing; Spike, JWow, La-Z-Boy, & Legalized are spreading mulch. I can see an immediate difference between F3 & everyone else. We’re getting after it, while others are waiting to be told what to do. For example, I hear one person say, “Well, I signed up to paint the playground equipment. I’m just waiting here for them to tell me which playground and where the paint is.” Before F3, I could have seen that as a reasonable volunteer remark. Not anymore.

As I try to thank guys for coming out, I’m dismissed with a “What’s next?”
I don’t know. I’m just volunteering like you.

<Sigh.> I’m the Q here, aren’t I?

Even though I’ve never met or spoken to the Principal, I start talking to her to get a feel for what is on the list. I’ll just get the comz going until things settle down. Then I can dig into a task.

Before I get going to the other side of the school, Mad Dog & La-Z-Boy have already assessed there’s not enough mulch and are going out to get some more. This will happen again in another 30 minutes. MD is working the free angle with Lowe’s, but they only give it to him at cost. He’s out about $125. Others contribute cash on site. I say that only if you feel led to dig in your sofa for change.

Brutus, Rockwell, Rudy and others find every shovel in a 5-mile radius to plant bushes & trees.

As I go from one station to the other, I try to walk calmly & confidently. But I can’t stop picking up the energy you people are putting down. My non-adamantium legs are shot from Wolverine’s workout, but I HAVE to run. I didn’t have my phone with me, so I’ll guess I ran 48, maybe 49, miles around the school. I know I’m not fast, but I felt great out there.

People are coming and going. Now I can’t stop finding things for people to do. But we’re getting things done so fast, and we’re running out of supplies. #GoodNewsBadNews

In between some moments, I’m able to talk with Schedule C for the semi-first time ever. Great guy; is considering helping with the MASH stuff here soon (consider / maybe = Hard Commit).

My family has hit their time limit, and most of the Pax have taken off as well. But Shop Dawg is #NextManUp on the power washer. Dude was one of the Commitment / No SUG guys, and he’s STILL here working! #HIM

Radar shows up towards the end. I shake my head at Radar. He told me at Commitment he:
1. Doesn’t know where WXES is, but will head there to work.
2. Has an appointment out by the airport, but will be back to WXES to finish up.
I said, “You weren’t called a moron growing up, were you? Cause that’s a dumb idea. There’s no reason to do that.”
Now, I’m the one who’s the dummy. There’s a second power washer that can help Shop Dawg, and Radar’s the only one with experience left to do it. Together, they finish the main entrance to the front door. And it looks amazing!

Finally, some time to EH some Waxhaw PD & the Principal’s husband. The Principal lives in Indian Trail, but I didn’t tell him there are AO’s near him. #SorryNotSorry
I saw several other Sad Clowns who could benefit from F3. Hope they got an EH, too.


While I’ve tried to describe the events, I’m still at a loss for describing the amount of sheer pride I felt today. The level of energy, efficiency, effort – you were all so far beyond everyone else…it was chess vs. checkers. There was a level of camaraderie where we wanted to work together, and we knew how to work together well. It was addictive, and I wish I could have been a bigger part of that with you.

Regardless if you participated, I encourage you to drive by the school. It will be readily obvious what was done, both on the front & in the back. Perhaps a Floater Q could take you on a tour? Especially if you brought a 2.0, you should absolutely go by there. Help them connect what their effort, plus the combined efforts of others, can do to make a difference.

I’ve said to some of you my wife’s feelings about F3 – likes the results, just not the process. In other words, likes the extra energy out of me to play with the kids, do more stuff, etc. But doesn’t like that means a daily 4:37 AM alarm or working out while she gets ready for work. Today, though, she realized that the results that we produced at the school could have ONLY come from putting that work in every morning (or Thursday afternoon). It was a different conversation this afternoon, thanks to all of you.

If you ask my kids, they would initially say that SSS’s are boring / no fun / waste of time. I asked their thoughts after this sprucing: “This was the best one ever!” Your kids are like my kids; they want to feel useful. To have an impact. To make a difference. They have probably absorbed so much from screens (or just forced to be passive observers in general) that they yearn to do some work that matters (but not before yelling that they don’t want to do that [that’s the mumble chatter you’ve come to expect as a Q]). Just like when you Q, focus not on what’s said, but what’s being done.


Officer Vic said that there was going to be some backpack giveaway going on at the school soon. Yes, a large portion of the WXES population is in a financially vulnerable spot. If I hear more info, I’ll pass it along.

The F3 Union County shirts that you saw just happen to be on sale RIGHT NOW:
This order closes at midnight on 8/7/19. It will be 6 -12 months before the order will open up again.
Caveat Emptor, however – WUC’s new region name & logo will be coming out soon with a very small ordering window. If cost is a factor in your decision buying process, you may want to hold off just a bit.

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