Round Pine Dining Tables. Poker And Dining Table.
For the last about 15 years I've painted table rocks for families (both staff and campers) at our camp. The rocks go on the dining
to reserve a certain number of spaces for the families, and tradition says that you have to paint the family name and number on the rock. The rest of the rock is supposed to reflect your family's personality, if you can manage it.
Once long ago a family mentioned to me that it would be nice to have a table rock where he could change the numbers, so that if his kids weren't coming to a particular meal he only needed to save two spaces instead of five. Or eight spaces when his extended family was up for a visit.
I found a smooth black rock with
a hole in it just large enough for a piece of chalk. A bit of paint later; Sharpie marker to darken the "chalkboard", and their table rock was done.
Then over time other staff families wanted similar rocks. But being who I am, I didn't want to repeat myself. I made a rock with
a "speedometer" on it, so that the pounded-in paper-clip pin with
plastic arrow could be pointed down to 'gone' or up to '8'. Daniel squared out a round hole with
a chisel for our rock, so that we could fit a dice inside. I had painted numbered pebbles in a film canister with
Each of the solutions had their problems. The chalk-rock got dusty over time and people stole the chalk. The dice number got changed in between meals by curious campers. The speedometer peg fell out of its hole. The pebbles got lost or stolen.
It's become a game over time, to find the perfect solution. This rock, for the new camp director who arrives this winter, has a magnet glued on the top, a magnetic secret compartment on the bottom, and nine number magnets. It's a good deal fancier than my previous rocks. But still not perfect.
The "foamie" base with
secret compartment does protect the rock from scratching the varnished pine tables
, but it looks glaringly fake under the front... and the hinged lid is held together with electrical tape, which will fall apart. For the next rock I fear I'll have to borrow Daniel's machine shop!
And I don't know this new family yet, so making a rock for them is a bit of guesswork. An outdoorsy family, I'm told, with three boys and one girl... so I picked a pine bough and a cedar branch for decoration.
Bubbie joined me for my photo-shoot in the fading light of the front window. He really would like a rock of his own with a secret compartment. So even if this table rock falls apart in the next year or two, I'm hoping it will be fun for the new family when they come.