Each September my boys’ elementary school puts on the annual Fun Run. It’s our only school fundraiser where the kids collect pledges for laps run around the school parking loop tracks. At the beginning of the event, the entire school comes together for the kick-off. Along with music and announcements, the fifth graders have the honor of running behind the PACE car for one lap. This signifies the official start of the event. It’s quite an affair and takes many volunteers to coordinate the day. Last year I signed up for class picture taker. This year I was asked to contribute to the decoration committee as well. Right up my alley! Specifically I would be decorating the PACE truck in our theme: the Wild West.
Of course, things never go as planned, and this was no exception! To start with, I had only one week to come up with a design, purchase materials, and complete the project. That should be ample time for anyone to knock out some simple signs or decorations, but I pride myself on being an “artist” and wanted to come up with something unique and creative. I was told that we would have a Jeep Cherokee for our vehicle. So, I came up with a pretty elaborate concept to “dress up” the jeep as a Wild West Chuck Wagon.
Three days before the event, a truck still hadn’t been secured and so I switched my design to something more versatile and simple that should work with any truck: a Cowboy hat and mustache for the top and front grill of the truck, a “Chuck Wagon” sign to hang off the back, and “Wanted” and “Sheriff” posters for the sides. A few days before the big event, a parent graciously volunteered a beautiful antique Ford pick-up truck. Finally, it was coming together!
I used black foam core as the base for the mustache and hat, scoured the internet for images of cowboy hats and western-style mustaches, then drew and painted the pieces. I used our school’s logo as an ornamental piece on the hat and for a couple of the posters. The posters were created from plain white poster board. I painted the backgrounds to look like wood and then lettered the signs using a western-style font.
Of course, not being an engineer, I didn’t account for the wind blowing by the truck as it circled the pavement. My signs would not stay in place 😦 We decided to scrap using the decorations on the vehicle and used them for classroom picture props instead. Yippee- Kio!