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Robot tree is just one of many variations at Charlie Brown Christmas

Robot tree is just one of many variations at Charlie Brown Christmas

WILLIAMSPORT — Christmas spirit will likely be felt by the presence of elaborate theme-based Christmas trees that will be on display for the public beginning Saturday.

Families can enjoy this sight at the 9th annual Charlie Brown Christmas event that features more than 100 Christmas trees decorated by volunteers at The Barn at Springfield Farm in Williamsport.

The event kicks off 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, on various days for two weeks (see if you go for schedule).

Other activities will include pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Buster the Talking Bear, horse and buggy rides, and holiday performances.

Jeff Davidson, a volunteer for The Washington County 4-H STEM and Robotics Club - along with his wife and co-leader, Kristine, and co-leader Jamie Kenton - helped its members create a nonfunctional robot version Christmas tree.

“If you look at the robot (Christmas tree), you can see a lot of different perspectives, ideas, and personalities coming out in how some of the ornaments are put together and how everybody’s ideas came together to create this really cool looking Christmas tree robot,” Davidson said.

This year will mark the first year that the county’s STEM and robotics club will participate in the Charlie Brown Christmas event, although other clubs within the county’s 4-H club have decorated Christmas trees for the event in the past.

Altogether, 10 members of the STEM and robotics club created the tree in which the process began with a group meeting in October.

The members discussed different projects and ways to promote the club, and afterward, all agreed to participate in the Charlie Brown Christmas event.

Initially, the plan was to use pipes to create the robot frame to decorate, but instead, the members decided to use two-by-fours and screws to make the construction easier and less expensive, according to Davidson.

He said the project was simple enough for his son, Jakob, 10, who is also a member of the club. Jakob helped in measuring, cutting, screwing, assembling and painting the Christmas tree green.

“It gives (members) an opportunity to get in touch with their creative side, to think outside the box, and to think about construction. For my son specifically, it allowed him the opportunity to build something relatively large and substantial,” Davidson said.

After meeting, the members got together and created the ornaments and added decorations to the tree.

“All of the members had the opportunity to just allow their creativity to flow, to work together on a common project, have a common goal, and promote the club. It helps bring in the inclusion of everybody’s ideas,” Davidson said.

During his time in setting up the robot Christmas tree, Davidson noticed several other different organizations that were represented.

“I think it’s a really neat event to allow all the different organizations to promote what they do and for people to attend the event to see that there’s so much going on that they can be a part of as they like,” Davidson said.

Unlike the traditional focus on agriculture within 4-H, Davidson noted that the STEM and robotics club differs in different ways.

“The STEM and robotics is kind of a unique club. The club is kind of an outside of the box thinking, definitely hit more on the technology side of things, so it’s welcomed to all. If anyone would be interested in joining the group and is interested in those kinds of things, they’re more than welcome,” Davidson said.

As with most clubs or organizations, the 4-H STEM and robotics club select a president, vice president, treasurer, and a secretary.

Davidson said the club encourages its members to take on leadership roles and is influential in shaping their futures.

“Leadership development is an important aspect of all 4-H clubs and to create these young, inspiring leaders in the community,” Davidson said.

He also anticipates that the members will become more inspired by viewing all the Christmas trees and will want to participate again next year.

“The one thing we try to do with the organization is to allow the members to really make their own decisions. On Dec. 2, the members are going to be attending as a group to go to the event and look at all the Christmas trees. My assumption is they’re really going to enjoy that and would want to take part in that again next year,” Davidson said. 

If you go …

WHAT: 9th annual Charlie Brown Christmas 
WHERE: The Barn at Springfield Farm, 12 Springfield Lane, Williamsport, Md.
WHEN: 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 and 9, Friday, Dec. 8, Sundays, Dec. 3 and 10; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5 and Thursday, Dec. 7. 
COST: Free admission; donations accepted to defray the cost of next year’s event 
CONTACT: Go to Williamsportmd.gov or call 301-223-7711

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