I came across an in system programmer for microcontrollers. I'm not sure I'd need one, since I usually just take the ATmega328p out of my arduino to program raw chips, but hey, if I want dedicated hardware to do so, this is one way to do it.
Sparkfun has a curriculum. I checked out a few of the beginner pages, and it looks good. I haven't gone in depth, but it may be something that I can use or send people to if they want a bunch of things to learn. But who knows.
There is an article in Make about a makerspace selling advertising space on their kits to finance them. I may be able to do something similar to finance kits for wherever I end up helping out. Ideas for later.
I came across and article on Make about the key qualities that are needed in a makerspace for kids in school. The main point of the article was that people need a few things to make. First, they need the basic skills of what tool to use and how to use it. Then they need to problem solve, to determine the reason that the thing they are making isn't working. Finally, they need the confidence to try something new. To learn something as they go. That confidence is what I want to impart on people. I want to empower them, to make them realize that they can build something complex, like laser tag. To be able to feel like they can do it and that it is within their reach to understand, to build, to create. The original article is here.
In other news, Niek Blankers at NiekProductions posted schematics for a bareduino, an arduino compatible based off of the ATiny45/85 that uses a small circuit board and minimal support components. It may be something that i could use if I wanted to have a separate controller that looked for tags, say on someone's head. His post is here.