Teens take home new skills — and new chairs | Assiniboine Community College
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Teens take home new skills — and new chairs

Teens take home new skills — and new chairs

Written On: 14 August, 2015
Category: Community Graduation Learn By Doing North Hill Campus Trades
Related programs:  Carpentry and Woodworking

14 teenagers graduating today from carpentry camp in Brandon are taking home their hand-made Adirondack-style chairs — plus the skills to tackle new projects on their own.

Carpentry instructor James Copeland said the biggest trouble he had with the teenagers was they caught on too fast.

"They're getting more finished than I thought they would," he laughed. "That's not a bad thing — they're learning a fair bit and mastering the tools."

After starting with a day of safety instruction last week, the budding teen carpenters launched into their first project, a step-stool, to learn some of the techniques that they'd use to put together their second project, an Adirondack-style deck chair.

"The chair was really fun!" said Daniel Munchinksy, who is going into Grade 9 next month. "It took a bit of time and there were quite a few mistakes that I made but I was able to fix most of them."

He says the biggest trouble were a few boards that he had cut too short.

"All were fixable and it still looks like a chair."

Classmate Trinity Elliott, who is also going into Grade 9, said making the chair was her favourite part of the two-week camp.

"I found it really fun," she said. "I like sitting on stuff, why not?"

Elliott, whose grandfather is a carpenter, says she learned a lot in the class. 

"I was never really good with a screwdriver and stuff, because I'd never really used one."

After the chairs were finished, the class moved on as a group to tackle a larger project, a complete shed.

Using materials donated by McMunn and Yates, the students had the shed assembled in short order. 

"The shed's really fun." Munchinsky said. "It's probably my favourite part of this. I really like building large things."

At home, he says, he and his dad are also building a shed — and now his dad is relying on him a little bit more.

"The nailing's annoying — when you miss, often — but I'm getting used to it!" he said. "I've improved quite a bit. Learned to fix mistakes and my hammering a gotten a lot better."

Classmate Jay Patel says he's looking forward to tackling a shed at home, too, but that the whole two-week camp was a lot of fun."

"It's great," he said. "A great place. Everybody should join. It's fun. At first I thought it would be boring – the first day we did safety stuff — but when we got into it it's fun."

Patel said one of the fun things was all the new friends he made. Munchinsky and Elliott said the same.

Copeland said that almost none of the students knew each other before starting the carpentry camp, but that they got along famously.

"They pick their own buddies to work with, makes it more fun for them," he said. "They're mostly from different schools but they're all getting along."

After putting siding and shingles on the shed, students moved on to speaker boxes, and then to make birdhouses. They'll be graduating at 3 p.m. today (Friday, Aug. 14). 

The class ran for nine days at the Len Evans Centre for Trades and Technology at ACC's North Hill Campus in Brandon. It was free for the students to attend, as was another two-week carpentry class that was run at the ACC Parkland Campus in Dauphin. They were both funded by Apprenticeship Manitoba under the Tools for Tomorrow program.

Above: Students in the Brandon teen carpentry camp enjoy their hand-crafted Adirondack-style chairs in front of the shed they're building as a group.