Woodworking Camp Gives Kids Hands-On Experience
All summer long, Maple Grove’s Cedar Island Elementary has been home to ‘Camp Rocks‘ — a home for a variety of academic programs.
This week, kids are brushing up on their reading and math skills, but farther down the hall, there’s another camp taking place that requires students to make things out of blocks of wood.
“They are learning very basic skills,” said Pavel Jany, a woodworking camp instructor. “How to use hand tools, how to measure, how to cut, how to build some very basic projects, towards some more sophisticated projects.”
Welcome to woodworking camp. It’s a week-long class led by Pavel Jany from the Youth Enrichment League.
“This is a really nice break from the internet when it comes to kids,” Jany said. “Nice break from computers and iPhones, and really getting down to the earth and having feet on the ground and work with hand tools and work with the wood. It’s a wonderful skill and wonderful fun.”
For many of the children in Jany’s class, it’s their first time getting the opportunity to work with hand tools.
Woodworking Requires Perfection and Accuracy
Not only does woodworking require a certain amount of physical exertion, it also involves pinpoint precision, as 12-year-old Kat Klopotek of Maple Grove discovered.
You always have to measure and then re-measure and then re-re-measure, because if there’s just the slightest error, nothing,” Klopotek. “If you’re building something where you have to put stuff together, a slight error can make the whole thing fall apart.”
Wednesday during woodworking camp, the students had to make their own race cars.
“It is quite advanced when it comes to design, measuring and cutting,” Jany said. “And once again it’s all about accuracy and precision and patience.”
Jany is there to help guide the kids every step of the way — ensuring that they’re doing it safely, and that they’re having fun, as they make something completely from scratch.
“It’s really cool because at first, it’s just a bar of wood,” Klopotek said. “And then as you shape it and sand it, it starts looking more and more, and then you finish and it’s like, wow! How was this ever at one point just a plank of wood?”
Next up, these kids can use their newfound skills to help their parents with projects around the house.
“I believe these skills will stay with them for the rest of their lives,” Jany said.
For their final project, the kids can choose to build either a board game, a jewelry box, a baseball bat holder, or a key holder.