EXPLORE THE TRADES SUMMER CAMP AT PHOENIX SCHOOL SHOWS YOUNG GIRLS THERE IS A PLACE FOR THEM IN THE TRADES
Thanks to Sponsorships from Oregon Department of Transportation and The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry, Phoenix Charter School coordinated and hosted a free week-long camp for 11-14 year old girls this June to learn about opportunities for women in the building trades. 20+ young women attended the day camp which was staffed by Phoenix students from the Women In Trades (WIT) club serving as Jr.
Counselors, WIT advisors, and volunteers from local agencies and trades fields.
Campers & Jr. Counselors were introduced to the “Big 5” Highway Trades: Laborer, Carpenter, Heavy Equipment Operator, Cement Mason and Iron Worker. Volunteers from the Wolf Creek Job Corps were on site daily offering experience and one-on-one workshops to help the girls realize their strengths and potential for the trades. The camp consisted of two major projects for the Phoenix Charter School campus, a cement fire pit and a pump house shed for the garden, and also workshops with take home projects and “free build time” where campers could get creative and explore their interests.
Safety and work ethic were the focus for our campers on a daily basis. Campers and camp advisors participated in daily safety tailgate meetings, which covered personal protective equipment, proper hydration, and nutrition for the building trades apprentice. Every afternoon a volunteer camper was chosen to compile a “pros and cons” list for the group; interestingly, time management started out as a “con” but ended in the “pro” column by weeks end.
Campers were treated to two field trips, the first being Umpqua Community College where they were introduced to three of their vocational degree programs: Engineering, Automotive and Welding. The second field trip was to the Knife River campus in Roseburg where our participants learned about the concrete industry and the science involved in creating a quality concrete product.
After asking the girls about their experiences with the camp we were impressed with their answers:
“I always thought this was for the boys, but I can get in there a do it just as good.”
“I was mad at my mom for making me come do this, but I’m not mad anymore, this is cool stuff.”
“I think I want to learn to build houses when I grow up, ‘cause it’s super cool.”
Story by Sam Batman, WIT Advisor & Phoenix Secretary 08-11-2015