Summer 2013 started with a memorable week for 10 middle school students who enrolled in the Naperville Park District's inaugural Future Craftsmen Camp.
Under the patient guidance of experienced carpenter and instructor Jason Newland, the camp participants put together a full-sized wooden playhouse in two short days during the camp, which ran June 10 to 13 at the Barn Recreation Center.
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"The kids took turns with hammers and screwdrivers and experienced each step of the building process, including deciphering the instructions and using the reverse button on the drill to make adjustments when a section did not match the picture," said volunteer coordinator Lynnette Hoole. "They learned problem-solving skills and the importance of careful measurement. They all were delighted with the finished playhouse."
The playhouse is waiting to be transported to Almost Home Kids, a local nonprofit organization with a mission to provide transitional care for kids with complicated health needs.
The idea for the Future Craftsmen Camp came from program manager Sandie Gilmer, who had heard about it at a parks and recreation conference. Hoole ran with the idea this year, enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with middle school kids and to be able to donate the finished playhouse to an organization where kids would enjoy it.
For more information about other programs or facilities at the Naperville Park District, visit napervilleparks.org.