July 24, 2012
Construction Camp provides kids a look at construction industry
Construction Camp, now in its second year, is supported by the Spirit of Construction Foundation and the SC Ministry Foundation. Volunteers from Associated Builders and Contractors are on site every day instructing the children. Anne Mitchell, Construction Industry Advocate for the Southwest Ohio Region Workforce
Investment Board - a Cincinnati Regional Chamber affiliate - organizes the camp each year, as well as after-school Construction Clubs at Cincinnati public and Catholic middle schools. The purpose of Construction Camp and Construction Clubs is to educate children about the potential of careers in construction, and encourage them to stay in school.
Campers this year came from Midway Elementary, Roberts Academy, Holy Family, Resurrection, and St. Lawrence schools.
Liz Sweet, 12, who is entering the 7th grade at St. Lawrence Elementary School, described a week at Price Hill Construction Camp: "Monday we made the floors of the shed, Tuesday we made the indoor walls; Wednesday we did the outdoor walls; then we welded and built the outdoor walls a little bit more."
What was it like learning to weld? "It was pretty awesome!"
Liz was one of 18 middle school children from Price Hill who hammered, sawed, and welded their way through three weeks of construction career exploration, building a 6-by-8 foot deluxe garden shed. The construction process reinforces the campers' math and reading skills as they follow blueprints and cut to measure; learning the importance of work readiness skills such as starting each day on time, following instructions, and safety on the job.
"Construction Camp is great!" said Kayman Murray, 10, going into the 6th grade at Resurrection. "You make new friends and learn to help each other." Ione Sally, 12, who is entering the 7th grade at St. Lawrence, agreed. He learned to use a circular saw and did not find it a bit scary.
"We could not do this without the support of the Spirit of Construction and SC Ministry," says Mitchell. "And the commitment of our volunteers from ABC makes our Camp possible. The kids have learned so much here, and they have a real sense of accomplishment when they look at what they've built."