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Program builds more than bridges

Building Bridges to Careers is doing more than that for Washington County students. It is building bridges to skills, confidence and connections.

With this summer’s Canoe Building camps at the BB2C Makerspace, young people might learn that, far from being something of which they might be ashamed, working with one’s hands is something of which they should be proud.

Certainly the young men who inspired the camps, Brandon Mayle from Warren High School and Blake Hanson from Marietta Middle School, now have completed canoes that will be both sources of pride and recreation. They also understand now how to use equipment they did not before, and that they can call upon connections made during the project for future endeavors.

To be fair, they also learned one cannot always trust the instruction manual when it comes to an estimated time for building, as six hours turned into 45, even with the help of volunteers Peter Prigge, Dave Paskawych, and John Clark from the Marietta Rowing and Cycling Club and Dave Vandenberg.

But now that they’ve got it sorted out, the Marietta Rowing and Cycling Club is hosting camps to try to extend those learning experiences to other kids. One began this week. The others are set for July and August.

The nature of the work means these will be small groups — a limit of three in each camp. But it is a fantastic opportunity, and one upon which BB2C and the rowing and cycling club might consider expanding, next year.