Nine-year-old Malaika Dutta was one of the participants of the event. (Okanagan College)

Okanagan College camp introduces girls to carpentry

The girls have been building a number of small pieces including bird-shaped doorstops and planters

Girls aged 9-12 had a chance to develop their inner craftsperson at an Okanagan College camp.

The college’s newest camp, Carpentry Projects for Girls, is a camp that offers girls a chance to be creative in the woodworking shop at the College’s Kelowna campus and gives them an introduction to trades.

“I was in the go-kart camp a couple of weeks ago, and on the last day of camp, I told my parents I wanted to come back,” said Malaika Dutta, a nine-year-old participant. “I really liked the idea of learning how to build things. I’ve never made anything like this before, but now I’m starting to think about things that I can make at home.”

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The campers were led by Red Seal trades instructors and mentors from Women in Trades Training (WITT),

“It’s fantastic to have the girls in here this young,” said Mary-Jaye Salmon, Red Seal endorsed carpenter and WITT mentor of 11 years. “They’re smart and in tune with health and safety. It’s great to show them the possibilities they have for their future. Maybe they won’t end up making a career choice of trades, but it definitely shows them that they can, and maybe sparks another interest of theirs that they will go on to pursue.”

This pilot project was funded by the Government of Canada’s Union Training and Innovation Program – Women in Construction Fund, delivered through the Industry Training Authority (ITA).

“This camp puts the tools in girls’ hands, letting them be creative in a fun, safe, and educational setting,” said Shelley Gray, CEO of ITA. “They are able to explore their own skills and hopefully find their passion in the skilled trades.

More information about the College’s Women in Trades Training program is available at okanagan.bc.ca/witt.


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