Annual camp encourages girls to explore skilled trades
Posted on Thursday July 20, 2017
Girls In Skilled Trades: “Wow,” that’s what I have to say about this camp. With so many of our skilled labour workforce getting ready to retire, this camp appeared to provide some amazing opportunities for young women to be exposed to trades.
This is where I come in. I am a plumber employed within a Garrison Petawawa maintenance branch. Over the past four years, my chain of command has supported my involvement, providing me the time and materials necessary to mentor and teach some hands on plumbing applications that I hope will provide practical skills that they can use over their lifetimes.
This year’s camp was held at the Renfrew Collegiate Institute. The Renfrew County District School Board hosts this event along with the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program. Students ranged from grades 7 to 8.
My task was to instruct 24 students over a one day period. Debbie Sutherland and I watched as they put together toilets, learned about the working components, how to repair minor problems, and some safe soldering techniques. Each student was able to solder a copper fitting on a piece of copper pipe. There was some precision work involved - oh, and some fun with photos as well.
It is my hope that the skills acquired by these young women will allow them to be a little more independent and strong, be it for a simple toilet repair or a more challenging task.
These young women are not only an inspiration to myself, but the camp was an experience I have shared with coworkers upon returning to work.
At the tender age of 56, I can only say once again, as I do every year: “Wow, I wish this was around in ‘74.”
A big thanks to all involved and once again Garrison Petawawa for their support.