This summer in our first woodworking camp organised by Fondation Pro Juventute Genève we were thrilled by the number of teenagers who got up in the morning to do woodworking. They came from different school systems, spoke different mother tongues and had diverse social backgrounds. The one thing they had in common was the fact that none of them have manual fabrication/bricolage at school and again we didn't fail to impress them. (Those who have teens know very well what a humbling experience it is today to engage this age group or even have a smile on their face while leaving with a finished project.)
In the other camps following this there were younger children, many of whom impressed us by their enthusiasm and rapidly-gained confidence in handling tools or applying classroom knowledge in practical skills. Not wanting to have a break or go home after the workshops is something money never buys for us. Truly beautiful.
There are few general conclusions we'd like to share with both parents and educators. Indeed, woodworking is dangerous, and yet, after so many workshops, camps and courses, we can happily report how well kids work and never misuse the trust we granted them. They all treat the outsourced responsibility in a mature and respectful manner while still having fun. Via the Mathematical bridge project, thanks to Sanna Takala's introduction last year, they understood that it's only through conceptual thinking and collaboration that the bridge becomes stable and walkable. The learning curve of a one-week camp where collaborative and individual skills-based projects are combined is priceless. We cannot emphasise enough the importance of these as well as providing the opportunity for kids to learn how to use their hands as tools. We were very happy to see "returning" clients as well as we appreciate the trust and support of those parents who encourage their children to learn manual fabrication. With Sébastien Vigny, Zoltan Acs, Genia Sobolevskiy, Rob Stoeckel, we can't wait to develop our programmes further and learn from these experiences. Merci et Bonnes vacances à tous!🙂
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