René Ragetli, CFBC’s Director of Project Operations, has been connected with Milieu Children and Family Services for a few years now. He’s worked closely with the Youth team at the South Vancouver Learning Centre on various workshops and projects. This past summer René introduced the group to the BC Regional Council of Carpenters, in Delta BC, to partner on a 5-day summer camp with a group from the youth centre.
We took a moment to speak to George and Steve about the collaboration. They talked through the multi day workshop and how it was for the youth to build a convertible picnic table, sitting as two separate benches in one setting and converting into a full picnic table in another. The two youth workers were pleased to see participants become inspired as the week went on. They were interested in all the information shared, learning more about Carpentry, trades career journeys, Red Seal processes and how many of the skills learned in one trade transfer into other trades. “It was awesome to learn about how interconnected all the trades careers are,” said Steve.
The 5-day summer camp was all inclusive. Day one included a meet and greet, and safety orientation that equipped youth with steel toe boots, hard hats, and a safety-first mentality. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were the building days that saw the group get their hands on tools and experience safety protocols firsthand. On the fifth, and final, day everyone gathered at a local park to enjoy lunch on their newly made picnic table. After everything, the final project sits as two benches in the common area of the South Vancouver Learning Centre, where the community can utilize it.
Milieu and CFBC have been acquainted for many years now and enjoy working together to bring trades-related workshops to youth in Vancouver. Discussing the various workshops provided over the years, it became evident that the workshops really help to develop applicable understanding of tool use, safety and career insights as well as providing valuable skill development that can be added to a resumé.
A highlight that René spoke to was when he was watching the confidence level in one young person grow. Over the week they opened up from being shy and timid in nature into a confident builder using tools with ease. By the end of the week, they were using tools safely and looked at the finished picnic table, with satisfaction announcing, “I am so proud of what I did here!”.