Unique summer camp offer girls a chance to build skills - KPTV - FOX 12

Unique summer camp offer girls a chance to build skills

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

There's no shortage of summer camp options in the pacific northwest, from dance camp to zoo camp to the School of Rock, but a new type of camp in north Portland is helping girls build the future.

It is easy to hear the bell tower and commercial-grade power tools at The University of Portland campus this week, but one thing not heard nor seen is boys.

At the Girls Build summer camp, young girls are learning how to build things and having a blast.

Aleeyah Coleman is one of 40 campers getting exposed to more than ten different industrial trades.

"It's like I can be myself, and I know who to talk to, besides the boys, because boys don't really understand, like my brother,” Coleman said. "I'm learning how to screw certain things inside of wood. I'm learning how to cut.”

The campers are building sandboxes, concrete planters and lamps from sheet metal, all while being taught by an all-female team of instructors, led by Katie Hughes, the camp’s executive director.

Hughes said the overall goal of the camp is to instill a “can-do” attitude in the girls.

"It's really important for girls to be able to explore the world of building. For the sake of building, but also for the sake of their confidence and curiosity,” she explained. "They have to jump in. There's no one to do it for them. They have to use the drill, they have to hammer, because there's no one who is going to do their project for them.”

It's a real-world lesson that is already sinking in for campers like Coleman, who is already planning her next big project.

"After today, I may be making a bench with my grandpa, or I may be making a small boat,” she said.

This is the second year for the sold-out Girls Build camp, and organizers held another camp in southern Oregon earlier in the summer. For more information on the camp and other programs, visit GirlsBuildPDX.org.

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