Woodworking Sparks Creative Thinking for Kids at Camp Tuku

Woodworking isn’t a hobby most kids encounter in their digital-focussed lives. To some degree, it’s a lost art form. Not so at Camp Tuku where woodworking brings forth campers’ creativity, enhances attentional skills, and sparks interest in a potential lifelong hobby.

Safety First in Woodworking Class at Camp Tuku

In every woodworking class at Camp Tuku, campers learn the proper and safe use of woodworking tools that they will use to carve a pre-shaped figure with features of their own interpretation. This summer, campers selected a mouse or a bird figure to work with.

Class begins with campers donning a safety glove and sturdy protective apron. Campers assist one another securing the aprons for one another while the instructor teaching the class checks that they have choses a properly fitting safety glove. 

Once everyone is situated with their safety attire, they learn the safety rules they need to follow while working with the carving tools:  

+  proper hand placement on the carving object
+  proper positioning and handling of the knife
+  being mindful that they have a sufficient personal work zone

Following these safety procedures requires that campers pay attention to details, communicate with their classmates, and check with the instructor about any concerns for space and positioning with their tools. 

Once there is assurance that everyone has what they need and the space within which to safely work, then the campers receive instruction about the project. They not only learn how to work the carving tool to embellish the animal shape with features, they also learn why they have to do things in a certain way. This may be for safety reasons, but it may also be because moving the carving tool in a certain way creates a different effect.

Creative Decision Making Learned in Woodworking Class

Before campers begin using the carving tool, they pencil sketch features they want their mouse or bird to have. This is where creative interpretation of the project comes into play for each camper: 

  • Do they want their mouse or bird to have realistic features?
  • Will it have round or pointy ears?
  • Is the beak long, short, straight, curved? 
  • Are the eyes small and beady or large and curious? Maybe one eye is winking!
  • What line directions will they use to add the impression of feathers or fur?
  • Should the tail be long or short; flat, pointed, rounded, squared at the end?

This type of creative autonomy in a class such as woodworking equips each camper with the power of decision making and a sense of ownership of the outcome.

Campers often report that the woodworking class is one of their favorite activities at Camp Tuku. Many pick-up the hobby even after they return home. Parents love the woodworking class for their child because it helps their child focus on something other than a digital device. 

Devices Down, Creativity Up! at Camp Tuku

Would you like your child to put down their devices more often, pick-up a new hobby, and make cherished friendships? Consider sending your child to Camp Tuku in the Catskill Mountains in July 2023.