Camp constructs new opportunities for girls

Published 11:40 am Friday, May 22, 2009

When kids make summer plans, they can choose to attend one of a variety of camps based on their interests. This summer, girls have a less conventional option: construction camp.

In June, the MAGIC summer day camp will provide a hands-on learning opportunity focusing on the basics of carpentry, electrical and welding for high school girls.

MAGIC, which stands for Mentoring a Girl in Construction, camp was created through a partnership between the Shelby County School of Technology and the Birmingham chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction. It is free and will take place June 8-12 from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. each day at the School of Technology in Columbiana.

Amy Lee, an administrative assistant in the Career and Technical Education department of the Shelby County Board of Education, said the camp is important because it lets girls know that many women have successful construction careers.

“Girls don’t realize that construction is a field that’s available to them,” she said. “I think there are some girls out there who like to work with their hands and feel like they’ve accomplished something by seeing the finished product.”

Tradeswomen and certified School of Technology instructors are teaming up to teach the girls. They will discuss the history of women in construction, demonstrate proper safety techniques and practice the basic skills required for each field.

Throughout the week the campers will assemble a wooden toolbox, a lamp and a welding project to take home. On Friday, they will take a field trip to a commercial worksite, followed by a catered luncheon and completion ceremony for parents to attend.

National and local members of the construction industry are sponsoring the camp. The National Association of Women in Construction will provide lunch, snacks and drinks.

Capacity for the camp is 30 girls, and slots are still available. Any upcoming high school girl can apply, and the deadline is Friday, June 5. For more information, contact Rene’ Day, supervisor of Career and Technical Education, at or at 682-5254.