Philadelphia Boat Works Program
Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory was established in 1996 as a maritime education organization whose mission is to challenge your people through engaging, hands-on educational programming, inspired by the heritage of the sea. Students work both as a group and individually to problem solve and see project to its completion.
The Boat Building Program at Sequoia runs for the ten weeks each semester under the supervision of Mr. Warner and Mr. Comerford at the Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory in the Frankford section of Philadelphia. Our students learn the value of team work while gaining some hands-on experience in carpentry, reading drafts, work place safety, and proper handling of tools, materials, and waste while constructing wooden 2-person canoes. The program uses a resiliency-based approach that is grounded in the Reaching Teens curriculum developed by University of Pennsylvania’s adolescent medicine physician, Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg. The program focuses on the seven “C”s of Resiliency: Contribution; Competency; Confidence; Connections; Character; Coping; and Control. During the construction of the canoes our students realize they are making an authentic contribution, they begin to build competencies, and in turn, confidence. Via connections with staff members, students feel free to hypothesize, take risks, and are supported to recover from failure. As students gain trust in staff and themselves, they become open to constructive feedback. The staff enable students to solve their own problems and make smart choices (cope). Through intentional staff practices, students establish teamwork, communication and empathy, learn to manage their emotions, develop individual agency and resilience, all while building their craft skills (character). Students establish locus of control (the belief that their actions affect outcomes) and self-efficacy (the belief that they can make those outcomes positive ones).