Maryland

All hands on deck for new boat building program

All hands on deck for new boat...

EASTON, Md. - It's all hands on deck for ten teens in Talbot County, who are building a boat.

Although they won't hit the water anytime soon, they've already set sail on a life changing adventure.

"The boat building is the core to the program, but we're trying to be something bigger that the kids can really benefit from," says Adam Hollis.

Hollis is the program director for YMCA's "Take The Helm", a free after-school boat building program for high schoolers.

He tells 47 ABC it fills a void in the local community

"In Talbot county there really aren't a lot of programs for high school students in general, unless you're involved in sports or the arts doing plays or musicals, there's not a whole lot to do," Hollis explains.

And just after opening shop in the back of the Easton Family YMCA two months ago, Hollis and lead boat builder, Jim Fodrie, have seen amazing transformations not just in the boat and the kids' skills but in their personalities, as well.
 
He says, "Just the months we've been rolling with this confidence and self-esteem, I've already seen these two things blossom in the kids. That first day they came here they wouldn't talk to another kid or they weren't sure how to use a tape measure."

Now, Fodrie says they're acting like a real boat crew and having a great time.

"The camaraderie that they have is really, really cool. They're all just from different places even within their school so to have those kids come together and be a team, that's been really fun to watch."

Plus, their boat is making headway and if it proves sea-worthy, the plan is anchors aweigh come June.

Hollis tells 47 ABC they're also planning on doing summer camps for the 'Take the Helm' program, where kids will actually get to take the boat out on the water when its finished.


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