Help Us Buy a New Canoe Trailer!
We empower youth to be successful in work and life through boatbuilding, workplace skill development, and exploring the wilderness. During these wilderness trips, we transport youth, gear, and their hand-crafted boats by way of a 4-boat trailer. Suffice it to say, this trailer has seen better days, and has become less safe and reliable to operate.
In recent years, we have more than doubled our programming, serving more than 500 youth in 2016. With the increase in youth served, we've also increased the number of opportunities for youth to explore Minnesota's lakes and rivers, a unique and often life-changing experience for urban youth.
With your help, we will purchase an 8-boat trailer that will allow us to transport 8 boats, gear, and paddles in a safer and more effective way. This trailer will ensure stronger programming and give more youth access to local waterways.
How you can help:
• Donate today! Even a small amount makes a difference. Every dollar helps us get more youth outdoors!
• Share far and wide! The success of this fundraiser depends on our community! We’re relying on you to help us get the word out.
Donate today to support getting more youth outdoors! Thank you! We’re excited to share stories of our trips with you.
Apprenticeship Update: Happy Trails and New Beginnings
At the end of May, the group of youth who have been working at Urban Boatbuilders since January 2017 ended their Apprenticeship with a graduation and launch ceremony. The event took place at a freshly remodeled Lake Phalen beach in Saint Paul on a balmy summer evening—perfect for getting out on the water! Once everyone helped haul the boats, lifejackets, and paddles down to the water, the festivities began.
Graduating Apprentices sat in a circle on the beach and reflected on their experiences in the shop, affectionately naming Marc (our Executive Director) the “Shop Dad”. They talked about what helped them grow the most during their time as Apprentices, from specific tools they enjoy working with to peer camaraderie, and the skills they learned that would serve them best in the future. After a barbeque to go along with their thoughtful reflections, they hopped in the boats and got on the water! The evening saw the debut of both the rainbow Pride Kayak and the Art Ark. Apprenticeship alumni and volunteers attended the event as well, shutting down the workshop for the night in favor of some on-water fun.
Some youth returned as Senior Apprentices for the start of the summer cohort. They are working alongside the newcomers to finish up boats from the previous semester, as well as starting new projects. Between now and their graduation in August, Apprentices will build boats and paddles in the workshop, show off their technical know-how at multiple community events, and go on a weeklong trip to the Boundary Waters. You can stay tuned to Urban Boatbuilders on Facebook and Instagram to follow their journey!
Wayzata Art Experience — June 24th & 25th
We're back at this art fair for more boatbuilding this year! Come see us in the Activity Zone.
Minnesota State Fair — August 24th–September 4th
For the fourth year running, come check out live boatbuilding at the Minnesota DNR's historic fair building.
Apprenticeship Graduation and Boat Launch — August 17th
At Como Lake in Saint Paul. Stay tuned to Urban Boatbuilders on social media for more info later this summer!