Tacoma Community Boat Builders Newsletter No. 2. Email not displaying properly? View this in your browser.

Tacoma Community Boat Builders

Newsletter No. 2
April 4, 2016

This is No. 2 of the Tacoma Community Boat Builders Newsletter, an occasional mailing with news about TCBB. We have combined our various email lists. At some point, you gave us your email address. We want to confirm your subscription. If you no longer wish to receive emails from us, just click the Unsubscribe link below. Thanks, and we do hope you'll stay with us. If you do, trust that we won't bombard you with emails, and your email address is secure with us.

TCBB at the Washington State Historical Society

There are only two weeks left to see the Tacoma Community Boat Builders exhibit at the Washington State Historical Society.  It closes April 17, 2016. It's a beautiful setup and we are pretty proud of it! The TCBB exhibit includes boats, oars and other maritime related objects all crafted at the shop with our youth boat builders and mentor-craftsmen. The exhibit features photos of boat building sessions and gives a real feel for the work being done in the boat shop.  See more photos of it here. But why settle for that? Go see the real thing! The Community Gallery of the Washington State Historical Society, through April 17. More information at the Gallery website.

We've Been Busy!

In March we started a new boat building session serving over 20 boys a week.  We have a healthy and stimulating mix of new referrals, alumni who keep coming, and alumni who have become mentor's assistants. We are now finding that the boys are setting the tone for the shop; we don't have to.  As new youth roll in, the more experienced kids show them how it works, both overtly and quietly through modeling behaviors. It's really interesting to see.

We start and end each session with everyone in our compass rose. Our Winter sessions stretched the circle to it's limits, and it's more of a circle within a circle.  In fact, we're bursting at the seams!  There is now a waiting list, and we've created new openings as alumni ask to return.  The boys crowd round the circle, jostling with the mentors for space and crowing about who is the most senior boat builder among them. The boys have become quite proud of their time with us, and we have become proud of them. At this rate we can hope to serve even more kids this year than in 2015, when we topped out at 53 boys.

Don't Miss Our Inaugural Family and Team Boat Building Event!

There's an exciting event coming up!  At this year's Tacoma Maritime Fest, we will be launching our Family-and-Team Boat Building program.  We will be building the newly designed TCBB skiff - a sweet little boat. Each boat will be built by a family or other team of people over the course of just 2 days.  We'll have 4-6 families or teams, each led through the process by one of our mentor-apprentice pairs. It's sure to be a great experience for everyone. Our grand plan is to march the completed boats down the ramp and plunk them in the water just as soon as the last screw goes in. - Then the families can pile in and paddle around in them. More information and registration is on our website here

And We're Reaching Out!

In order to facilitate work experience opportunities for our Youth Boat Builders, we have been developing relationships with ResCare and Workforce Central.  These opportunities will likely take the form of short term paid internships with us or placements in other organizations that are willing to do workplace experience internships with kids facing the barriers our guys do. This is still very much in the formative phase, but the youth have shown interest in it and we hope it allows us to develop some new programming for them. (ResCare is the nation’s largest private provider of services to people with disabilities and the largest one-stop workforce contractor. Besides placing Pierce County jobseekers on a path to employment, WorkForce Central develops strategic public and private partnerships for innovative solutions in workforce development.)  If you are aware of placement opportunities for our youths, we would love to hear from you. 

Looking Ahead! Our annual fundraiser will be in September.  We expect to have a few newly completed boats to show off by then. Stay tuned!

Here is One Story from TCBB ... 

Marcus and Kenyon (names have been changed) have started working together. Marcus (white sweatshirt) designed and is now building a dresser for himself. His mentor (far right) has helped him to bring his ideas to life. Like many of the youth at the shop, Kenyon (grey sweatshirt) was curious about the project and began to ask Marcus questions, even asking to work with him. Marcus would rather work on his project than eat or talk - unless you are talking to him about the project. Then he is content to join a conversation. Marcus struggled in other programs and at school - TCBB is the first place where he found acceptance and success. He's already carrying around a sketch of his next project. 

This is one story of youths at Tacoma Community Boat Builders.  There are many more. TCBB is pretty incredible and it's on track to make a powerful difference in this community - for the kids, for the community, and on the systemic level.

We would love to hear from you. Contact us. Visit the TCBB website.

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