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“Girl Power” woodworking camp teaches empowerment through power-tools

RED WING, Minn. (FOX47) – Female prowess was on full display at Red Wing’s Minnesota State College Southeast campus this week as a group of area girls participated in a woodworking workshop.

The girls (who range in ages 9-12) built two “buddy benches” that were donated to Red Wing’s Sunnyside Elementary School through a ceremony involving Red Wing’s school superintendent. 

“The girls have been really great about hammering together the benches and that’s not always easy for a nine year old,” said the camp’s lead instructor Katie Dunn.

“They’ve persisted and they’ve got it completely put together all on their own.”

The workshop is led by an all-female mentor group who teach teamwork, trust and confidence along with power-tool operation.

“The first day we had a couple of girls who were so scared they were in tears,” said Dunn.

“They were terrified of the loud noises and using them. By the end of the day, they had used all the power tools we have and couldn’t wait to come back the next day.”

The girls also constructed and painted birdhouses, learned string-art and made new friends among an array of activities.

The workshop was organized collaboratively between Red Wing Ignite, Red Wing Community Education and Minnesota State College Southeast.

Organizers hope to run the workshop again, intermittently, during the school year and next summer.

Jack Keenan

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