Announcing Ladies Nights in the Woodshop

Posted in Michael's Woodshop

June 30, 2021 by Dave Schneeman

Michael’s Woodshop at Camp Snyder has become a very popular venue, hosting fun, hands-on activities for Scouts of all ages. As female youth membership in the National Capital Area Council continues to grow, we are hosting more and more female youth for activities ranging from Pinewood Derby Days to Eagle Scout Projects. As a result, we would like to add female adult and youth volunteers to our Team. The feeling of satisfaction derived from completing a project or coaching youth as they complete their own is difficult to describe. Rather than trying to convey this feeling with mere words, we decided to invite potential volunteers out to the shop to experience it first-hand!

While experienced woodworkers would be ideal, we have volunteer opportunities available for a variety of skill levels and ages, including our Youth Shop Assistant Program for BSA registered youth who are 14 and older. Volunteers are expected to be role models for visiting youth and adults. They should enjoy coaching and guiding youth during activities and a focus on safety is a must. All adult and youth volunteers must be (or become) BSA registered.

We have planned a variety of project sessions including bird houses, a cheese board and a sure to be favorite “Mom’s Tool Box”. These projects will be hands-on, sawdust-making sessions with participants having the opportunity to use a number of shop tools. The sessions are open to female adults and youth 14 and older. Time will be allotted during the activity for a shop tour as well as sharing information and answering questions about our programs and volunteer opportunities. A series of events will be held over the coming months. Please visit the Registration Page for the schedule and additional information about the projects. There is no registration fee for these events and materials will be provided free of cost. However, space is limited so make your reservation soon.

If you are interested in volunteering, we hope you will be able to join us for one of these events. If you are unable to attend a session but are interested in learning more, please visit the Volunteering Page on the website or email us at

Scouts Learn the Craft (and Art) of Paddlemaking

Posted in Michael's Woodshop

June 28, 2021 by Dave Schneeman

From public health drives to caring for the environment, this summer we're stepping up again and we need you!


This spring, the Aquatics Committee hosted its first paddlemaking class in Michael’s Woodshop at Camp Snyder. Two Scouts and two adults from Troop 191F and a shop volunteer all crafted their own paddles in this initial class. The process began with each student receiving a milled Ash “blank” approximately 1 1/8” thick, 6” wide and 6’ long and ended with everyone having created their own individually sized, properly balanced and beautifully shaped flatwater canoe paddle which they will treasure for a lifetime!

The class was taught by Steve Park, a highly experienced paddlemaker who specializes in flatwater canoe paddles. He generously shared his knowledge, educating students about the key components of a paddle and instructing them about the proper tools and their use. With his guidance and assistance, students were able to properly size, shape and balance their paddles. The class was not about making a single canoe paddle, but was rather an investment in learning a valuable skill. The students gave the course high marks and are looking forward to taking an advanced class where they can further refine their skills. Definitely a couple of days very well spent!

Going forward, the paddlemaking class will be formally organized into an Introductory Class and an Advanced Class. The Introductory Class will teach a number of valuable skills and will use several custom jigs and processes to enable completion of the paddle during the class. The Advanced Class will introduce additional skills students will need to start their own journey of becoming a paddlemaker!

Michael’s Woodshop at Camp William B. Snyder is a great place for Scouts to create and learn. Paddlemaking is just one of many activities available in the wood shop. For more information about upcoming Paddlemaking Classes and other shop programs or for information about reserving the shop, please visit the Michael’s Woodshop webpage or email any questions and requests to the volunteer team at