In our BoatWorks program, youth build handcrafted wooden water vessels and launch them on local waterways. As they work in the boat shop, students develop confidence, and learn valuable lessons that transfer to other realms of their academic, family, and social lives.
Why We Build


Our young boatwrights are introduced to the basics of boat building such as stitch and glue or cedar strip construction as they construct a centuries old craft.

Academic Application

Math, science, and maritime history come to life as they are integrated into our work in the shop and on the water.


Students develop relationships with our cadre of caring and skilled adult volunteers and mentors.


Learning to use power tools, assembling, working collaboratively with classmates, and finally, paddling in their vessels reminds students of what they can accomplish!

Projects & Paddles

School Partnerships

Local schools are invited to bring students (grades 6-12) to our boatshop, engaging in projects that can be completed within a semester.

Introductory Builds

For our youngest builders, modular builds develop their skills through smaller classroom projects like birdhouses and smartphone speakers.

Advanced Kayaks & Canoes

Experienced students work together to create tandem cedar and mahogany strip kayaks and canoes–the superstars of the fleet.


A basic, beginner level boat, the classic of our fleet. Built by middle schoolers, this is a beautiful and stable craft that catches the eye of all who see it.

STEM Build

9th graders work on projects that apply their math curriculum. If they want their boat to float, they’ve got to know their math!

Spring Boat Launch

Our students beam with pride when their experience culminates in a climb aboard the vessel they created and leave the safety of the shore.

Community Paddles

Our fleet of boats is used to accommodate educational paddles, led by youth RiverGuides, for hundreds of Camden residents and stakeholders.

“I found my love for science… 
It started here in the boat 
program where instead of doing 
a math class at the school, 
we did it here."
Yasiria, Alumni, Rowan University
Engage in boatbuilding each year, applying classroom concepts at the boat shop
Wooden Crafts
Carefully constructed by youth including kayaks, canoes, and replicas of sleds used by early North Pole explorations
Local Residents
Participate in youth-led ecology paddle trips on the Tidal Cooper River
From the Blog
Meet our team
Director of Experiential Learning
Tom Kulp
BoatWorks Program Director
Kevin Callahan
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Ryan McCormick