At CampBUILD Badgerland Girl Scouts build chairs— and confidence

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 4:24 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2021 at 6:28 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - This week, the Badgerland Girl Scouts are exploring a career field where women are in the minority.

CampBUILD is a partnership between the Girl Scouts of Badgerland Wisconsin and Madison College. The two-day program for high schoolers covers topics like mixing concrete, using power tools and building stools.

“What I like about CampBUILD, in particular, is carpentry and this sort of stuff is not generally a trade that women are in, and I just like to be able to do that,” Stella Cornelius, a 15-year-old Girl Scout, said.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says of all the construction jobs last year, just 4% belonged to women.

“It’s a very male-dominated industry,” Cornelius said. “And just getting women in it is just amazing.”

Madison College instructor Sandy Thistle has taught at the camp every since its start in 2019.

Thistle said she has been a carpenter for more than 30 years.

“I love it so much, and I would hate for girls not to find it because they didn’t know about it,” she said. “I know whenever I went through high school, nobody ever talked to me about the construction trades, and I accidentally found my way here.”

She continued, “It’s an excellent fit for me. If you like physical activity, physically demanding work and math, it’s a really great fit.”

For the last day of camp on Saturday, Thistle said the Girl Scouts will make tree wrap benches alongside more women who work in the trades.

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