Third annual Bartow MAGIC Camp begins Monday
by Cheree Dye
Jun 14, 2014 | 1501 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Twenty young ladies, clad in pink hard hats, orange safety vests and leather tool belts, will begin Mentoring a Girl in Construction Camp — or MAGIC Camp — on Monday, June 16. The summer day program open to girls ages 14-18 teaches skills used in the construction industry.

“MAGIC Camp offers these girls the opportunity to learn and develop basic skills in the fields of carpentry, electrical and various other trade competencies that are traditionally considered a male profession. The girls are able to practice these new skills in a non-threatening gender neutral environment,” Carol Boatwright, a representative of Southern Company, said.

Sponsored by Georgia Power Plant Bowen, the five-day experience exposes the girls to a wide array of construction aspects. During the basics of carpentry, the young ladies will learn to use a tape measure, framing square, carpenter’s level, and how to construct interior walls. The safe operation of hand tools and electrical power tools will also be covered. The campers will wire lights and receptacles in the basic electrical instruction. While wearing protective welding jackets, hoods and gloves, they will practice welding and create a landscape-yard ornament as a class project. Under the supervision of Yancey Brothers Co. safety professionals, each of the young ladies will be given the opportunity to operate heavy equipment, such as front end loaders, skid steers and forklifts.

Janet Queen, of the Bartow County College and Career Academy and Southern Company, said, “MAGIC Camp gives these young ladies an opportunity to explore construction as a pathway in high school. Preparing them for post-secondary training at a technical college, or entering into an apprenticeship program with one of the trades, or even pursing a degree in construction management. It also brings an awareness to these students and their parents that there are opportunities for these ladies to have careers in construction.”

Sixty young ladies have completed the program since 2012 and gained certification through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Held at Cass High School, 1000 Colonel Way in White, the camp is free to attendees. Every day during lunch the students will hear from professionals in the industry and educational experts who can give advice on apprenticeships, choosing classes to pursue the field and best practices.

“As the girls successfully tackle these new challenges, they build self-confidence and self-esteem, traits that will aid them in whatever they do,” Boatwright said.