Helena High School students craft benches for Helena YMCA’s Camp Child

Posted at 5:38 PM, Nov 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-08 20:01:12-05

HELENA – Woodworking students at Helena High School have drafted plans for, built and donated nearly a dozen benches to Helena YMCA’s Camp Child.

On Thursday, the students unveiled their work to YMCA CEO David Smith.

The idea for the project originally began in the Spring, during the annual volunteer cleanup day at Camp Child.

At the time, Tombstone Kiwanis member Chuck Amdahl noticed the deteriorating benches at the camp and reached out to Helena High’s woodworking teacher to see if his students could help.

“I know that Greg (Cejka) has a great heart for the community,” says Amdahl, “and involving his students and Greg said, by all means, let’s put this together.”

Teacher Greg Cejka says it’s a great opportunity for the students to have community involvement.

“It’s a great option, you know, to have them be able to take this class and make stuff with their hands and now to have that be able to be used by a lot of people instead of them just taking home a project that maybe a couple of people see,” says Cejka.

The students put about two weeks into the project: a week for drawing plans and another week for building. About 40 students were involved.

YMCA CEO David Smith thanked the students for their work and says he’s pleased the Y and the students can both benefit from the experience.

“I think what’s neat is that not only does YMCA and Camp Child get a finished product, which is something we can always use and a great tool, but these young people are learning skills,” says Smith.

Eleven benches are complete and four more will be done soon.

Camp Child also recently benefited from an Eagle Scout project by Matthew Richards who built new seating and fire rings for the campers in the stage area.

Reporting by Melissa Jensen for MTN News