Carpentry is a valued part of the St. Bernard’s curriculum. The first carpentry class was in 1939. COVID restrictions closed the carpentry room last year, but the shop is finally open again, much to the delight of the students and their carpentry teacher, Mr. Waugh.
Boys take carpentry classes for four years, in grades I - IV. The classes are small, just a handful of boys at a time. The shop is a gem of a room, tucked away on the back of the first floor. It is filled to the brim with tools of all shapes and sizes and past creations hang from the ceiling. Mr. Waugh told his first grade students today that “there are always problems to solve in carpentry.” Woodworking brings about levels of concentration not often seen in boys this age. They are focused on their task and respectful of the tools and materials around them.
Mr. Waugh says, “Both the boys and I are thrilled to be back in the carpentry shop and to be building with wood.” When the shop was closed last year, Mr. Waugh had to travel from classroom to classroom and the boys made objects out of cardboard. Now that they are back working with real wood, clamps, and saws, the boys’ creativity can really take shape.