October MEA Program Break


Program Break Opportunity

New for 2018, Boardwalk DIY Studio, Andover, MN


Wednesday, October 17th - Saturday, October 20th, 2018 (class schedules vary - see listing)

Join Boardwalk DIY Studio (Andover, MN) in an immersive experience that allows your child to use both their hands and their minds.

Participants will spend 4 days experiencing wood working, painting, art, chemistry and composite materials.  Alongside these hands-on activities, participants can join the discussion on inventing, American business and salesmanship. 

How cool are the projects?  Many projects have been seen at the county and state fair event – earning ribbons and recognition.  If your child is in 4H, we can work with them to include photos and detailed explanations of each step so they can perform their best.

Our week is centered on woodworking and art.  

  • Chessboard (checker board)

    • All hardwood - using MN species of Butternut, Silver Maple, Cherry, Walnut and Birch.

    • Includes four or more different types of joints.

  • Painted Wood Sign

    • Features your child's unique flair and 'brand'.

    • Focuses on the standard Spruce, Pine and Fir species of Northern MN.

  • Third Project - Depends on Amount of Time

    • Project will be determined based on time, resources and the unique personality of each group.

    • This project is optional.

What to Expect

Our time is centered around two core ideas:  wood working and the study of art.  Participants will build two or three projects during the week – including a solid hardwood chess board and a wooden sign featuring their own personal flair.  The third project changes depending on the personality of the group and how much time we have to finish the rest of the curriculum.  The third project may range from a wooden toy truck, airplane or gumball machine – or something totally unexpected.

While your child is waiting for glue and paint to dry – we explore other subjects related to their projects – including: chemistry and painting.  We also show them how to protect their final projects with the use of finishes and composites such as resin and fiberglass (the same materials they use with many boat kits).

The time is designed around the Boy Scouts of America – merit badge program, however, any student regardless of school, group or gender can participate. 

Topics include:

  • Woodwork (focus on hand tools)

  • Art (study of and basic application)

  • Composite Materials

  • Chemistry (as related to the above topics)


Please consider joining us.

Who Can Attend?

Boys and girls ages 12 – 17 or currently in a minimum of the 7th grade. 

The week is designed around the Boy Scouts of America – merit badge program, however, any student regardless of school, group or gender can participate.

Boy Scouts – please see additional requirements below.

Boy Scouts wanting to earn certain merit badges must also meet these requirements:

  • Completed blue cards for each merit badge they want to earn.

  • Woodwork Merit Badge: It is recommended that Scouts are 1st Class and have earned First Aid and have their Totin’ Chip.

  • Chemistry Merit Badge: Scouts must build the Cartesian diver on their own and bring to class during the week. They must also complete Requirement #4 off-site.


Space is very limited.  Schedule early to get your desired time(s). 

Two schedules to choose from.  (Choose one Group)

Group 1 (AM): Wednesday, OCTOBER 17th – Saturday, October 20, 2018  9a – noon

  • Student can be dropped off no earlier than 8:45a

  • Student must be picked up no later than 12:30p [1]

Group 2 (PM): Wednesday, OCTOBER 17th – Saturday, October 20, 2018  1P – 4p

  • Student can be dropped off no earlier than 12:45p

  • Student must be picked up no later than 4:30p [1]



Fees include building space, materials, tools, storage, basic snacks and wood checkers for your chess board.

  • ~ Now open for reservations ~ $95/week (early bird - register before October 10th, 2018), $125 regular

  • Registration closes October 10th, 2018 at 6a.

Financial assistance is available. 

A parent/guardian must be able to volunteer a minimum of 4 hrs to receive $20 off fees.  Not all classes will need volunteers.  Limited openings available. 

  • Volunteers must be able to follow directions and assistance with glue, paints, tools, etc.

  • Fees are reimbursed after class completion.

Chess Pieces: (+$25)

Your child can also make chess pieces from nuts, bolts, anchors and more.  We recommend using the ‘optional’ days to focus on these pieces because they do involve solvents, super glue and paint.  Also comes with a plastic carrying case to transport your pieces. 

Tool Use

Note ~ All participants may use hand clippers, chisels, sanding blocks, knives, hand drill and hand saw - among other hand tools.  Participants age 14 and older may also use powered palm sanders, finish sanders, power drills and small grinders (Dremel).  No child under 14 will be allowed to handle any power tool during this course - no exceptions. No participant will be allowed to operate power tools such as a table saw, circular saw, planer, drum sander, miter saw or band saw.                                                                            


Boardwalk DIY Studio volunteers are not licensed teachers, daycare providers or babysitters (for lack of a better term).  We do have over 11 years of mentoring and teaching students ages 7 – 17 and over 20 years in wood working, crafts and entrepreneurship.

John Hodnefield (lead instructor) has been with the Three River’s District (Northern Star Council) for over 10 years and is Youth Protection trained (BSA), a merit badge counselor and a Unit Commissioner.

All of the adults helping during these events are volunteers.  Please treat them with respect and learn from their experience.


All participants are expected to follow the Boy Scout Oath and Law.  If your child is not a Boy Scout – please help familiarize them to these core expectations.

No use of electronics with permission by instructor(s).

Students will be expected to work as a team AND to the best of their ability.  They will NOT be allowed to waste the time or disrupt others.

Arriving/Leaving Campus

Children will be permitted to leave campus – only at the approved end times for each day – OR when a parent/guardian makes arrangements to pick them up outside of the daily schedule.

All parents/guardians picking up their child MUST present a Driver’s License.

What to bring

  • Comfortable clothes. Short sleeves preferred, or long sleeves that can be rolled up.

  • Safety glasses.

  • Long hair must be tied back.

  • Boy Scouts must bring a completed Blue Card, Merit Badge Workbook, Notebook and pencils to class. Workbooks and some projects can be done at home during the week.

Dismissal from Program/Refunds

If parent(s) must be called to pick up their child because of their child’s inability to follow rules and expectations at camp – there will be no refunds, no readmittance for the rest of the week and an approved parent/guardian must pick them up from campus.  We cannot let the child leave and walk/bike home on their own.

However, the parent/guardian does have the opportunity to try and talk their child out of whatever rule(s) they are having issues following and we can all return back to class.

Changes to Schedule(s)

Boardwalk DIY Studio has no plans on changing the schedule for this time.  However, if a change becomes necessary – we will work with all affected participants to find a solution.


[1] Students will be expected to work on projects until they leave campus.  Students are NOT allowed to loiter in the building, disturb other classes, play in the parking lot or disturb other businesses.  They must focus on their projects.