Woodwright Experience

Borrowed from www.clcboats.com

Borrowed from www.clcboats.com

Chess Board

Chess Board

Borrowed from www.clcboats.com

Borrowed from www.clcboats.com


Woodwright Experience, High Adventure Learning

New for 2018/19, Boardwalk DIY Studio, Andover, MN


Instructors | John Hodnefield, Boardwalk DIY Studio Staff and Community Volunteers

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

The week is designed around the Boy Scouts of America – Merit Badge program, however, any student regardless of school, group or gender can participate.  Ages 12-18.

Students ages 12 - 18 can enroll in any session. Participants ages 10 - 18 (must be currently enrolled in 6th grade or higher) - can enroll for Wednesday sessions.

Participants will have the opportunity to build a hand stitched, hand laid wood kayak, canoe or hybrid.  Schedule spans 6 weeks (one day each week).

DescriptionWho Can Attend | Schedule | Fees | Frequently Asked Questions



This program is centered on woodworking, art and science.  

Each Tier (see schedule) has different projects. This makes it possible for your student to attend multiple tiers throughout the colder months of the year.

What We Expect

Each student must arrive prepared and ready to explore. They must be respectful to everyone, remain safe and be good stewards towards the program.

Students and parents need to be flexible. There will be homework. There may be a need to meet outside of the session schedule (by mutual agreement).

Students must take care of tools, safety equipment and make sure to clean the Studio before they can leave.

What to Expect

The program is centered around three core design elements:  wood, paint and fiber arts.  Participants will build a variety of projects during their sessions (tier).  

While your student is waiting for glue and paint to dry – we explore other subjects related to their projects – including: art, 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).

I (John Hodnefield) and the staff at Boardwalk DIY Studio promise to help every student complete every project (that they wish to complete) and stick with each Boy Scout that wishes to finish a merit badge. We will make every attempt to give more value to your commitment to our program.

Please Note

At no time - is your student required to make a project on their own. If they would rather help other students as a team - they are more than welcome to do that. This excludes BSA requirements where applicable.

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 - we cannot guarantee you complete any of the merit badges listed in this program. However, if you truly want to put in the effort - we will help you successfully complete the merit badge.

Core subjects include:

  • Woodwork (focus on hand tools)

  • Painting

  • Chemistry

  • Composite Materials

Other subjects may include:

  • Art (study of and basic application)

  • Entrepreneurship

  • American Business

  • Inventing

If your student is completing merit badge requirements - please remain flexible. They can continue to work on these requirements outside of the session timelines and meet with me during an open session or by another arrangement.



Who Can Attend?

This activity is designed for Scouts and non-Scouts, boys, girls ages 12 -18*.  Bring your friends and family.  Each participant is required to pay the class fee(s) and actively participate in the class.

Who should attend?

This series of classes is intended for students who enjoy working with their hands, hearts and minds.  Each participant must be able to work with hand tools (or have a parent/guardian who can work with hand tools) and be able to follow directions.

Scouting Member

Not a Scout?  No problem.  

Can my student bring a friend for one day?

Yes. These activities are open to boys and girls ages 12-18*. If the friend will participate in all 6 sessions - please register that friend as normal. If the friend wants to join only one class (or less than 6) - please register as a friend (please remember to pick the date/time).

Please remember that we do not plan to cover an entire merit badge in one meeting - so we recommend that you bring a friend who is NOT expecting to complete a merit badge.
First and foremost – this activity is intended to be fun.  The ‘interesting’ type of fun.  The ‘explore the stars’ kind of fun.  Not the ‘I am laughing so hard that I cannot feel my toes’, fun.

What if my Scout already has some of the merit badges listed?

We are open to Scouts and non-Scouts, boys, girls ages 12 -18*.  The program goes from beginning to end and is structured to cover the merit badges listed.  At this time - we cannot ‘ala cart’ activities specific to each Scout.  Even if your Scout has earned a merit badge or two – I guarantee that we are going to cover the subject(s) from a different angle and that the entire group will benefit from your Scout’s experiences.

* If your child is age 11 and would like to attend - please contact John Hodnefield - maker@boardwalkdiy.us.
Special permission must be given before anyone younger than 12 can register.

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.

Fees & Financial Aid


Fees include building space, materials, tools and storage.

  • Ages 12 - 18

    • Program Cost: $145 per participant

      • This covers all materials and project fees.


There are no discounts at this time.  Groupon codes do not apply to this program.  

If you/your student chooses to not complete a certain project (for example: they don't want to build the chess board) - there is no discount applied.

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.


Scheduling & Registration


Tiers are repeatable if your student wants to help build another project - or need/want to complete another merit badge.

  • 2 hr classes (pick a day and a 2 hr block that works best).

    • Mondays [After School] 3:30 - 5:30p

    • Monday and Thur 7-9p

    • Sat 9-11, 1-3, 5-7

  • We may open more days/times if needed.

Note: Tiers are NOT based on skills learned from other Tiers.  Tiers are used to simply separate the different offerings.  They can be taken in any order.

We may be able to offer a few 'freeform' sessions where students can come in and work on their projects independently.  This would be a great time to bring in mom and dad and show them what you are working on.


There are 3 Tiers (or sessions) that your student can participate in.  Each session has a few differences that make them unique.



  • Works through course material from beginning to end. This includes general subject matter, tooling techniques and overall flow of the program.


  • Each Tier is intended to be as unique as possible - so your student could potentially participate in more than one Tier.

  • Each Tier has their own unique set of skills based projects, assignments and service hours in order to keep the material fresh and interesting.

  • Students who have completed one or more Tiers have the opportunity to become an assistant (Woodwright Apprentice) - giving them an expanded set of options for merit badges and/or other topics.

Tier 1

Tier 1 sessions begin the week of October 15th.

  • Registration opens September 4th, 2018

  • $145 per student.

Tier 2

Tier 2 sessions begin the week of January 7th.

  • Registration opens September 10th, 2018

  • $145 per student.

Tier 3

Tier 3 sessions begin the week of March 25th. 

  • Registration opens November 26th, 2018

  • $145 per student.

Changes to Schedule(s)

Our sessions and activities follow the Anoka Hennepin Public School calendar.  This also included school closings for weather and/or other emergencies.

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

Equipment Needed

Basic Safety Gear is provided.  We will also have required safety gear that you can either purchase from us or from other vendors.

Please Note: We will be in an environment with loud noises, lots of dust and use of chemicals. For the safety of everyone - if you cannot handle yourself appropriately - you will need to leave.

Supplied Safety Gear (covered in tuition fee)

  • Ear Plugs (in ear)

  • Safety Glasses and/or shields

  • Non Latex Gloves

  • Basic Hair Ties

Students need to purchase:

We do strive to supply all safety gear - however, some gear is more ‘personal’ than others.

If you would like to rent/purchase this additional equipment through Boardwalk DIY Studio - please select those options when registering your student.
— ~Thanks
  • Respirator* (with name on it) [AMZN]

  • Respirator Filters

    • (1) pair for dust [AMZN], (1) pair for VOC's [AMZN]

* Feel free to donate your used respirator after the finish of the program. All filters will be used and not returned.

Other recommended safety gear:

  • Over Ear Hearing Protection (ear muffs) [AMZN] - only if ear plugs may not be enough.

  • Safety Glasses - if they are particular to a special brand or style

Additional Requirements for Boy Scouts

Merit Badge(s)

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

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

  • Must bring a current merit badge book and workbook for each merit badge they wish to earn.

  • Required merit badge projects (found/suggested in the books)

    • most of these will be completed during the sessions.

Merit Badge Specific

Scouts must complete these requirements outside of class sessions. If any of these merit badges take longer than the 6 weeks we have as a group - I will be more than happy to meet with Scouts during open sessions to finish the badge.

  • Art

    • #4. Scouts will have a chance to render a project in paint (acrylic/water base) and pencil. They need to complete 2 more projects.

    • #6. With your parent's permission and your counselor's approval, visit a museum, art exhibit, art gallery, artists' co-op, or artist's workshop. Find out about the art displayed or created there. Discuss what you learn with your counselor.

  • American Business [We can begin this merit badge, however the 3 month commitment will need to be worked outside of the session(s).]

    • #2. We cannot guarantee a field trip to a financial institution. If anyone can help with that - that would be great.

    • #3. Tier 1, will not complete the stock investment exercise, however Tier 2 and Tier 3 will compete in the ‘Stock Market Game’, sponsored by Best Prep, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, RBC Wealth Management and Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota.

  • Chemistry

    • #3. Scouts must build the Cartesian diver on their own and bring to class during the week.

    • #4. They must also complete Requirement #4 off-site.

  • Composite Materials

    • #4b. This will be homework.

  • Entrepreneurship

    • #5. This is quite a bit of work for each Scout to take on. Scouts are more than welcome to complete this requirement during the session (including homework). If they really want to experience this piece - we suggest completing the Minnesota Business Venture program - during the summer - offered by BestPrep.

  • Inventing

    • #6 and #7. This is the Scout, developing and presenting their invention. While the end result varies widely - the Scout should finish each requirement carefully and completely. We will have time to work on some of these requirements during the sessions.

  • Painting

    • no notes at this time

  • Woodwork

    • It is recommended that Scouts be 1st Class and have earned First Aid and have their Totin’ Chip.

This list may be modified at anytime.

Rules and Guidelines

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.     


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 without 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 disrupt others.


John Hodnefield has been with BSA for over 10 years and is an Eagle Scout (1991), Wood Badge trained and member of the OA. John is also current with BSA Youth Protection.

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, business and entrepreneurship.

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

Arriving/Leaving Program

Students will be permitted to leave the facility – 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.

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 an activity – there will be no refunds, no re-admittance for the rest of the week and an approved parent/guardian must pick them up from the session.  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.

Who should not attend?

Please don’t attend if you think this is an easy way to earn a few merit badges.  Your attitude and drive will either help you – or allow you to fail.  We are here to help those who want to succeed.  If you/your student continually interferes with the class – we will be forced to dismiss them from the class.  If you think your student may have issues – please be respectful and remain in the parking lot.  Remember, no refunds.