Boat Shop Hosts Bowdoin Freshmen Orientation Group

For three days last week, The Carpenter’s Boat Shop was pleased to welcome a group of ten freshmen and their two upperclassmen leaders from Bowdoin College in Brunswick as a part of their pre-orientation program.  After spending their first night on the Bowdoin campus sleeping in the Farley Fieldhouse, 511 first-year students divided into 60 groups and headed off all over the state of Maine for three days of adventure, service and a time to get to know each other.

The Boat Shop’s founder and Bowdoin alumnus, Bob Ives, along with the Boat Shop’s Executive Director, Kim Hoare, welcomed the students to the Boat Shop campus on Wednesday introducing them to the wooden boatbuilding facilities and the Boat Shop’s mission and philosophy.  From there, the students immediately received a taste of woodworking as they spent the rest of their first day working in the Work Shop each beginning the project of building a Shaker Oval Box.  On Thursday and Friday, they split their time between box-building and offering service to the Boat Shop and the community of Loud’s Island.  At the Boat Shop, they stacked a number of cords of firewood and cleaned up its woodlot. Out on Loud’s Island, they did a variety of maintenance tasks for the island’s cemetery including building a new fence, mowing, and cleaning up the gravestones.  Each evening, the students took time to tour the Pemaquid Peninsula and share stories around the firepit back at the Boat Shop.

The students in this group came from all over the country from as far away as Los Angeles, California and as close as Brunswick, Maine.  Their group also included a variety of international students from China, Estonia and Mexico.  Some of the most poignant moments of their time at the Boat Shop happened as they shared meals together around the Boat Shop’s large dining room table.  On Saturday, after applying the final finish to their Shaker Oval Boxes, they climbed back into their van ready to re-join the rest of their first-year peers for the official kick-off of orientation and the start of classes this week.


This was the final summer event at The Carpenter’s Boat Shop after a summer filled with woodworking and boat building classes, youth service trips, and a successful fundraising dinner and auction.  In just two weeks, the Apprentice Class of 2019 will arrive and begin their 9-month wooden boat building apprenticeships.  You can learn more about The Carpenter’s Boat Shop at or stop by at our weekday Tea Breaks at 10am.