Tolles offering free construction camp for girls this summer


(Posted May 11, 2023)

Tolles Career and Technical Center in Plain City is offering a free construction camp this summer for girls entering grades 7-9 this fall.

This new camp is set for Aug. 1-3 and includes hands-on activities related to welding, carpentry, electric, plumbing, and safety. The camp is free, thanks to donations from several local organizations. Local tradeswomen from companies including Turner Construction, Corna Kokosing, and Barton Malow Builders, will provide instruction. The local construction industry is sponsoring this event, and it is all happening with donations and volunteer hours.

“This group of women is very passionate about this camp and very excited about the activities they have planned,” says Dr. Kris Sander, Tolles satellite director.

Doug Maggied, Tolles board president, saw a similar camp offered in Wisconsin and thought it would be a great opportunity for students from Tolles’ feeder schools.

“Studies show that middle school girls start eliminating careers at that age, and with this being a largely male-dominated field, having an opportunity to show girls what’s involved in a career path like this is important so they just don’t eliminate it. We want them to know they can be anything they want to be,” Sander said.

Space is limited to the first 30 girls who sign up in order to ensure safety and personalized attention.

“We want them to have a meaningful experience in their three days here,” Sander explained. “That one-on-one time with females in construction is really important. This isn’t about just sitting and listening. It’s about building and welding and learning aspects of the trade to see if they have interest in this later on as a possible career path.”

Campers will use their newly acquired skills to build dog houses and lamps as part of camp activities. The last day of camp will culminate with a panel of women in construction trades talking about what they do in their careers, answering questions, and sharing what life is like on a job site.

“In addition to the panel, we will have two recent Tolles graduates–one in welding and one in construction, both women, and both hired directly into their fields right out of high school–to share their experiences, as well,” Sander said.

To learn more or register for the camp, which is sponsored by Central Ohio Contractors, email Sander at


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.