Let’s Build Construction Camp for Girls

“Let’s Build Construction Camp for Girls was founded with a goal to ignite the spark within girls to explore the built environment through architecture, engineering, construction, and building material manufacturing related careers.
The special nature of Let's Build organically teaches essential life lessons in leadership, communication, confidence, and problem solving to complement the technical training.”  https://www.letsbuildcamp.com

July 10-14, 2023, the CSI Phoenix chapter in conjunction with Let’s Build Construction Camp for Girls hosted its first ever camp for Arizona.

The Arizona Roofing Contractors Association was truly instrumental while joining forces with the Southwest Contractors Union, Power Arizona and all the individual sponsors who made this camp possible as well as bringing all the trades together for a common purpose. The generosity of ARCA, National Women in Roofing Phoenix Chapter, the individual companies and personal donations from our members helped the 2023 Camp provide camp essentials. Essentials included a tool bag filled with $250 worth of construction tools used during the week and anti-slip steel toe shoes that the girls could keep and continue their exploration of related construction fields. All PPE was provided, and appropriate usage and safety was taught throughout the week. The girls also took home hard hats, safety glasses, gloves and ear protection courtesy of Elite Roofing Supply and Progressive Roofing.

Eight campers attended the first camp in conjunction with four carpentry apprentices who learned design, reading plans and specifications, carpentry, dry wall, electrical, plumbing, roofing, paint, and flooring. ARCA Members Star Roofing, Beacon Building Products and Minnie Robles had the opportunity to teach girls how to install shingles and metal standing seam provided by American Roofing Supply and ATAS International. L & W Supply donated all dry wall and accessories for the girls to finish off their structures to prep for painting.

  - CSI ARCA 3 710x533

For a real-world perspective, the campers took three field trips. They attended The Reference Library, which is a resource architects use for material specification, and chose their paint colors. Then they visited Home Depot to learn all things paint and about the jobs at the ProDesk and in the paint department. After, McCarthy General Contractors gave them a guided tour of ASU’s Human Development Building, learning about sustainable products used during construction and the coordination efforts between the trades, including carpenters, roofers, and electricians, to bring a building to life. To top off the educational trip, campers ended the day at a local ice cream shop for a special treat.

  - CSI ARCA 2 710x533

The campers had a phenomenal time designing their final project and painting it. The Southwest Carpenter’s Union built additional structures and provided a constant presence of instructors for the entirety of the camp. The instructors provided guidance and help throughout the build as well as motivation and encouragement to help teach confidence to our campers. Campers came up with some amazing ideas, painting Aliens and Space, Soaring high in the clouds and their very own Mexican Paleteria (Ice Cream Shop).

We ended the week with a celebration where we invited friends and family as well as the media (we were featured in Telemundo Noticias) to showcase what the girls had accomplished, to teach parents about the benefits of construction trades and the fantastic accomplishments of our campers. An amazing thing that happens when you teach young women the value of the trades; confidence sparks as they learn they, too, belong. “You have to see it, to be it.”

As the Camp Leader, I am proud to say all us volunteers learned just as much about resilience, teamwork, and confidence from these girls as they learned from us during this special week spent with them.

We are looking forward to next year and look forward to the association’s involvement.