Community Papers

Wood working helps carve out creativity

John Crockett, job coach for the West Kootenay youth and adult wood shop, crafts a custom ordered shadow box out of reclaimed wood. - Sheri Regnier
John Crockett, job coach for the West Kootenay youth and adult wood shop, crafts a custom ordered shadow box out of reclaimed wood.
— image credit: Sheri Regnier

John Crockett loves to craft things from wood, and he brings his passion to a garage in East Trail every week to teach skills to those who struggle in the community.

“Woodworking has been a hobby of mine for years,” said Crockett. “But working with the kids, is an added bonus.”

After being retired for 12 years, Crockett began working for the Career Development Services (CDS), by tinkering with appliances in need of repair, a service offered to the community by the CDS.

A year later, he jumped at the offer to be a job coach for the CDS, in its youth and adult wood shop program.

“I’ve been out of school over 50 years now,” said Crockett.

“But when students with various challenges come here to learn, I teach them what I can.”

The project is collaboration between the CDS and a support network from the Columbia Youth Development Centre, called Freedom Quest.

“There have been a lot of great stories around individuals in the wood shop and wood store front,” said Sheila Adcock, coordinator for the CDS.

“They have made friends, feel a sense of belonging and accomplishment, which enhances their mental health.”

There are various items made in wood shop, which are then sold in the Hand Made By shop on Bay Avenue in downtown Trail.

Common items built are step stools; step up chairs, wood drying racks, and custom orders, such as an oval tea cart that Crockett is currently working on.

The wood shop project does not require a budget for the wood, as pallets and bits and pieces that are usually discarded in the landfill, supply the shop with plenty of building medium.

“All the wood is scrounged, wherever I can get it from,” said Crockett.

“I have a 10’ X 20’ shack out back that is full right now.”

The wood shop used to close for the summers, but Crockett has kept it open year round.

“If I need a day off here or there, I just let them know, otherwise we are open for business.”

The program is attended by five to seven students on Thursday and Friday afternoons.

To order a hand-made product from the wood shop, contact CDS at 364-1104.


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