Building More than Bird Houses

Building More than Bird Houses

Girl Scouts get a lesson on following a dream as well as how to use a palm screwdriver.

While at Reclaimed Michigan in Waterford, 26 Girl Scouts learned about starting a business out of passion, slight history about barn wood and how to build a bird house.

Reclaimed Michigan’s Bill McDonald and Matt Halcrow, neighbors and co-owners, have been running the salvaged barn wood business for nearly 10 years. What started as a hobby between friends evolved into the largest barn wood and reclaimed lumber business in the region.

And, this is the first time they’ve hosted Scouts of any kind, starting with our girls!

After a brief tale on how they started the business, the duo turned it over to their long-time woodworker Tracy Stempien, one of four women woodworkers at Reclaimed Michigan. Tracy and the others shared their journeys to working with wood, and how it plays into their professional lives.

Wearing eye and ear-protection provided by Reclaimed Michigan, the girls were treated to demonstrations of different machines in the shop before trying their hands at building bird houses. Reclaimed Michigan provided the bird house kit materials as well as a screwdriver, leveler, work gloves, and more for each Girl Scout.

With the help of the entire Reclaimed Michigan team and GSSEM volunteers (some who were handier with power tools than others) the Girl Scouts earned either a Craft and Tinker Badge for Juniors or the Woodworker badge for Cadettes.

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