Saint Louis’ Only Boat Building Camp (2020 Canceled)

Saint Louis' Only Boat Building Camp

DUE TO COVID-19 and the safety of our community, our Second Annual Boat Building Camp 2020 is canceled.

For refunds, please email


The Camp

Building Futures: Design and Build Workshop

Our campers will work together to build a 4-person Bevin Skiff start to finish. The week will culminate with a Friday afternoon boat launch celebration where each student will have the chance to pilot the boat they built on calm water.

Our program is rooted in the Teaching With Small Boats methodology, a curriculum focused on having an enormous amount of fun while honing math skills through hands-on learning about woodworking and boat building.

The Boat

The Bevins Skiff

Renown boatbuilder, teacher, and innovator Joe Youcha designed The Bevin Skiff. She is an 11’ 8” flat bottomed skiff 4’4” wide at the beam that is very stable, safe, easy to row, and can carry 4-5 people or 450lbs. A child who has never rowed a boat can quickly learn to do so in this simple but handsome wooden boat. She can be outfitted with a sailing rig but we will build her to row. She is named after Joe’s beloved dog Bevin.

Joe has built hundreds of Bevins Skiffs with both youth and adults across North America in workshops, job training programs, and schools to offer folks a unique making experience that always wraps with a never-to-be-forgotten boat launch. The Bevin is carefully designed to ensure a quick, fun, and safe construction process that can be built by children new to woodworking. The clever design requires no fiberglass or dangerous chemicals to construct and enjoy.

Program Director and Instructor

Jay Reeves, AIA LEED AP BD+C

Jay loves to design, build, and teach. He has built an array of peculiar objects from furniture and small scale gadgets; to boats and hand-carved paddles; to freestanding buildings. Jay is a weekly Volunteer Instructor and Board Member at Building Futures Design Build Studio.

Jay attended a class at Wooden Boat School in Brooklin, Maine called Teaching with Small Boats, lead by Joe Youcha (Bevin’s designer) The class offered educators both strategies and projects to teach Math skills through the practical challenges of boatbuilding. Joe and his disciples created this curriculum and inspired Jay to bring boatbuilding to Saint Louis youth.

When not at Building Futures, Jay is the parent of two daughters who like to make; a kayak and canoe paddler; a skier; and an urban sketcher.

He is an architect at SPACE Architects + Designers + Builders and is proud to have received recognition for design awards locally and nationally.

Tuition & Time

Tuition is $250 and includes breakfast, lunch, snacks and the material fees for several projects including everything it takes to build a boat they will row!

Camp Hours:

Drop off 8:45-9:00 AM

Pickup: 4:00-4:30pm

Optional Before camp care:  8:00 AM - 9:00 AM | Cost: $25 for the week

Optional After camp care:  4:30 PM - 6:00 PM | Cost: $25 for the week