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Students rowing boats that they built

Boat Building Camp

Our Boat building classes help build vocational skills, leadership & teamwork



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Building Boats, Building Kids. Encouraging kids to find themselves and new pathways for their lives by learning teamwork, skills, tool use, and boat-building creativity, all while enhancing self-esteem, and teaching about the river and marine ecology. 

Our vision focuses on Chicago youth development to provide new opportunities, experiential learning and open new pathways through the maritime arts, particularly for those in under-served and under-resourced neighborhoods of the city.

We seek to develop a sustainable, diverse organization enriching Chicago youth by providing practical hands-on, STEAM, and life skills by teaching with small boats and maritime arts to enrich the lives of Chicago families and communities.


We envision Chicago’s great rivers and lake becoming approachable, accessible, and possible for all Chicagoans creating opportunities to encourage a connection to nature and the water through recreation, sharing knowledge, passion and community to open new vocational and avocational opportunities.


Long-term we envision creating a Maritime Park or Campus with water access for similarly-focused organizations to offer advocacy, education, programming, and even

The Chicago Maritime Arts Center is a proud member of the Teaching With Small Boats Alliance (TWSBA) -- a network of similar programs nationally and internationally supporting the 20-plus year movement of youth development through teaching with small boats and encouraging project-based learning.

For more information about our programs contact us.


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