Members of the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha will be launching the boats made in Boat Building Camp Saturday, June 26 at the Kenosha Community Sailing Center.

BGCK members to launch boats constructed in Boat Building Camp

Event set for Saturday, June 26 at Kenosha Community Sailing Center


Mission: To impact the most young people possible, especially those who need us the most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

On Saturday, June 26, Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha members and instructors from the Chicago Maritime Arts Center will be launching rowboats that Club members have been constructing in Boat Building Camp.

The boats will be launched at Kenosha Community Sailing Center (5128 Fourth Ave.) at approximately 9:30 a.m. The event is expected to last until 11:30 a.m. and is open to the general public. Light refreshments and breakfast snacks will be available for attendees. The camp and launch are sponsored by Snap-on and Offsite.

The program was introduced to the Club by Emeritus Board Member and co-founder of the Shirley Madrigrano and Natalie Lee Arts Foundation, Joe Madrigrano Jr.

“We started the Arts Foundation to expand the opportunities for our youth and donations are always accepted,” said Madrigrano. “The opportunities continue to grow, evident in this boat building camp and launch.”

The boat building camp for members ages 11-17 offers hands-on woodworking skills, problem solving and teamwork, while developing a connection to Kenosha’s waterfront by building small boats.

In the process, kids learn life-skills about potential vocational careers that don’t require an abundance of screen time. This 40-hour program takes students on a journey to measure, fit, assemble and finish two small rowing skiffs to be launched in the Downtown Kenosha Harbor on Lake Michigan.

Thirteen Club members were selected to participate in the camp and are working on the boats for several hours each day during the two weeks leading up to the launch. For many kids, this will be their first time on the water.

“Nearly all the public schools had canceled shop classes due to budgetary constraints,” said co-founder, Joe Rickard. “We at felt that this was terrible and that it’s important to fill the gap. I like to describe our programming as a youth vocational program, cleverly disguised as a recreational boat building camp. This is a STEM program with a structured curriculum and companion textbooks”. 

The Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha is a youth guidance organization dedicated to promoting health, social, educational, vocational, cultural, character and leadership development. The Club helps youth improve their lives by building skills, values and self-esteem. When you support the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha, you support the kids who need us the most and their great futures ahead. Visit to donate today.