Members of the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha will be launching the boats made in Boat Building Camp Saturday, July 2 at the Kenosha Community Sailing Center.

Boys & Girls Club members to launch boats constructed in Boat Building Camp Saturday

Event returns to the 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 morning, July 2, Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha members and instructors from All Hands Boatworks and Chicago Maritime Arts Center will launch an 11-foot rowboat that Club members are constructing in this summer’s Boat Building Camp.

The launch will take place at Kenosha Community Sailing Center (5128 4th Ave.) from 9:30 a.m. to noon and is open to the general public. Light refreshments and breakfast snacks will be available for attendees. The program is sponsored by Snap-on, Offsite, and Wintrust Bank.

Emeritus Board Member and co-founder of the Shirley Madrigrano and Natalie Lee Arts Foundation, Joe Madrigrano Jr. introduced this program to Kenosha in 2021. The boat building camp is just one example of the many programs introduced to our youth through the Arts Foundation.

The boat building camp for members ages 10-15 helps develops hands-on woodworking, problem solving and teamwork skills, while also offering participants a connection to Kenosha’s waterfront through building small boats. The kids learn life-skills and are introduced to potential recreation and vocational opportunities.

This 40-hour program takes students on a journey to measure, fit, assemble, and finish a small rowing skiff they get to launch in the Downtown Kenosha Harbor at Lake Michigan. Ten Club members were selected to participate in the camp and are working four hours each day throughout the two weeks leading up to the launch. For some kids, this will be their first time on the water.

“We are excited to return again to work with the Boys & Girls Club kids to build these boats for them to launch and row on July 2,” lead instructor Patrick McBriarty said. “This was made possible with the support of Milwaukee’s All Hands Boat Works and the support last year of Chicago Maritime Arts Center, demonstrating the vitality of youth development programs in the area for teaching with small boats.

“We are excited to return again to work with the Boys & Girls Club kids to build these boats for them to launch and row on July 2.”

– Patrick McBriarty, lead instructor

“This is part of a national network and movement started more than 25 years ago. These programs are designed to give kids and communities a new avenue to STEAM, the trades, and life skill development through project based learning. We hope this year to not only impart fun, teamwork, tool skills and boost the confidence of the kids participating in this year’s program, but also to spur the community to develop a working group to shepherd and deliver more of this programming for Kenosha kids for the future.”

Interested parties in contributing to instruction or organizing this Kenosha effort should visit the boat build or email Joe Rickard at

If you are interested in learning more about the Arts Foundation or contributing, please contact Tara Panasewicz at

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.