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He’s Built 91 Kayaks at Chewonki and Counting

“Kids these days,” says boatbuilding instructor Bill Thomas, referring to the oft-used lament about youth. “Adults wouldn’t say that if they got to work with the kids I do with each summer. They would be hopeful. These kids are remarkable.” photo by Bill Thomas The Chewonki boat shop is a large, unassuming structure, usually speckled with moss and twigs. Situated between our board and batten maintenance facility and just over the hill from Salt Marsh Farm, it’s inconspicuous and out of the way from Camp hubbub. But, if you were to step through one of the large bay openings at the beginning of July, you’d find this modest structure is its own center of activity for a small group of teenagers: our Boatbuilders Saguenay Sea Kayak expedition. Each intensely focuses on the task at hand– joining, waterproofing, and finishing an 18-foot plywood kayak. They have to be because they have just two weeks to build before heading out for a two-and-a-half-week kayaking journey in Central Quebec. Editors note, our 2021 group traveled the rugged Atlantic Coastline from Stonington, Maine back …

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