Hands On Deck is a nonprofit organization empowering youth and families to succeed together through experiential learning focused on the science and art of building wooden boats and the preservation of traditional skills.

 We are PEOPLE focused and PROCESS driven.

Our Work

We have provided over 300 hundred wooden boat building and traditional skill classes with multiple community based organizations over the past three years. Our primary focus deals directly on assisting at-risk youth within the Brown County Health and Human Services through along term apprenticeship program. We accomplish our mission with the help of trained volunteer mentors that meet on Monday evenings and Wednesday mornings.

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.
— Benjamin Franklin


Mentoring is one of our main vehicles of teaching traditional skills.  By using mostly traditional hand tools, mentors and students "unplug" in their woodworking, boatbuilding, and handicrafts.  Its a more peaceful opportunistic atmosphere to learn, grow, and build with our community.


That being said, we also know that as our apprentices leave our shop that they need to be equipped for modern output and machine processes. Working with the Woodworking Career Alliance, we are certifying our mentors and apprentices through the WCA credentialing process. Please contact us for more information.


Get Involved

Learning to engage your head, hands, and heart is a traditional way of teaching and learning. We are looking for youth and adults who are ready to step out of their comfort zone to learn new skills and processes that will bring a new level of satisfaction to any project. If you'd like to learn more click here, and send us a note.