Monday, May 6, 2013

MAGIC Camp!!

And it really does feel like that.  Like it's magic.  I feel as though I am tumbling down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland...

It's been soooo hard to sit on this news -- I've known for weeks now -- but I wanted to be sure that all the pieces were in place, and that I had accurate information before I told you about it.

M.A.G.I.C. means Mentoring A Girl In Construction.  Just for starters, wow.  How cool is that?!  A summer day camp that teaches girls construction?  Where was this when I was in high school??

MAGIC Camp is a one week (40hr+/-) hands on training camp for high school girls. The camp brings a variety of construction and related trade "modules" to the girls to give them experience in the trades for future work skills and personal use. While fostering self- empowerment to the girls it also teaches teamwork, group dynamics and responsibilities.

The participants attend the camp at no charge thanks to our generous chapter members and industry sponsors. Each girl receives a complete hand tool set that is ergonomically correct and personal protective equipment that they will use during the camp that they will keep for themselves.

MAGIC Camp is fostered and supported by NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) National Office and the Ventura County Chapter has successfully partnered each of the its camps with ACE (Architecture Construction & Engineering) High School and the Oxnard Union High School District.

MAGIC Camps have been successfully organized by several NAWIC Chapters throughout California and across the United States since 2007+/-.  (Courtesy of Laurie Bennett)
 This year, the Ventura County Chapter is holding it's Camp the week of June 24th.  It's a group of 20 high schools girls, and construction professionals acting as their mentors.

And this year, ME.  And do you know why it includes me?

Because this year, the camp project is MY HOUSE.  

Oh, my gosh you guys, I can't even stand it!

So how did I end up here?  First, you'll remember Daniel (hero) from this post.

As if he isn't already too freakin' amazing, he also helps run this Camp.   And he called me a few weeks ago and said he had a proposition for me - what did I think of the MAGIC Camp girls working on my house??  I said if he trusted their construction skills, then certainly I did.  He said he did, and pointed out that in addition to the girls, there would be construction professionals as their mentors, and they would be working on it, too.  Well yeah, man, let's get THAT on the books!  And we did.

I will fly out to LA, and Monday - Friday I will be swinging a hammer with these young ladies!  We will build and insulate the sub-floor, frame the walls and roof, and and and... well, I don't know how far we will get past that.  But honestly?  It doesn't even matter - even if we get that much done I will be just over the moon.

AND, my workshop friend and fellow Tiny Angel NINA is coming too!!  (If only we could swindle our third Tiny Angel, Judy, to come down from Canada....Ohhh Juuuudy, where aaaaarrrre you?)

Here is a video from last year’s camp with highlights from the previous two years:  

The camp is organized by these two women, whom I cannot WAIT to meet:

LAURIE BENNETT - Vice President, ARBEE INC (Fence Factory & C&W Construction Specialties)

Laurie has been in the Construction Industry for over 34 years in her family’s specialty construction businesses; C&W Construction Specialties and Fence Factory. 

She holds her own State Contractors License and is certified by the American Fence Association as a Certified Fence Professional (CFP), one of only a few women in the Fence Industry. 

She has been a member of the NAWIC, Ventura County Chapter for over 20 years, has served on the Board of Directors and has been Chapter President. She previously served as a member of the Ventura County Contractor’s Association (VCCA) Board of Directors for 13 years and also served as Board President.  In 2008, She was honored with the” Outstanding Woman in Construction” award by the National Association of Women in Construction and Arizona State University, Del E. Web School of Construction Management. 

Laurie holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from California Lutheran University (CLU) and has continued her industry education at Ventura College’s Construction Technology Program. 

Her passion while involved with both construction industry associations has been education. She has been involved with NAWIC’s CADD and Manual Board Drafting Contest and Scholarship committees and the VCCA’s Education Committee.  She has also been an organizer and instructor for a Construction Camp geared for middle school students at Ventura College called “Construction is Cool”.
VALERIE PATSCHECK - CSUCI, Director of Procurement & Contract Services 

Valerie has been employed by the California State University for over 28 years, most recently at the Channel Islands campus as the Director of Procurement & Contract Services. Her specialty is design and construction contract administration for the public works projects at CI.

She has been a member of NAWIC for over 12 years and has served on the board of directors as well as most recently served as Chapter President for two terms.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in Public Administration and has earned a lifetime designation of Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) from NAPM/ISM.

Valerie is married to Stan Patscheck of Patscheck Construction Company and is currently serving as a NAWIC Regional Fund Trustee, Regional CADD Drafting Contest Chair.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I'd never heard of NAWIC.  The most embarrassing part of that?  They are based in Dallas.  Um, yeah, so I am going to have to get to know them!  Their website is:

What a win/win situation.  What an fantastic opportunity - to be able to give - and to receive, and to be a role model for young women.  Another amazing chapter of this life changing journey that I am on.



  1. YAY!!! Seriously - that's all I can think to say!
    I cannot WAIT for June 24th! ~Nina

    1. I'll be breakin' out the BIBS! LOL It's going to be an amazing week, girlfriend!

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