When it was discovered at Bar Harbor, Maine, a year or more ago that there were older boys in the Association who were not interested in any form of educational, physical or other kind of work then carried on, a manual training class was organized under the supervision and direction of a local school master who was also a skilled mechanic. The basement was pressed into service for the accommodation of the shop and each fellow who joined the class was obliged to supply himself with tools.
The first work done was the building of the work-bench which each fellow was required to make for himself.
Each boy became intensely interested in this first bit of work and there was considerable rivalry and personal pride in this first effort and in the erection of the bench upon which each would later have to work. After the work-benches were completed the real work of the class began and enthusiasm held the boys from the start.
They began by building corner seats in some of the Association rooms, by mending chairs and doing other general repair work. Then they took up more difficult work as, for instance, the building of a front, enclosed porch with a glass door in the center. Several local mechanics inspected the work and admitted that it was a creditable performance. This porch was so constructed that it could be taken down easily in the spring, laid away in sections, and replaced in the fall. With careful handling it ought to serve its purpose for several years to come.
NAPHTHA LAUNCH BUILT BY BAR HARBOR BOYS.
The boys then began to build double runner sleds, small closets for use in their homes and other useful articles which were ordered of them by friends. Later, they attempted boat building and three small boats were constructed. The one which sailed under the Association pennant last summer carried as many as eighteen passengers. The physical director acted as skipper and Association members used it many times during the summer for outings. This launch was equipped with a five-horse power engine and traveled eight miles an hour.
The total cost to the Association was very small and more than offset by the work done in repairing and so on throughout the building. Over a car load of lumber was used by the boys. This was paid for by each of those in the class as it was used for making all articles for private use. The boys manifested a good interest in the class, which they maintained. Even after the season was over the shop* was more or less used by the boys.