GREENVILLE – The Light Foundation opened its first ever STEM Timber Frame Camp at Chenoweth Trails Monday morning running through Wednesday.
“We have a great group of young people who are learning the art of timber framing,” said Matt Light. “It dates back to 5,000 BC so for 7,000 years they have been perfecting the art of timber framing. It died off and in recent years there has been a resurgence in the art of timber framing.”
“We have 13 young people from as far away as Florida, one from the great city of Foxborough, Massachusetts with most of them from right here in good old Darke County,” Light added.
The campers are making a timber frame shed that will be erected by the pond located at Chenoweth Trails.
“The shed will serve Chenoweth Trails and the Light Foundation for hopefully hundreds and hundreds of years just like the old timber frames of the past,” said Light. “The cool thing is – we have examples of timber frames all over Darke County from the great barns and homes to the log cabins and everything else that were utilized from the forests right here in the area.”
“Not only can young people see living examples of these incredible structures, but they also get the sense of accomplishment of crafting this incredible joinery just the way they would have done hundreds and hundreds of years ago by the early settlers that came to America from Europe,” Light continued. “It’s an exciting program – it’s very hands on.”
The Light Foundation brought some of the world’s finest timber frame builders to Darke County for the three day instructional camp.
“We have some of the best instructors in the world,” noted Light. “We have guys here from JCM Timberworks. They are a company located up in Holmes County (Killbuck, OH).”
Jacob Miller, the president of Friends of Ohio Barn Association along with his brother, John Miller, Rick Beck are in Greenville helping instruct the campers at Chenoweth Trails for the week.
“Rick is an incredible timber framer, former firefighter,” Light said. “We have Raymond Friend, another incredible timber framer, teacher turned timber framer. We have Mike Christman who has been integral in our timber framing here at the Light Foundation and to round that off we have Terry Clark of Bears Mill who has a rich history in Timber Framing as well.”
“All these instructors are doing an incredible job teaching these kids how to do mortise and tendons, all of the little hands chisel work, working with slicks and understanding how to respect tools.”
“It’s been an incredible journey so far,” Light concluded. “We’ll see how this thing ends up.”