Welding camp teaching next generation of workers at NPSS

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – North Peace Secondary School is hosting a CWB Welding Foundation Mind over Metal Camp this week.

The camp has 16 students aged 12-16 from across Fort St. John being taught the basics of welding and allows them to complete projects of their choice.

Group shot of students in the Mind over Metal Camp. Photo by John Luke Kieper.

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NPSS metal shop teacher Ryan Britton explained that there are 50 of these camps going on across Canada and that the number could continue to grow.

“It’s growing, it’s becoming a really big event Canada wide,” said Britton. “They’re just trying to get kids in welding, I think that’s the goal.”

Ryan Britton teaching his students. Photo by John Luke Kieper.

Some of the skills Britton has taught the students over the camp have included welding, machining, CNC plasma table skills, tig welding and more.

Britton added that the students have been excellent so far as they are very eager to learn new skills.

“I’m impressed, they’re a really keen group. They just can’t wait for the power button to go on so they can go and get at it.”

Some of the projects students have been working on include a minibike, a sign for their home, and a dragster.


Nicholas Soares with the sign he plans to hang on his house. Photo by John Luke Kieper.

Students Warwick Thomas and Trenton Pillon are building a mini dragster. The two hope to race their classmates mini-bike at the end of the program. Thomas explained that Mr. Britton has taught him many things that he had never known how to do before this week.

Trevor Pillon (left) and Warwick Thomas (right) in front of their mini dragster they are designing out of a volley ball poll. Photo by John Luke Kieper.

“Mr. Britton just kinda told us how to do it, like do that and push it,” said Thomas. “That’s what I did, it’s scary but it worked. It’s awesome.”

Pillon mentioned that he really enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the camp and if not for his mother he may not have been there.


“My mom works at the high school, so I went to this staff party and saw Mr. Britton there,” said Pillon. “He was like ‘take the welding course’ and my mom said ‘you’re not playing PlayStation all summer’. So that’s how I got here.”

Pillon added that coming into the program he knew nothing about welding and was grateful for the opportunity.

“I came here knowing absolutely nothing about welding, so now I learned the basic construct of it, I’m not good at it but I know how to do it,” said Pillon.

Student Trevor Laminski explained that his favourite part of the course was when Mr. Britton gave him the thumbs up to build a minibike, something he wanted to do for a long time.

“It’s a great course, I would recommend it to a lot of people,” said Laminski.


Students working on their projects. Photo by John Luke Kieper.

NPSS has hosted the camp for three years now and according to Britton if it’s up to him they will host it at least another three.

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