Canoe Project Turns Into Service Project

Trei Decker, Auburn Adventist Academy (AAA) senior, wanted to do something impossible.

At least that was one of his three personal requirements for his senior research physics project. The project only required 20 hours, but Decker clocked in more than 120 hours building a cedar wood-strip canoe.

Decker also wanted the project to be meaningful and purposeful. He wanted to tangibly give back to the academy. Decker found a donor for the materials and a way to benefit AAA, by putting the canoe in the school's annual Hearts of Gold benefit auction.

"This project has given me a purpose, something to work towards during the year," says Decker, "and a memory of my senior year that I will never forget."

Each stage of the process since February has been new for Decker. This was not just because he hadn't worked on a woodworking project before, but also because this is not a standard woodworking project. He consulted books, DVDs and experts in the field to get it right the first time.

"A project such as this requires endurance, craftsmanship, creativity, trust and divine aid," says Tom Allen, Decker's teacher and project supervisor. "From a teacher-student perspective, this project is very rewarding for both of us."

With its award-winning design, beautiful finish and all the love that Decker painstakingly invested, it is sure to benefit the academy when it goes up for auction on Feb. 24, 2013, in more ways than he could have ever imagined.

August 01, 2012 / Washington Conference