History

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Since 2002, Compass Project has offered boat building and rowing programs to more than 2,000 Maine youth through collaborations with public schools, residential treatment programs, and programs for adjudicated youth. The Compass Project has worked with over 30 schools and youth agencies. Throughout our history, the Compass Project has consistently worked to serve a diverse cross section of youth including immigrant and refugee students, English Language Learners, and youth challenged by the traditional classroom. Our shop has served as a safe, alternative learning environment in which kids discover and develop life long learning skills.

In addition, Compass Project has collaborated with summer camps and offered weekend boat building events for youth and adults. Our skiffs, dories, prams, kayaks, canoes, and stand up paddle boards ply fresh and saltwater throughout the Northeast.

In 2010, Compass Project became a community-based program of Spurwink Services. Established in 1960, Spurwink Services is a licensed, nationally accredited non-profit mental health agency with 50 years of experience providing mental health services to meet the diverse needs of individuals and families with emotional, behavioral and developmental challenges. Headquartered in Portland, Spurwink offers an extensive continuum of services for more than 6,500 Maine children, adults and families in 13 counties throughout Maine.

In 2015, Engine, a non-profit arts organization in downtown Biddeford adopted the Compass Project. Engine hosts a makerspace and fabrication lab program, Maine FabLab, in its 128 Main Street location and, now with the Compass Project, features a full-capacity woodworking shop as well as design, and 3D printing capabilities.

Since July, 2015 the Compass Project boat shop operates out of Biddeford High School and continues to offer school-based boatbuilding programs, workshops for youth and adults, computer-aided Design/Build courses, and recreational on-water opportunities.

 

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