A Woodworking Life at RiverWoods

Gerry in the woodworking shop at the Woods campus with one of the oars he makes
Gerry in the woodworking shop at the Woods campus with one of his paddles.

Woodworking at RiverWoods is a common hobby for our residents. We have a woodshop equipped with all the tools you will need, available to all residents!

Research shows that older adults engaging in creative activities can result in greater longevity. One of the benefits of joining our community is that there are endless opportunities for residents to use their creativity!

Gerry joined the RiverWoods community with his wife Christy last fall, when they moved from Unity, Maine. They love that they immediately felt at home with the other residents and knew moving in that this is going to be their forever home. Gerry and Christy love walking the outdoor trails and enjoy working out in the fitness center and using the pool.

Woodworking for 15 years

Because of the wood shop, Gerry has been able to continue his woodworking hobby. He began woodworking 15 years ago. He is mainly self-taught and uses directions found in various books while learning from his mistakes. Sometimes he takes a class to refine his skills.

Primarily, Gerry was making wood canoes before moving to RiverWoods. Since then, he has changed direction and now is making wood paddles. How often does he go into the wood shop? “Pretty much daily,” he replies with a smile.

“Everybody I’ve made a canoe for needs a paddle, so I shifted to paddle making.”

Gerry doesn’t sell any of his work. “When making paddles for others,” he says, “if they’ll pay for my materials, I get my hobby paid for and I am happy.” He enjoys the design process, working in the shop by himself, and seeing people use the final product.

“Every paddle I build is better than the last.”

Gerry is humble about the skills he has developed but over time can see improvements in the finished product. They are beautiful items but are they functional?

That question makes Gerry laugh. He reminds us, “your canoe or paddle isn’t done until it’s in the water.”

Gerry with some of the other residents who use the workshop.
Gerry with residents, Jon, John, and Bob in the workshop.


Ready to learn more about the many creative opportunities available at RiverWoods? Our Senior Living Counselors would love to show you around! Click here to Schedule a Tour