It all started with a dream.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
MEET the Artist / Craftsman
Jim Gleich (Juggling Jim)
Above is the proof in the program. I stand there with my son Patrick after he and I finished the frame of his first boat. The look on our faces tells it all. This was a great experience for him and me to work together and share some quality time.
Over the course of my life, I have always enjoyed learning skills from the past and then teaching those skills. I'm a self taught boat builder and craftsman with an eclectic background. I eventually became a Physical Education Teacher who shares his love of crafting things with his students. I live by the motto "He who has the most toys, has no storage."
2002 - THE IDEA IS BORN
While working as a P.E. Teacher in New Hampshire, the school I worked in did not have an after school program. I decided to create a boat building club to help solve this situation. Unfortunately, the program had to wait for a new venue.
2003 - 2015 - DIFFICULT BEGINNINGS
The new venue became the "After School Program" for the Town of Ashland, NH where I became the Parks and Recreation Director. I started the program with the children who attended the program. We started building in the winter and would build from December through April. We had built 11 boats, even the teaching canoes for our summer camp. We had a blast and all of the boats did float. After 12 years, budget cuts put an end to this program.
2016 - Changing Gears
Gears were changing. I brought the "Hope It Floats" Program with me back to a school. I gained permission from the school principal to start this program with the eighth grade students. This would be an enrichment program, a STEM (Science, Technology, Ener
2020 - "Hope It Floats" / Pandemic Adjustments
2020 presented the strangest twist of all. We had just finished the boats with the eight graders when we received the message from the school district to go into remote learning. Lucky for us the boat was finished. However this gave me the opportunity to work from home and get some boats built. I took the opportunity and time to build a 14' canoe (Lakeside Model) and deliver it to a friend in Maine. She absolutely loved it! Many of her friends and family had all these questions about the boat and where to find one. Well I was convinced to start building boats as a side business. Strange how a hobby and love of teaching a skill has brought about this little adventure. Welcome to my new world of boats. Welcome to "Hope It Floats," believe me they do.