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Course Content and Outcomes:

Our Carpentry 101 course is designed for beginners to learn the safety, maintenance, and practical applications of essential hand and power tools used for general carpentry and basic woodworking. Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to demonstrate competency in safety and basic use of the tools required to build a folding camp chair that each student will build during the course and retain after the class.

Upon completion of the Red Ants Pants Carpentry course, students will be able to:
  • Describe basic personal protective equipment, safety measures related to utilization of basic woodworking and carpentry tools;

  • Describe common types and characteristics of wood as a material;

  • Understand basic material sourcing;

  • Describe the intended use of common wood finishes;

  • Identify, describe and demonstrate the safe operation, maintenance and proper use of common hand tools including:

measuring & squaring tools


nail pullers

chop saw

sanding tools

table saw

jig saw



impact driver


Safety is our number one priority. Instructors will provide hands-on technical instruction in a manner that allows participants to feel comfortable and empowered. 

Physical Requirements

The course is physically demanding – students must be able to lift 20 lbs, bend at the waist, and be able to be on their feet for several hours at a time. Our courses take place in variable weather conditions and at times on uneven terrain.


We hope you are able to join us, if you require an accomodation in order to participate please reach out so we can work with you directly. Questions? Contact us!

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The 2024 course will begin the evening of Thursday, September 12 and conclude the afternoon of Sunday, September 15.


This course offers an intentionally-built, supportive learning environment for anyone who identifies as a woman. Participants must be 18 years or older.


White Sulphur Springs, Montana.

Lodging & Food

On-site tent or car/truck camping is available for registered participants. 


This course is fully catered with fresh and unique dishes from a local chef. Snacks will be provided between meals. Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated with prior notice.


Please visit our Local Information page for additional options.

Equipment & Tools

Participants will need to provide appropriate clothing, safety glasses, and hearing protection.


The Red Ants Pants Foundation will provide all other equipment and tools. More details will be provided upon registration.


2024 rate: $650 per person. The course fee covers instruction, materials, and course equipment. This fee includes all meals (and snacks), including dinner Thursday night through lunch on Sunday. 


Scholarships and payment plans are available! Contact us for more info.


Payment is required upon registration.

Check or Credit Cards accepted. Details provided upon registration.

To stay in the loop regarding

Red Ants Pants Foundation programs, please subscribe to our mailing list here.


The workshop is limited to 12 participants per section. Courses fill quickly. Once the course is full (first come, first served) we will add names to a waitlist.


Course fees, minus a $50 cancellation fee, will be refunded if cancellation is made prior to 30 days before the start of the course. Fees are nonrefundable if cancellation is made within 30 days of the start of the course. In the event that the Work Skills Course is canceled by the Foundation due to public health concerns, full refunds will be issued for the course tuition.

For questions or additional information, please feel free to contact us.

Carpentry Instructors

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Heidi Rogers

Throughout her career, Heidi has worked to blur the line between Architecture and Construction. After graduating with her Masters of Architecture from MSU, she dove headlong into carpentry in Gallatin and Paradise Valley. Working primarily as a framer of custom homes, she also joined crews to learn Timber-framing, roofing, cabinet install and interior finishes. She now works as both a Carpenter and an Architect in Park County. The world of carpentry has brought beauty and self-reliance to Heidi’s life and she looks forward to sharing that world with other women.

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Mary Webb

Mary entered the construction and carpentry world in 2010 by joining AmeriCorps and working for Habitat for Humanity for two years. This led to an interest in fixing up old houses rather than building new ones, attracted by the details and craftsmanship in historic buildings. After working as a historic preservation carpenter for the National Park Service for many years, she made her way to Helena to work for the Montana Preservation Alliance as their restoration director, planning and coordinating restoration projects around the state. Mary’s carpentry interests span from restoring old wood windows to handcrafting jewelry and children’s toys, and everything in between.

Cole Sommers

Cole is from Minnesota and moved out to Montana in 2016 after graduating from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. Cole has worked in all areas of timber, first with Montana Conservation Corps on chainsaw crews and a women's wildland firefighting crew. Then as a construction crew leader for Helena Area Habitat for Humanity and then on a construction crew working for Foothold (Butte, Montana) making modular houses. Currently, Cole works for Mark’s Lumber, a local sawmill. Cole has been interested in house designing and building since a young age and is looking forward to sharing her passion and knowledge of building with many women who look forward to learning something new.

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