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Entries in treehouse (1)


A Project for a Neighborhood

In my last week’s post, I indicated how sad it was today’s children “miss out” on some of the fun things I did growing up.  So much today is “electronic”…video games, iPads, and generally sedentary activities.  How can we reverse this trend?

I had the idea to make a tree house for my children.  In the age of everything soft and protected, I wanted them to have an opportunity to climb and enjoy the outdoors.  Certainly I didn’t want them getting hurt.

So I built a tree house.

Yes, an old fashioned tree house in the woods.

My tree house was really more of a “deck” two meters off the ground.  Finding two suitable trees, I cleared the ground out around the tree base so if someone did fall it was onto the ground, and not a rock or a stump.

As I got the wood assembled, dragged out electric lines, tools & ladders, and got ready to saw an amazing thing happened. 

The neighbors came over.

Neighbors from both sides of our home and across the street came over to lend a hand.  This tree house became a neighborhood project.

Honestly I had intended to do the construction on my own.  I didn’t know this would happen.

So the men went about the “high” work, and the women did “low” work (like making the rope ladder.)  The children would help were they could.  We lunched and dinnered as a team.

When it was finished, there was something the entire neighborhood built, and all the neighborhood kids enjoyed.

Since it was a “deck”, it required maintenance and upkeep (annual finishing.) While the parents bought the stain, the children did the application.  Obviously the children were old enough to slop some finish on bare wood with supervision.

Over time, the tree house could be expanded….adding amenities like a flip down bed, secret hatch, fireman’s pole (PVC pipe), or zipline.

Note: I did this one other time and the neighbors didn’t come over.  While a bit of a lost opportunity, the time spent with the children “helping” was priceless.

So…it’s my view getting kids off their behinds starts with the parents getting off their behinds!