We were bored, as it sometimes is with children, so the neighborhood kids, my siblings, and I wandered down into the woods and decided to build a cabin. The idea was supposed to be a temporary solution but, when everyone came out the next day to play, they all wanted to continue building our cabin. So we did. Everyday after school whoever was available met up and worked until dark. Sometimes the crew included everybody but, for the most part, it was just my siblings and I.
We began by picking an area where a few trees formed a circle. I grabbed the rake and cleared the floor of our cabin-to-be from leaves and pine needles. The boys, with hatchets and machetes in hand, went a few feet away and chopped down small trees that they then de-branched. Once smooth, they gave the tree to me and I nailed it somewhere along the circle of trees as a roof beam. We were originally going to weave, layer, and pile branches to make our roof but this idea was later abandoned when it came to our attention that we could use our old trampoline tarp for the roof. The walls were originally going to be made of branches woven in between the material from our old deck, but we later moved to making them out of the materials of one of our old forts and a bunch of junk my mom found behind our fence along with a few items from our trash can. The original dirt floor will eventually be completely covered by the shingles that once protected our neighbor’s roof before they re-shingled it years ago (the shingles were on the floors of the “failing to be completed” houses in our village but they are being transferred into this project).
A few steps from our little cabin the we cleared an area to form a square and then fenced it in by suspending and nailing medium size trees, which had been de-branched and stripped of bark so they were smooth, to the trees surrounding the square area. This became our “pen” that we worked in and enjoyed a fire-less fire-pit. We hope that one day the fence surrounding the pen will become suitable so that we can pretend that we have farm animals enclosed there.
Our little cabin in the woods is not complete (we still need to complete the side walls and build up the back wall, along with finishing our pen, but with some work it will be wrapped up). The children of the neighborhood have very much enjoyed using their imagination to pretend that we live in a time where you had to build your own home and practicing their growing “survival skills”. The kids and I are very impressed that our little cabin hasn’t fallen apart yet and hope that it will be a fort of ours for many years to come wether we are using it for a base when we play air-soft or a home when we play family.
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