Everyone needs a clubhouse! You can build your own backyard shelter, retreat, or clubhouse even if you have never built anything before. The clubhouse above was built in 1959 by three kids aged 8, 9 and 11, with no money or help from grownups! I know; I was the 11-year-old who took this picture. I'm sharing here what I have learned since then.
Readers of all ages are welcome to comment with their own ideas, pictures or stories.
To help you on your way, I've written a book titled "Keep Out! Build Your Own Backyard Clubhouse", which is available through bookstores or at Amazon.com . Many of the items I post here are also in the book.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I think I was about 8 or 9 when I first heard of 'clubhouses'. About that time my mom told me about her brother, Uncle Frank, who, at about age 13, built himself a shack across the street from their house in Providence, Rhode Island. He even buried an electrical cable under the street and practically lived out there to avoid his three sisters and their strict mother.

Then I found "Billy's Clubhouse" by Marion Holland in the school library. Billy managed to get his friends to help him build a clubhouse in trade for membership status. At home I read "Little Lulu" comic books, in which her sort-of friend Tubby had his own clubhouse with a tiny crawl-through door.

I was hooked! There was something awesome about these real and fictional kids having their own place, that they built themselves, into which they could go and shut out the world and its annoyances! I didn't know how they built their clubhouses but I wanted to do it!

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