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.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My passion about building

Kids are forgetting how to use their hands to create things. They are losing touch with nature, self-reliance and resourcefulness. They are seldom given the chance to futz around with some wood and maybe build a hideout they can call their own. Instead they are encouraged to attend supervised after-school activities, play organized sports all summer, or simply stay indoors where they can be safe. They are growing up in an increasingly indoor and supervised world, spending ever more time with ever more pervasive electronic devices. And many kids are also becoming dangerously overweight from lack of exercise.
This is why I feel I should write this blog, and a book on this very subject!
I'll start with my own story about growing up in Southern California in the 1950s and early '60s. To keep me out of trouble, my mom encouraged me to draw pictures by bringing home old menus from her restaurant job to draw on the back of, and to build things by giving me cut-off 2 by 4 blocks from construction sites to build with. By age eleven I was ready to attempt a clubhouse!

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