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.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chris and I Start Building

In 1959 I was 11 years old and decided I wanted a real clubhouse made out of wood. My friend Chris did too and we spent several weeks building this one, our first sucess, at least for a while. I borrowed some tools from my mom and neighbors gave us the fence and the white cabinet doors that made up some of our walls. The rest of the wood we hauled in on our wagons. Chris and I also found lots of stuff in the alleys to furnish it, including an old car seat for a couch, a teapot and a mantel clock. I drew the plan below after we had been in it a while.

Since we built it on a vacant lot, it soon became a target of other kids in the neighborhood. Some girls we knew did NOT like the "No Girls Allowed" sign we put up by the door, and they attacked us with rocks one day until we promised to take it down! One day I noticed that the old clock I'd found looked a little funny, and when I picked it up it crumbled into pieces. Later, a kid named Brian cheerfully admitted he blew it up with a cherry bomb, then put it back together! A few weeks later Chris and I found the clubhouse totally wrecked, by a certain gang of 3 boys who lived several blocks away...  To be continued.

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