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Timber Tents

By Jonah M., Age 11

If you want to make a fort, you've come to the right place! In this Creative Project, I will show you why you want a fort, where you want a fort, what you need to make a fort, and, of course, how to make a fort. To accomplish this I will show you a simple, beginner “Timber Tent” that is free and easy to make. As you can see from the cover picture, you don’t need to buy any materials so no worries there. Below you can find a quick overview of Timber Tents before we dive into the details. Let’s build!

First, you want to know “Why” you are building your fort. Is it a clubhouse where you are hanging out with friends? Is your fort secret? Is it a place where you can keep your belongings? Or do you just like building them? I just like to have fun with my forts, so I like them to be open ended. But the design and placement of my fort is flexible enough that if I want to I can turn it into a moon base or a tool maker’s shed.

Next we answer the “Where” question. Once you know why you are building a fort, you can start looking for a suitable location. For a Stick Fort, that means finding the right tree and appropriate surrounding area. You are gonna want a spot without mud on the ground, and a sturdy tree capable of handling the weight of a lot of sticks leaning on it. The tree has to be the right size for a Stick Fort. If the tree is too small, it will fall over. If it is too big, the construction process becomes more challenging. Trees that are around one foot in diameter work well for Stick Forts as you can see in my images.

The third step tackles “What” we are going to build. To build this simple fort, we don’t need to buy anything. That’s one reason why it’s a great starter fort. But we do need to gather the right materials, which in this case means sticks of the right type and shape. Black locust is a good type of wood to use. If you find a stick on the ground that looks like its all rotten, but then when it you test it out , it holds up very well, chances are it's probably black locust. If you can’t find black locust, that’s okay, you can just use any strong stick. Then, you will need four sticks that are in a Y shape. Make sure each stick is just as tall as you or maybe a little taller. Be sure the “Y” part is big enough to fit on the tree. See the picture below for an example. Notice how wide the top of that stick is compared to the tree in the picture above:

Finally, let’s go over “How” to actually build the Teepee fort. There are three steps in the actually for building process as outlined below. First, is the “Y-Stick Layer” which consists of placing “Y” shaped sticks around the tree. This is necessary to create positions for our second layer of “Strong Stick Supports”. These strong sticks don’t need to have the “Y” shape because they can fit into the first layer. However, they do need to be strong enough to handle weight from the final “Layer-Stick Cover”.. The final step takes longer because it takes a lot of sticks to cover most of the empty spaces. Just keep stacking sticks until it looks like a sort of “teepee”. I will give you pictures and examples.

In conclusion, teepee forts provide a calm and quiet place to rest and relax…or throw a gigantic party! If you love making forts and would like to share your story, come find me at www.WEquil.School. Perhaps we could design some forts together on our WEquilCraft server, or share pictures of our fort designs over Discord!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed my creative project. Your feedback on how I can improve my writing is always appreciated.


Jonah M, age 11

Virginia, USA

Note: Jonah published this project with a little help from WEquil.School's Accelerator program. We help students use their unique strengths, interests, and passions to create value. In this case, Jonah was excited to teach other kids how to create forts. You can learn more about how we are empowering young people to use technology and take control of their education by watching this video and visiting our website.



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