It has been a very long while that, when asked, I’ve been reporting that I think Crazy Golf has been my favourite play activity so far. But I think that changed today, when I finally got into the forest with one aim in mind: building a shelter.
Perhaps it’s connecting with nature. Perhaps it’s the physicality of it. Perhaps it’s the mud and branches and leaves. But I just love it! There’s something so clearly goal-directed about creating protection from the elements, and it connects to one of the basic, primal urges. For an hour I’m completely absorbed in the experience.
Unlike building a house the modern way, making a shelter in the woods is really experimental. I forage for appropriate materials – long branches, cross-struts, bits of brushwood to fill in the gaps, clumps of leaves to cover it. Then I try putting them in different shapes, slinging them between trees, weaving in and out, wedging and leaning and entangling.
I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve created before the light fades. Even though I’ve only produced a roof / leaning side, it would certainly offer some protection. I’ve discovered how effective clumps of leaves can be in plugging holes, and that you can fill even pretty large spaces with them. Going back a couple of days later, it’s still perfectly intact!
It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; its the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time – David Allan Coe
Ease of play: 4/10
Resemblance to play: 7/10
Potential frequency of play: Medium