Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Boys and adventure....

There is something in the heart of a boy that calls for adventure. I believe it is a God given desire - the desire to conquer kingdoms, tame the wild, win a fair lady's heart. I have 4 glorious boys - they are all very different in personality, likes, fears, looks, hopes, dreams...but they all have that desire for adventure. My eight year old Elijah is currently praying for God to bring him an adventure here on the farm...he dreams of caves with mysterious creatures, buried treasure, and trapping huge, wild animals. However, my 13 year old, Josiah, is creating his own adventure. Some time back he asked permission to go into a portion of the woods on our farm and build a shelter. He had just returned from a boy scout camp out. A young man demonstrated the art of building a lean-to shelter at this camp. He encouraged the boys to do this - and to improve on it everyday....and eventually they could end up with a cabin, and build the furniture to go in it! My son took this to heart...he has a dream...a vision of what this shelter will be. I have heard talk of his children playing in it one day. So with permission given, he set about clearing a small section of the woods and building a shelter. He began working on a frame. He used the small trees that he had cleared to put the frame together. One day Josiah came home with a broom he had made. He used one of the young saplings he had cleared for the handle. He gathered cedar boughs around the end and tied them in place. He was SO pleased with his broom and couldn't wait to demonstrate it's ability by sweeping the worked well! This picture was taken about a week after making and using it - he wanted me to note that it was time to replace the cedar boughs so it would be full again. It was time to begin to fill in the frame. On an exceptionally warm and sunny day last week, Josiah asked if he could take his lunch to the shelter. He wanted to be able to relax and eat inside after filling in the frame. It was amazing how much joy came from that simple "yes". There was something that stirred in his heart at the thought of eating a meal in a shelter he had created. His excitement began to spill over to his little brother, Elijah. He has allowed Elijah to tag along almost every day to work with him, brothers working together to accomplish a common goal! As they work, they are taking breaks to explore the woods around Josiah's they think they may have found a rabbit will need further investigation! Beautiful leaves have been brought home and stories of bird sightings! Then one day, when Jeremy was exploring the woods with them, they saw a snake! This snake was huge and catching a sun bath out on a limb of a tree. Jeremy was sure it was a cottonmouth. He used the machete to detach its head from the rest of the body. The three brothers proudly brought home their kill. This was a long snake....a good 4 .5 feet at least (depends on how much left with the head!). The body was still writhing...very exciting to the boys - each one took their turn to admire it, hold it and tell their version of the story. I listened...from a distance (I just don't like snakes). I was thankful that Jeremy had been there to dispatch a poisonous snake from the area of the shelter. As a Mom, it is sometimes hard to turn them loose in the woods with snakes, coyotes, bears...oh my! But I also know that they need to do these fact God has created them to do these things....and I know that He loves them far more than I do. I trust God with my boys...afterall...they are only on loan to me...they truly belong to Him. Although I haven't taught my boys how to do these things, I have provided a variety of books to spark their interest. There are two books that Josiah has been reading that have encouraged him in his outdoor adventures. The first one is Little Bear's Outdoor Adventure Guide for the All-American Boy. Little Bear appears at many home-schooling events. He truly is an evangelist dressed in buckskins and fur! His book contains chapters on trapping, tanning, snares, shelters...and more! He knows how to touch the heart of a boy. The other book is The Indian How Book by Arthur Parker. This book will teach you just about everything you ever wanted to know about Indians. There are chapters on making things (tipis, canoes, traps, fishooks, rawhide, baskets and more) on Indian culture, dress, food, ceremonies, and even how they signaled, tracked and made war. Josiah is practicing on being as quiet as an Indian when stalking his brothers and friends in the barn during games....he is getting awfully good! Some parental supervision will be needed as you discuss with your child some of the practices and beliefs of Indians. Both of these books are becoming well worn with many marks and notes among the pages. I purchased them at Amazon - one new and one used (you can follow the link in the sidebar) and I highly recommend them to any boy who loves adventure...or girl for that matter! As the shelter progresses, I will be sure to keep posting ...and when he serves his first meal there, cooked over his own fire of course, I will be sure to take pictures to share with all of you!


  1. Cheri,
    The website looks great and what an adventure for your boys. I hope one day we can provide an environment like yours for our Charlie to explore and conquer.

  2. Awww, that is so great. I will definitely have to check out the Indain How To book. Jman is into Native American tools big time right now.

  3. We love Little Bear!!! He truly ministers to boys of all ages and to their families as well.

  4. Gwen,
    It look great thanks to you and Mark....thanks again for all your hard work and patience with my mistakes....I hope God will fulfill your dreams for Charlie!

    Mary Ellen,
    I think you will love this book - am sure Judah will too!

    Isn't he wonderful...the world needs more godly men like him!


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