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Building a den is a great opportunity for exercising teamwork, using imagination, and enjoying a peaceful and fun place all at once. A good den can be somewhere to play, somewhere to eat snacks, somewhere to read, or even somewhere to take a quick nap. Encourage your troop to put their skills together to construct a den that fits everyone while also inspiring them to take this practice home, where they can create their own personal dens.
There are a few essential items you will need to scavenge when you set out to build your forest den. Look for fallen branches and twigs of all sizes. Larger branches are ideal for the frame of the den, which you can lean against a tree trunk for support. Smaller, bendier twigs can be used to weave between the gaps and create walls. It’s best not to break live branches from trees as this prevents natural growth and the health of the forest. If the season is right, you can use fallen leaves to fill in the gaps and disguise your forest den to keep it secret.
For a more complicated and resource-intensive den, why not try building a treehouse? You may want to take the reins of this project since there will be equipment and tools unsuitable for children to use. Choose a healthy, solid tree and research how to structure your treehouse. You will need plenty timber and a lot of patience. The end result will be a magical den for your troop to use as a secret hideout or base.
Pillow or blanket forts are the perfect indoor activity. You will need as many blankets, pillows, and sheets as you can find. Prop up the roof of your fort with a table or chairs, making sure there is plenty of room for playing underneath. Unique furniture, such as an oversized chair, can be a great addition to any pillow fort, especially if you have enough space to go big with your designs. If you’re feeling ambitious, encourage your troop to find ways of connecting separate pillow forts together to create a system of tunnels and dens.
During the winter, if you live somewhere with snow, this is your chance to show your troop how to build an igloo. Make sure you choose a flat section of ground for your foundation, then dig out a circle in the snow large enough for your troop. You can either try creating blocks of snow or simply molding the snow into shape. It has to be the right consistency for a successful result; otherwise, you risk your den falling apart too soon or not holding its structure. A sturdy branch or two can act as struts to keep the igloo upright.
There are no limits when it comes to how you can build your dens. Use the materials and structures you have available to create fun and comfortable spaces for your troop to play and relax.
Enjoy every minute being a leader and continue to inspire your girls!
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