Mission Life Kids Outdoor Activities – FORTS!


Can’t tell you how many of these I’ve overseen.  Absolutely the best way to enjoy an afternoon in the woods.  

Kids absolutely L-O-V-E building lean-tos, forts, huts or whatever you want to call them. And they love to haul logs to do it!

Couple Styles…..

1). Find 2 points you can rest a branch horizontally between, or 1 point you can lean one end on while the other touches the ground creating a 45 degree angle.

With the 2-point cross-beam idea you can create a lean-to with branches leaned on the cross bar and touching the ground to create a slanted roof.  Do this with numerous sticks/branches, as close together as possible, then add debris (leaves, twigs, pine needles, etc)

2). 1 Point.  Lean one long branch onto something that will sustain and proceed to lay branches/sticks on either side creating an”A” frame slanted sloping down, lean-to/fort.  I always called them forts….the kids don’t care if it’s the right term or not.


Ooooops, almsot forgot one.  It was the one we all had as kids….a BUSH fort.  You simply crawled into or behind a bush and that became the FORT! Remember?
Whenever I see a bush or shrubs low to the ground caving over I always say, "awe boys, that would make a great fort.! 


When complete, sit down and share an apple and jerky.  Those 2 items have been a staple when we go on a mission.

By the way, to get a kid involved, just ask if they want to build a fort?  BINGO!

P.S. – I witnessed a mom and son walking in the tent campsites yesterday.  They said they were just out exploring! (I guess she doesn't know it's called a Mission – LOL).  They walked around for a couple minutes and returned to their campsite. I bet, if she would've asked if he wanted to build a fort he would've jumped right in!!


Birthday Mission

Birthday Mission

For the past couple of years while 1). Having the outdoor spirit rekindled in me and 2). Living close to Starkey Wilderness Park I’ve told my wife I want a day in the woods (Starkey Park) for my birthday! I believe yesterday was the 3rd annual celebration. Now I call it my Birthday Mission.


When I arrived at 8:30 it was cool (low 50’s) and a ever so slight misty/fogginess was afloat.  It gave me the feeling of a fall day in Western New York.  I gathered some small downed pine trees tossed them on the roof of my car with the intent to process into firewood,,,,,

As the morning turned to brunch time the mission kids began to arrive!  All in all there was another adult and 5 boys!  They busted and cut wood for the fire and we ate like kings, thanks to Tony, the other adult!!  

We cooked bacon, hot dogs, and bread (became toast) on sticks and warmed up a hobo meal on the coals!

Funny thing is….we always say – that was the best mission ever!  Just mighta been!


Create some lifelong memories with your kids and or grandkids….expose them to the great outdoors and the outdoor spirit!!!


Unleash The Outdoor Spirit


This past weekend I had the pleasure of being accompanied by 6 boys (under the age of 10) and one adult for the Church Mission (they didn't go to church so I told them we'd have "church" in the outdoors! laugh

The boys ran, climbed down trees (30 degree angle), axed wood, made fire starter shavings, knocked over dead tree stumps, made spears from branches, and ate all the food they brought.  Then we started a fire!


Almost forgot…..I taught the boys how to use matches! Yup, better educating them with the potential a match can do, than telling them NO, never, ever!!! Now they KNOW!

Your know what to do when they are presented with the wilderness.  The outdoor spirit lies within and seeks the opportunity to come to life!  It just amazes me how much fun can be had for no money.

By the way, I had to start walking towards my car to go home to obtain their attention indicating today’s mission was over.  They woulda stayed until the Park Ranger kicked them out at dusk!  

Everyone received a Mission Life sticker.

Misssion Life Logo

 If you want one just send me an email to: scott@pocketknivesblog.com with your address.  

Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter!

Scott "Poppy"

Establish Your Own Mission Rituals

Establish your own mission rituals.

Since our first mission to a park I’ve always, always, always toted jerky and an apple.  To this day, even when we’re camping I bring an apple and jerky and now most of the other kids do as well! And the kids have always, always worn some sort of camo.  I was a little late to the proper mission apparel but am full fledged camo mission now…..lol.


And possibly the most vital mission ritual has been music.  We started with Lynyrd Skynyrd, moved to AC/DC and currently playing Bon Jovi……loud and proud, same song over and over until the kids are singing it at the tops of their lungs!  New kids who get to ride in mission wagon quickly get hooked to the routine.  One boy actually made his mom play Bon Jovi Bad Medicine over and over when he got home.  She sent me a text…..THANKS POPPY ;(  


Creating those rituals, that are PURE FUN on missions is what the kids will love!  And they’ll remember it forever!!  Long after we’re gone!


Creating memories that’ll live on forever in them!!



Outdoor Mission Weather Preparation

Mission Weather Preparation

As I prepare for another mission with a handful of boys I am preparing for it to rain this Sunday.
I’ll make sure I have a tarp or two and some paracord if we need to throw up a quick tarp lean to!

Which reminds me of the Boy Scout motto – Always Be Prepared.  
Always  plan for the unplanned.  

Makes me think of one time when the 3 of us (2 grandsons and I) were out.  
I felt the temp drop (it was summertime in FL) and the sky darkened.  

I said there’s a storm brewin’ fellas, we gotta get outta here.  We took off like scared deer.  
As we approached the car I asked if they wanted to ride the storm out in the car or under a tarp.
Of course you know the answer…..

Before you go out – check the weather forecast a few days in advance.  
And for you who still remain in my favorite part of the USA (the northeast) take into the season and be on the lookout for snow.

Plan a mission with your kids today!!
Scott (aka Poppy)