Childhood Family

Tree house security

It’s like getting top-secret clearance.

You don’t just let someone waltz into the Pentagon or Fort Knox. You have strict guidelines on who can enter. You check their credentials. You check their background. And you certainly check their stick sharpening skills.

Yes, of all the secure areas that exist on this planet, there is not one domain that requires more scrutiny of those seeking access than … a tree house.

One of my kids’ friends is building a tree house, and only a select few can gain entry. I say that he is building the tree house, but it is actually his father, who is constructing a shelter that will be, let’s just say, sturdy. Based on the gigantic posts of the infrastructure, I suggested to him that, should a tornado get near his house, he and his family might want to seek shelter in the tree house.

It’s my parents’ neighbor. I am fortunate to live near my folks and have the added bonus of having neighborhood kids around, just like when I was a kid. Seeing kids crawling over the fence to play with my kids in the same yard I did the exact same thing 30 years ago? Kinda awesome.

So Brian’s tree house is under construction, and he told my kids that there will only be a select few allowed in the tree house, which, let’s all be honest, is good tree house security management. And so, Brian created a survey that every potential tree house visitor must complete. Here is the survey. Go ahead, take it. See if you would be granted clearance.

QUESTION 1: Are you my friend?

A sensible question. No one wants non-friends bringing the tree house down.

QUESTION 2: Do you like to carve?

Apparently, there will be woodworking in the tree house.

QUESTION 3: Do you promise not to tell Brandon secrets?

Ah, a very important question, as Brandon is the older brother. Loyalty first.

QUESTION 4: Will you help me build my fort and put traps in?

A potential trick question. The easy answer is, “Sure, I’ll help you build it.” But don’t gloss over the second part. Anyone who has ever had a tree house knows traps to keep out the unworthy is one of the most important parts of a tree house defense.

QUESTION 5: Not so much a question. It reads: You will keep secrets if you want to be a member.

Methinks just a reminder on your answer in Question 3.

QUESTION 6: Are you my friend and would you help me build a tree house?

A repeat question, you say? WRONG! Checking to make sure you were honest and consistent on Questions 1 and 4. Your guard was thrown off without the part about traps.

QUESTION 7: Will you sharpen sticks with me?

Probably part of the traps. Or catching tigers.

QUESTION 8: Can you lift 20 pounds?

My guess is this involves potential future candidates for the tree house, kind of a tree house fraternity rush.

QUESTION 9: Are you my friend, and do you live close to me?

Just checking once more to see if you are, in fact, a friend. And proximity matters. (We have an inquiry into the Grandma’s House Waiver.)

QUESTION 10: Do you take vacations often?

Tree house security does not take breaks.

QUESTION 11: Are you allowed to hold knives at home?

If you say you will carve and make sharp sticks, and then answer no to this one, consider yourself busted as a fraud.

QUESTION 12: Do you know how to build tables?

With any good tree house, there will be a central meeting place where the great tree house minds can get together, round table style, and discuss issues such as sharp sticks and traps.

I think this is a good and solid security questionnaire for one of the most serious things a kid can protect. If you can’t have solid allies in your tree house, what is the point of having it? I look forward to the tree house becoming a reality, and my kids spending lots of fun time in it. Assuming they get clearance.

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