Quebec City, Canada
I used to be (and still think I am) the *Lashing Queen*. I used to teach lashing first, and then the gadgets. I also used to be a stickler about the rope being just so. That all changed over the years and now the girls have taught me that doing gadgets first is more fun and rewarding. First I show diagrams (some in their program book) on type of camp furniture others have made, give them some rope, and send them out for dead wood. If that is impossible, I use broom handles or wooden dowels. I have also used souvlaki sticks, pencils, arms, legs......... anything goes. At first I don't even bother about using the right knots - just get the thing to hold together and we'll take care of the knots later. You should start with a clove hitch because the idea is to save the string and (k)not have to cut it later. Once you've tied up your wood, frapping is used to tighten the whole business. If your rope is going from top to bottom, then switch and go from side to side to really tighten the lashing. We have made camp hat crafts (tripod) from twigs and a bottle cap. For a sell-able Xmas craft, we have used cinnamon sticks lased with brown floss, topped with soft moss and a small bird. Very cute to hang in a tree. I have bought those bags of fagots (thin slats of junk wood) and have built a table top by doing a running lash. The first one the girls want to try is usually the tripod. Holding three almost-equal length of poles together, tie one end of rope/string around one pole. Now wrap the string around all three poles about 8-10 times, but not too terribly tight. This is where the girls excel. Next, holding the end of the string, manoeuver the three poles into a tripod position, and weave the string in and around the poles to secure them. Have a wash basin handy, to make sure it will sit correctly and securely. Next jam the ends of the poles into the ground or lash a cross piece near the bottom to stabilize the whole affair. My girls liked to lash a rack at the bottom to hold a container of water, or hang their face cloths, etc.