Notes from Windward: #62

Building a Castle

     This fall, we're starting on a project that's unusual even for us, the construction of a castle fortress in the pasture.

     Windward operates under a conditional use permit granted by the county, an agreement which seeks to balance out a range of concerns and interests such as development density and the preservation of the rural nature of our land. To that end, our housing and operational buildings are clustered on about ten acres which leaves the remaining one hundred acres in either pasture or undeveloped forest.

     But "undeveloped" doesn't have to mean "unused," and so our permit allows us to rent out our forest to other groups for short periods (up to two weeks). Windward doesn't take state or federal money to support its work with people in transition and crisis, but it costs money to provide services, and the income from the campground is the primary way we generate funding for our crisis program.

     In order to encourage groups to use our campground, we've added an number of conveniences such as permanent toilets and potable water. The construction of the castle is just a matter of taking that one step forward.

     Some of the groups that use our campground have the common interest of historical re-enactment, and one of the key activities they enjoy involves recreating medieval style combat situations. Some of the sites that cater to these groups back east have built castle structures for them to fight in, and they've proven very popular. So, we're looking to utilize what they've learned about how to do it well and safely in order to provide a similar resource for the Pacific Northwest.

The Design of the Castle --- Notes from Windward, Vol. 62