Boulder Daily Camera- September 26, 2009
John Griffin, also known as the self-proclaimed "Tree House Guy," stands inside a treehouse he recently built for a family in Boulder. He'll lead a class on the topic next month. ( Joe Rogers)
Many children dream of having a treehouse to call their own. But who is going to build it for them?
John Griffin, the self-proclaimed "Tree House Guy," has a few tips. He will be teaching a treehouse building class next month through the Boulder Valley School District's Lifelong Learning Program.
"Treehouses are about dreams. When an adult builds a treehouse, they are dreaming back to their childhood," said Griffin, of Louisville.
The class, which will meet on Saturday and Oct. 10, will cover treehouse design, construction guidelines, code issues and tree stewardship. Attendees will also learn how to build zip lines.
"In the beginning of the class, I'm going to ask people to do some envisioning of their treehouse," said Griffin, who built his first tree house at age 9. "Then, when you have this dream, you have to go out and actually do the practical part. This class is about being able to build a place that's safe for kids."
The goal of BVSD's Lifelong Learning Program is to provide quality and affordable courses to children and adults in Boulder and the surrounding areas.
"This is the first time we're offering this class and we're very excited," said Julie Kurzawa, registrar for Lifelong Learning. "I think this class may help bring out the kid in people, and push them to be creative."
Griffin, who also builds custom treehouses around Boulder County, conceptualized the class after talking to many people who wanted to build treehouses themselves but were not sure how.
Boulder resident Rachel Hendricks hired Griffin to help her build a treehouse and zip line in her backyard for her children.
"My favorite part about collaborating with John was how he treated my kids," said Hendricks, who often spends time in the treehouse. "They loved him. He listened to them, gathered their input, they would race into the backyard to see John when we got home. He was patient, kind, flexible and open to all ideas -- a renaissance man."
Griffin said the class will focus on individual questions and design visions.
"If people need help with really basic stuff, you know, 'should I use nails or screws?' then I'll tailor the class to that," Griffin said. "The whole idea is people get to design their own treehouse, however simple it may be. They will leave having learned some tricks."