This timber frame barn is nestled into a forest on a cleared hillside near the entrance of the Farm and Wilderness summer camp in Plymouth, VT. As a central piece of infrastructure for this children’s day camp, the Arts Barn is a multipurpose space. Campers use it to stage performances, as a place to explore arts and crafts, plus there’s enough room left over for tools and equipment storage. This timber frame barn has been the backdrop for countless moments of artistic expression and musical events.

A Hand Raising brings the Community together

The timber frame barn has four cross frames (timber framers call them ‘bents’) forming three bays, the first of which is used as a stage. Beyond this first bay, the rest of the building is enclosed, and used as an arts and crafts space. This barn is a king post barn, meaning there is one central post that goes from floor to ceiling, and supports a ridge beam.

Farm and Wilderness staff decided that raising the barn by hand would be a great way to get the community of parents and families involved with the project. (Before cranes and boom trucks existed, timber frames were being raised by hand all the time. With enough people on hand and expert coordination, it’s surprisingly easy to raise a timber frame by hand). From campers driving pegs, to their parents who were on a construction site for the first time, all who arrived at Farm and Wilderness raising site had a role to play in the work of raising the Arts Barn. As they say at Farm and Wilderness, “work is love made visible.”