Teamwork & Timbers

MBPN’s youth barn raising is a one-of-a-kind learning opportunity that provides information, exposure and experience through a traditional community barn raising common in Michigan communities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Similar to husking bees, quilting bees, and other shared work activities, neighbors depended upon each other to accomplish what they could not do alone.

Students of all ages can erect a quarter-scale, timber-frame model barn. These 3-D hands-on, life-size puzzles routinely travel to classrooms to demonstrate historic construction techniques while challenging students to use their math, science, and engineering skills. And of course, learn to work as a team.

Teamwork & Timbers Events

The Teamwork & Timbers program was inactive in 2020, but is taking bookings for 2021 and 2022. Contact MBPN to ask about scheduling T&T for your group.

In 2019, MPBN volunteers brought the model barn to these events: 

  • Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference at Grand Traverse Resort (Jan. 25-26)
  • 4-H Exploration Days at MSU in Morrill Hall of Agriculture (June 19-20)
  • Gordon Hall Days in Dexter (June 22-23)
  • Grandparents Day at Michigan State University (June 25)
  • Fall Family Days at Octagon Barn (Sept. 7-8)
  • Frankenmuth Farm Fest (Oct. 19)

Octagon Barn Museum in Gagetown in Michigan's Thumb.

Thumb Octagon Barn Agricultural Museum 

Teamwork & Timbers is an annual activity at the Octagon Barn in Gagetown, Mich. To sign up for the popular barn-raising class for children ages 9 and up, contact: Rose Putnam at 989-444-9574. It is held in late August, with the timber-frame model barn remaining on display for Fall Family Days the weekend after Labor Day.

Download the Teamwork & Timbers venue brochure for more information.

Kids help build Teamwork & Timbers model barn at the 2019 Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference.