Introduction to this Merit Badge

CoverPhoto1CoverPhoto2Pioneering legend, John Thurman said, “There’s only one activity where it pays to start at the top, and that’s swimming.” That means before we can build sturdy bridges, dependable rafts, ingenious camp gadgets, and impressive gateways, we need to start at the bottom. We need to become well-acquainted with effective, time-tested ways to use our materials! As we take each step towards the completion of this merit badge, we’ll put what we learn into action so our skills can be applied to completing pioneering projects that are safe and that work the way they’re intended.

Pioneering skills are more than just learning knots and lashings. You must also learn and use such disciplines as planning ahead and teamwork. Along with the required skills, the same applied principles of physics, geometry, and math come into play to build pioneering structures.

CoverPhoto3CoverPhoto4But, keep in mind, all the information in this pamphlet is eventually used for a practical, hands-on application. Pioneering is about building things! Pioneering provides the joy of accomplishment that comes about when you’ve built something for yourself or others, whether it’s for a practical purpose or it’s just something that’s fun to play with.

In addition to being a merit badge reference, this pamphlet is also designed to serve as a field guide. It’s filled with how-tos and suggestions. But, when building your pioneering projects, do not rely solely on this pamphlet. By nature Pioneering is also about relying on one’s resourcefulness, creativity and ingenuity, along with a healthy dose of good sense.

Happy pioneering!

The projects and structures shown in this pamphlet can be constructed with materials available during summer camp, at district or council camping events, and during special sessions with your counselor.


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