About Pioneering

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Jubilation! (Single A-Frame Bridge)

Pioneering is all about using what you know and what you have, to make life in the outdoors easier and to get things done. It’s played a major role in Scouting for over a 100 years. Lord Baden-Powell, Scouting’s founder said, “Pioneering is practical and character-building: the two essential ingredients of any program material for Scouts.” But, perhaps the main reason over the years Scouts have found Pioneering to be so appealing is, it provides the grounds for a whole lot of outdoor FUN!

Pioneering is the knowledge and skill of how to use simple materials to build structures for a wide range of Scouting activities. These skills are sometimes referred to as “backwoods engineering.” Down through the ages, people have used ropes, spars, and simple hardware to build bridges, towers, and even their own shelters. In the early development of our country, pioneering methods were employed in mining and transportation, to clear the wilderness, and to build roads and bridges. The same skills can be used by Scouts to build pioneering projects ranging in complexity from a simple camp gadget to an elaborate gateway or bridge.

Here’s another quote by Lord Baden-Powell: “Pioneering develops initiative and resourcefulness. Additionally it gives practice in teamwork and discipline.” But, in addition to that, you and others either get to use what you’ve built, or play with it…or both!

Always be conservation-minded when, planning, preparing, and constructing pioneering projects. Unless appropriate measures have been taken, materials should be brought to the building site, and as always, practice the principles of Leave No Trace and Outdoor Ethics.


Introduction to This Merit Badge ->