Building pioneering projects is an activity that captures and preserves Scouting’s timeless legacy. The projects themselves embody real Scouting ingenuity and teamwork. Whether they’re useful, just plain fun, or both, their construction invariably furnishes a joyful sense of accomplishment.
Both planning and preparation play key roles in the success of any pioneering venture.
If you’re not using an established design that can be followed before and during the building process, draw up a proper plan that will lead to success. Here are some questions to answer before you do any building:
- What type of project do you want to build?
- Do you have an established design – or – have you drawn up a plan?
- How many people will be needed to built the project?
- How much time will it take?
- If you’ll be building a bridge, how wide and deep is the creek or ravine you’ll be spanning?
- What size and amount of poles will be needed for the project?
- What size and amount of lashing ropes, guylines, and other cordage will be needed?
- What materials for anchors will you require?
- What other materials will be needed?
- Can the project be divided into subassemblies? If so, who will be working on, and who will be in charge of each subassembly?
- Who will be the safety officer?
- How will the materials be transported to the building site?
Your project doesn’t have to be perfect-looking, but it must be structurally sound. Instead of a picture-perfect project, it’s more important that all lashings are tight and properly positioned and all poles are the right diameter so the structure will safely bear the weight and strain during use.
Note: Any pioneering structure that is to be a permanent camp improvement should not be left with only lashings. It needs to be bolted together for safety and maintenance.