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Back to Basics: Pioneering II

By Tristan Chua

On 21 and 28 August 2021, the Secondary 3 Scouts built 2 bridges and 2 towers respectively under the supervision of the Rovers as part of their pioneering activity. Not only does pioneering test the Scouts’ lashing skills and their familiarity with their equipment, it also trains up their soft skills such as teamwork, adaptability, and spatial awareness.

From the Ground up

Before the activity, the Secondary 3 Scouts spent weeks practising their lashes. The hours put into training proved to be fruitful as during the building of the structure itself, the lashes were tied quickly and tightly. This is the standard expected of a Catholic High Scout.

Construction manuals were sent to the Scouts to give them a rough idea of how to construct the structure, as well as an image of the final product. On the day itself, they were split into 2 groups, each to build one of the two structures.

Due to time constraints, the Scouts had to prepare the resources needed for their respective pioneering structures before 升旗. The selection of wood is crucial to ensure a strong and stable structure, this is especially so for structures that are tall like towers.

Blue bases (lightest) should be used only at the highest point of the structure while yellow bases (heaviest) are more appropriate for the base so that the centre of mass would be closer to the ground, making it more stable. Most importantly, the wood must be checked for any cracks or insect infestations. This is to prevent injuries as wood with the above issues may break if force is applied on them.

Crossing Rivers

The two types of bridges built were the suspension bridge and the drawbridge. After completing the frames of the bridges, the Scouts had to raise them up from the ground. The most important step they had to take note of was the pivot. The pivot ensures that the base of the frame does not move in the opposite direction with which the frame is being raised as it would cause the base to be lifted off from the ground.

One problem that popped up was the delegation of roles. Although highly detailed manuals were sent, the Scouts did not delegate the workload effectively, causing minor confusion. However, as the Scouts slowly started to get a hang of what needed to be done, they adapted and acted accordingly to the situation.

Reaching for the sky

The two types of towers built were derived from the same base structure - the tripod. At its core, most towers constructed in our Troop’s pioneering projects can be linked back to the humble triangle as it is resource-friendly while being stable and resistant to warping. While one tower was built using one tripod as its base, the other consisted of four tripods. This was to show the Scouts that one object can be used and adapted for many different things.

The Scouts were placed in different groups as compared to the previous week; however, learning from their previous mistake, they allocated manpower much more efficiently, allowing each group to work with more efficiency and effectiveness.

The Scouts' ability to work in a team was especially important too since there was the need to raise and lower the towers, which requires quick movement and the ability to coordinate with each other.

Tearing down to come back up

The Secondary 3 Scouts swelled with pride as they tore down their structures, albeit a little unwillingly, as they had managed to hit their goals of improving their lashings beyond what they thought they could within two sessions as well as completing the pioneering structures.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. ” -General Sun Tzu, Art of War

The Scouts learned more about each other and themselves during the pioneering activity, better understanding their own limits and capabilities as well as their fellow Scouts'. Not only would this ensure that in the future, manpower allocation would be done much more effectively, but they would also know what they need to improve on to become better Scouts.


By the end of the two sessions, most, if not all, of the Secondary 3 Scouts are confident of their pioneering skills and are ready to tackle new challenges. They had proven that they are capable of upholding the Troop’s high standards and could be relied upon to pass the knowledge on to their juniors.

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