Pioneering Project: 三层四正塔

Written by Tristan Chua and Law Jia Jun, Edited by Chey Jedd

Starting November 2021, the Secondary 3 Scouts embarked on their batch projects, one of which was designing and constructing a tower. This pioneering project was the culmination of their three years of scouting, testing their skills in planning, coordinating and lashing.

Planning to reach the clouds

To start off, all of the Sec 3 Scouts came together and used their ingenuity to brainstorm some possible tower designs. After much thought and consideration, the Scouts settled on the final tower design that was the perfect balance between aesthetics and practicality. They named this tower 三层四正塔.

The tower’s base was made up of four three-storey-tall tripods which stood at a height of 10.5 metres tall. Tripods were used as they allowed for the most flexibility in the design and can sustain a lot of weight while still being stable. This is also the reason why most of the Troop’s pioneering projects consist of a tripod or triangular bases.

Reaching the impossible

The tower took three sessions to construct, one of which was used to prepare the equipment needed and to test the durability of the tripods. This required a lot of time as the team had to pick out the best wood available in the QM. This was imperative as cracked or hollowed wood could compromise the safety of the tower.

The Scouts also made sure to pick the most suitable wood for each section of the tower to ensure appropriate weight distribution. For example, the heavier wooden bases were at the bottom of the structure as a top-heavy structure would be too unstable.

During the following 2 sessions, the Scouts constructed the 4 tripods, raised them up, and built the rungs and platforms to stand on. Though the construction was carefully planned and went relatively smooth sailing, the Scouts still faced some issues and had to think quickly on the spot to resolve them.

For example, the tower shifted a little as the platforms were being built due to its sheer height. To solve this, the Scouts quickly recalled what they had learnt before and built X-shapes onto the tower to reduce its movement during construction. They then added more supports near the base of the tower to secure all the wood together and shift the centre of gravity downwards.

With the Sec 3 Scouts’ quick thinking and adaptability, any other issues faced while constructing the tower were resolved easily.

Setting new heights

When the tower was finally completed, the Sec 3 Scouts felt a sense of satisfaction, proud of their new accomplishment of building a grand tower that they designed. The tower was a testament to their abilities and skills learnt over three years. It was a new milestone accomplished together as a batch as they continue to strive for the best in everything that they do. They were also certain that the tower would be worthy of a challenge to be passed down to following batches of Scouts to attempt, setting a new bar for future batches of Scouts to aim for.