Pioneering or Scout engineering refers to the work of military engineers who went ahead of the army on foot, to build bridges, roads and to generally prepare the way. They got there first, often in the wilderness, and had to make do with what they could find, or carry. With axes and ropes they worked wonders and created many functional structures. In Scouting we carry on this tradition as it provides Patrols with a challenge and an opportunity to develop as a team and achieve something worthwhile. Before building it is necessary to have an understanding of the skills involved as well as enthusiam. Firstly, it is necessary to know how to tie the required knots and lashings, secondly, you must have spars or poles from which to build your project. The next consideration is ropes and pulleys to bridge and secure your project and lastly some know how and loads of common sense.
Each project should be approached in a logical way:-
- What are we trying to do
- What equipment do we have
- What is the best way to use this
- Designing the project
- Planning the steps to complete the project
- Testing and safety
- Dismantling the project
Every project should be approached in this way. The designs suggested are tried and tested however you rarely find a level river bed or trees in the right places for rope bridges etc. so each of the basic designs suggested will have to be modified to suit the conditions you encounter.