Pioneering Bridge Challenge

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This challenge is aimed at training Scouts and Explorer Scouts how to tie a successful square lashing. For Explorers at least two leaders to instruct is required for Scouts more leaders will be needed to ensure everyone gets involved.


Pioneering poles (Spars) and manilla lashings


Brief the teams/ patrols on how a pioneering structure works, we used an Aerial Runway as an example to describe what could be built with the equipment.

Challenge two teams to build half of a bridge each. For scouts they should be encouraged to follow a design previously agreed by the leaders. Explorers can design their own structure, the challenge will be is they make something that will marry up with the opposite team.

Set the challenge to cross a certain width at a certain height, for Scouts this might only be 2 foot off the ground. Explorer scouts could raise the height to 6 foot, with mats below. Width can be as wide as you think your poles/ spars would allow.

Start by showing the teams how to tie a clovehitch. When each team member can tie one of these, start by showing them in teams of two how to form a square lashing. Once one lashing is started the leader cna bounce between the different team members to give help and advice.

Always opt to untie an incorrect lashing/ knot, rather than fix it for the scout/ explorer, this might become frustrating, but in the long run the scouts/ explorers will really be confident in their abilities.

We ran this activity as a trial with a small group, 2 on each team with a leader each, and the teams tied somewhere in the region of 30 lashings in an hour. So do not underestimate what you could achieve.

Remember to leave 10-15mins before the end of the night to strip the frames down and coil up the lashings.


  • Bridge
  • clove hitch
  • pioneer
  • pioneering
  • pioneering knots lashings
  • square lashing

Badge Links

  • Pioneer - Knots
  • Pioneer - Outdoors