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Looking for ideas for campout themes/activities? A pioneering campout might work for you....it doesn't need to be particularly expensive to carry out and it could be done on almost any property, so wouldn't require long Friday night drives. (But it does require planning, making sure you have the right type of logs and ropes, and making sure there are people who know how to tie and use knots and lashings to teach the other scouts.) Pioneering can help younger scouts finish their First Class requirements to demonstrate lashings and to build a useful camp gadget, and it can help older scouts earn Pioneering merit badge. If you do this as a troop, make it fun and exciting: build a big monkey bridge or really good signal towers. Otherwise, it's just a lame exercise in doing check-off requirements. Build the monkey bridge in the morning and let the scouts have fun with it in the afternoon. You don't want too many scouts working on one project because it's no fun to stand around and watch others work the ropes --- a single monkey bridge is fine if you have 10 scouts....maybe even 15....but if you have a larger troop, you'll want to do 2 or more monkey bridges in parallel, or a network of signal towers....just give every kid a chance to help build the trestles, platforms, ladders, etc. There is a whole website chock full of great info and ideas that can help scouts and scouters with ideas for pioneering projects (including building monkey bridges, camp gadgets etc.). See: https://scoutpioneering.com/
The Ashley Book of Knots, first published in 1944 contains nearly 7,000 illustrations of over 3,000 knots. (The book is now entering public dpomain - RS) Ashley spent time aboard whaling ships, including the Sunbeam for a piece commissioned by Harper’s Monthly Magazine. In addition to writing about the industry and sketching its knots, he photographed the vessels and crews, creating a rare archive of the early 20th-century New England maritime trade. For his book research, he tried to get as broad an overview of knots as possible, visiting the circus, fishermen, bakers, tree surgeons, and anyone else who employed this technology in their work. Ashley examined old seamen’s dictionaries, and became an expert knot tyer himself. As he wrote in The Ashley Book of Knots: … I have continued to collect knots wherever I could find them, and as unfamiliar sailors’ knots became increasingly difficult to find I was attracted by the knots of other occupations. I hobnobbed with butchers and steeple jacks, cobblers and truck drivers, electric linesmen, Boy Scouts, and with elderly ladies who knit. Mr. Ringling himself … took me about his circus and was pleased to be able to dazzle me with a score of knots with which I was quite unfamiliar. Thou Shalt Knot: Clifford W. Ashley exhibit continues at the New Bedford Whaling Museum (18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, Massachusetts) through June 2018. (Hmmm, a trip idea to pass along to PLC - RS) Clifford W. Ashley was an artist who studied under the influential illustrator Howard Pyle, painted expressive maritime scenes, and published histories of whaling related to the waterfront of his hometown, New Bedford, Massachusetts. Yet he’s best remembered for a wildly popular book on knots. Source: https://hyperallergic.com/412646/thou-shalt-knot-new-bedford-whaling-museum/
For those scouts for whom "Because, the bad day, when winds exceed 50mph ..." just isn't enough ... http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/473/2200/20160770 My apologies to anyone who can't bring up the article in all of its glory. In summary:
So my venturers, while snacking on the coal I gave them, were working on the knots. The Italian would try to figure out which they were talking about. It didn't help that they started by saying "a noose that doesn't slip." "Noose?" Then a minute of futile pantomime ... at which point they decided it was best to actually tie the thing. Finally, when she saw it, would exclaim something like "Oh, bolino!" Beyond the translation challenges. They had learned it by different stories: Most of the boys used the "pretzel" method. I grew up with a "hole" in front of a "tree", and a "rabbit" coming out of the hole, around the tree and back in. The Italian had a "lake" and a "frog" jumping in and out of it. The Italian said, "Do you know this knot? We call it something like daisy." One boy said, "Maybe it's a girl scout knot." She said, "I'm not a girl scout. I'm a scout." I'm staring and staring, then I pick up both ends and pull and say "Oh, sheepshank!" One of my co-leaders then (knowing that my brothers were Navy men) smarts off "Daisy is probably what sailors probably call it!" Anyway, a knot by any other name still holds, unless it slips.