Double A-Frame Monkey Bridge



On November 14, at the Chicora District Webeloree, (gathering of 4th and 5th Grade Webelos Scouts), a crew from Troop 888 put up the troop’s eighth Double A-Frame Monkey Bridge. The event was geared mainly towards those Scouts who hadn’t yet had a hands-on experience assembling a bridge. Scouts gathered at 8:30, and the bridge was ready for a test walk by 10:00 a.m. Lending a hand were: Ian Baker, Dominick Bezmen, Geoff Britzke, Will Hall, Jason Hardee, Daniel Mesich, Sam Snodgrass, and Greg Spatholt. The following steps went into building the bridge: Scouts lash together two 8ʼ spars and one 6ʼ spar to form four A-Frames, Two A-Frames are joined together to form each side of the bridge. The Double A-Frames are held up in the proper positions and at the right distance. Two Hand Ropes and one Foot Rope are tied on and anchored at either end. Spanner Ropes are added to the Hand Ropes and Foot Ropes. The Monkey Bridge is tested and adjustments are made as necessary. Scouts supervise Webelos interested in crossing the bridge. The bridge was able to support a 270 pound adult! Lashing and knot-tying savvy are important in any large pioneering project, but teamwork is the key. A 14’ Double Ladder Tower is scheduled for Feb.


FOur and a half years ago we studied the plans for a Double A-frame Monkey Bridge in the Pioneering Merit Badge Pamphlet. Four and a half years later, we're still using the same pine spars cut from behind the house and putting up bridges on selected camping trips and Scouting events. The lashings and methods we learned are constantly being passed on to new Scouts. The techniques are the same but with some slight improvements. Like a sheer lashing is tied to the tops of the A-frames instead of a square lashing. And after this last bridge, we're now frapping the strop lashings on the bottom when lashing the two A-frames together. This makes them real tight. After four and a half years, the bridges are still as much fun as ever, and with moe advanced teamwork and sharper skills, they're going up a whole lot faster too. Our SPL goes through the ticky process of lashing two A-frames together where the 8 foot spars cross. The A-frames are steadied as the hand rope is attached with a clove hitch on each side. The bridge is tested before the final tightening of the hand and foot ropes. The bridge went up in about an hour and took ten minutes to take down.


Double A-frame monkey bridge (Our first Built with Laminated Spars) Square Lashing an A-frame corner, joining together the bottoms of two A-frames with round lashings, adjusting the clove hitch on a spanner rope as Scouts wait their turn to cross the bridge, crossing the fully assembled monkey bridge on a camping trip.


Author: Scout Pioneering

Volunteer in the Boy Scouts of America

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