Climbing Towers at the Jamboree

3 Display Towers
3 Display Towers
Small Tower, Large FUN!
Small Towers, Large FUN!

Three signal towers (14′ Double Ladder, Hourglass, and Stilt Tower) were presented in what was referred to as “Tower Town” in the pioneering area up on Garden Ground Mountain during the 2013 national jamboree. Building and hoisting these towers affords a rich experience in Scout engineering.

Across from these displays, on the other side of Peschke FIeld, were two towers designed and presented just for climbing. Some find it frustrating to adhere to the present BSA height restrictions, however, Scouts and Venturers still had fun on these lower structures. Plainly stated, a wide range of pioneering experience and enjoyment has always stemmed from and revolved around a variety of projects that are close to the ground.

4x4 Climbing Tower
Photo Diagram 1

Two small pioneering crews were directed to build traditional square towers that Scouts and Venturers could climb on.

Small, Sturdy, Square Tower
Small, Sturdy, Square Tower

1) 4′ x 4′ Square Tower with a platform 5-1/2′ high. One group chose 8-foot spars for the legs, 4-foot spars for ledgers, transoms, spreaders, floor slats and handrails, and 5-foot spars for the X-braces and diagonal supports. (See Photo Diagram 1 and click on the image for a larger view.) In essence, the little tower was simply two trestles with a top handrail connected on each side by three spreaders. For easy access on and off, a rope ladder was tied to a middle spreader. Finally, the finished tower was guyed down from the top of each leg.

The completed structure was very sturdy. During the entire jamboree, it saw plenty of action and needed only a minimum of tightening.

Four Tripod Tower
Photo Diagram 2
Venture Crew Members enjoy Garden Ground Mountain from atop the Four Tripod Tower
Venture Crew Members enjoy Garden Ground Mountain from atop the free-standing Four-Tripod-Tower

2) 5-1/2′ x 5-1/2′ Square Tower with a platform 4-1/2′ high. The other group decided on a simple tower design which turned out to be a freestanding marvel, primarily comprised of four inverted tripods. The long middle spar of each tripod served as a tower leg, and the two shorter, outer spars served as 1/2 of an X-brace, connecting from the Tripod Lashing to two adjacent tower legs. Very solid!  (See Photo Diagram 2.)

When completed, the tower stood so squarely, and was so aesthetic-looking, the director decided to add a couple of flags which were lashed to the two rear legs. The 5-1/2′ floor slats were each square lashed onto the platform support spars, which also contributed to the soundness of the overall structure. A simple ladder rung stairway was added for easy access.

Peschke Field's Two Climbing Towers
Peschke Field’s Two Climbing Towers



Author: Scout Pioneering

Volunteer in the Boy Scouts of America

2 thoughts on “Climbing Towers at the Jamboree”

  1. With 8 scouts who can the the square knot / square lash, floor lashings, and tripod. you can have the tower constructed within 20 – 30 minutes. Your troop now has the coolest camp site at the camporee.
    Note: you will need to transport all needed spars to your camp site, with the corresponding lengths of rope. Make sure you practice at home before attempting the first time at the camporee.

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