Catapults at the Jamboree

Soldiers play with Large Catapult
Soldiers play with the “giant” Catapult

Before the Pioneering Area catapults were all completed and positioned in readiness for the thousands of jamboree participants who would be hiking up to Garden Ground Mountain, a little change of pace occurred which translated into a memorable moment. One morning during the building process, some soldiers passing though our area were attracted to the “giant” catapult with the heavy wooden counter weights, double throwing arm, and trebuchet-style swing extension. They were tempted to give it a try and what followed was a scene featuring modern day warriors coupled with ancient weaponry. (Click on the photo for a larger view.)

In addition to the “giant” catapult, three other catapult designs were featured up on Garden Ground Mountain in the pioneering area. Eventually, they were positioned on the far side of Peschke Field, facing a clear expanse of ground which was sectioned off to serve as a shooting area.

Periodically, to the amusement and awe of onlookers and those passing by, the 10′ Double A-Frame Trebuchet with a 200 pound counter weight would launch a large monkey fist in a high arc far down the length of the firing range.

Scouts load the smaller, counter-weighted catapult and launch their shot by pulling together to snap the arm up.
Scouts load the smaller, counter-weighted catapult and launch their shot by pulling together to snap up the arm.
A Trebuchet at Jambo-Palooza
The Trebuchet at Jambo-Palooza

The most excitement from the jamboree catapults was generated during Sunday’s Jambo-palooza festivities. A specially-built 8′ trebuchet was prepared, transported from Garden Ground, and set up at the stadium in Summit Center where it fired water balloons into throngs of Scouts gathered down range waiting to get doused. And, when it was apparent that a T-shirt was to be launched, the ensuing scrambling to catch it or grab it was over the top! (Click on the photo for a larger view.)


Three Featured Catapult Designs
Three Featured Catapult Designs


Author: Scout Pioneering

Volunteer in the Boy Scouts of America

3 thoughts on “Catapults at the Jamboree”

    1. Hi Alan, I assume there are, however, I was just going around taking stills. It would have been great to actually have tracked the flight of what was being launched and catch spectator reactions.

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