Campsite Beacon

Click above for a larger view, to checkout the construction.

This design was adapted from what John Sweet refers to as The Skylite in his booklet Pioneering in Town and Country. The main difference is the improvised framework for the two narrow quadpods is neither anchored or reliant on weighted supports, but instead is wide enough to allow the whole structure to be free-standing all by itself. With today’s lightweight LED lanterns, it’s easy to rig a halyard to raise and lower the lantern so it can be easily turned on and off. The novelty of floating the quadpods off the ground, like the Skylon “Floating” Flagpole adds and element of coolness to the structure as well as a little additional height for the beacon.

Left: “The Skylite” from John Sweet’s PIONEERING IN TOWN AND COUNTRY / Right: “The Skylon Weathercock” from John Sweet’s SCOUT PIONEERING

Author: Scout Pioneering

Volunteer in the Boy Scouts of America

4 thoughts on “Campsite Beacon”

  1. Hi Larry, I guess you already know this but the Skylon was a centre piece of the Festival of Britain held on the south bank of the Thames in 1951. Just after the war when Britain was trying to pick itself up a bit they decided to display as much British design and innovation as possible as had happened in the Great Exhibition of 1851. My dad was a young man and attended. All that really remains from that time is the Royal Festival hall a great concert venue and arts centre. The beautiful skylon is no more but it obviously inspired John Sweet.
    As an aside, Inspired by folk like you, I have just become a scout leader for the first time ever.
    Keep up the good work.
    Roger Whiter Bristol West of England

  2. Hi Larry,
    I think this maybe something to use in the model campsite to inspire out of the box thinking. Pioneering for fun and inspiration seems worthwhile.
    I will let you know what I come up with later this summer. I have a few things in the works. Always with an eye on pioneering to grow as group members and problem solvers.
    Your friend,
    Tom Wolfinger

  3. Aloha!

    I’m running a Powder Horn with many people coming from different states and Japan! I’m hoping to put up either a gateway that can display 10 flags.

    Do you have any ideas?

    March 13, 2020


    Lizzy Kwock Course Director (808)277-5737

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. A very simple and straightforward approach would be to lash two parallel crossbars between either two tripods or anchored, upright poles, and then tightly lash the ten flagpoles to the crossbars. If using tripods, I’d suggest at least ten-foot legs, facing the middle leg of each towards the center to accommodate the lower crossbar.

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