The bridges featured in the pioneering area of the 2013 National Jamboree were a modified Double A-Frame Monkey Bridge, a specially designed pre-stressed triple walkway bridge, and two Single A-Frame Bridges that Scouts could put together from a couple of kits we supplied.
Single A-Frame Bridge Building. The kits we supplied for the construction of a Single A-Frame Bridge afforded crews an opportunity to build their own simple crossing bridge. Each group’s success was gauged by how they all could use it to cross the ditch and then all stand on it and pose for a group photo. So the activity wouldn’t be too time consuming, the walkway subassemblies were pre-made. Click here for photos of the crews.
Prestressed Triple Walkway Bridge. The most sophisticated and by far most substantial bridge erected up on Garden Ground Mountain on the occasion of the 2013 National Jamboree was this well-designed prestressed bridge. Without getting technical about compressive forces and tension and stress mechanics, suffice it to say the bridge was impressively well-built and strong. Click here for information and photos.
After the spars were skinned and the initial supply of ropes were cut and whipped, there were about three days to build the pioneering area and batten down the hatches in readiness for the first troops to take the hike up to Garden Ground. There were thirty projects and structures to build and fifty pioneering area staffers to do the work, so the staff was split into construction crews and assigned various tasks.
Here are some photos revealing a bit of the work entailed in the overall building process. All thirty projects and structures can be seen and reviewed by following the links on the jamboree pioneering area: main page. The entire jamboree project area layout can be seen here.
What hasn’t been described or captured in photographs is the initial and ongoing process to gather and prepare mallet heads and handles for the Mallet Making Station. The demand for more and more materials was so great, each morning, mallet handle foraging expeditions were in full swing!
Ropes. For thirty different pioneering projects and structures, plenty of rope had to be measured, cut, and whipped for lashings, anchors, and guylines. We had plenty of manila and appropriate synthetic fiber rope in a variety of diameters on hand, and thanks to a well-organized storage arrangement and experienced quartermaster, ongoing supplies were readily available.
“We’ve got spars!” Of course the spars for our pioneering projects were a major consideration. Where would they come from, and how would we get them? By emailing this photo (on right) with the simple statement, “We’ve got spars!”, our director, Jim Keller let us know that spars for our projects and structures had been delivered to Garden Ground Mountain! Naturally, before we could build anything, they’d have to be skinned!
Skinning Spars. Starting full swing on the 11th of July morning, and continuing through the end of the 12th, amidst pouring rain with steadfast purpose and draw knives, a full crew persistently and methodically set upon the pile of heavy, hardwood spars. In spite of the tedious and often bent-over, backbreaking work, sloshing through mud in water-logged boots, spirits were high! There was something about working hard up on that mountain along with a like-minded, jovial crew that kept us going in fine form up to and after the very last spar had been relieved of its bark.
After spars were skinned, they were transported to central locations throughout the pioneering area and selected by crews in accordance with their length and diameter to meet the material requirements for specific pioneering structures and projects. Most often, they’d be sawed to the desired lengths before being carried off to various construction sites. The total pioneering area was later dubbed: Peschke Field (named after pioneering legend, Adolph Peschke).
Why skin the spars? Basically, there are three reasons:
If tied on top of bark, lashings are prone to slip, if the bark shifts or loosens under the strain during use.
Skinned spars last longer than those left with the bark on. Unskinned spars are more subject to rotting from moisture and more susceptible to weakening from insects.
Pioneering projects with skinned spars look really nice.
Transporting heavy spars. An extra long spar for the flagpole and larger-diameter spars for the climbing area had to be moved by entire crews. The 30′ poplar flagpole was dragged by tying butterfly knots for handholds in the dragging line. The uprights for the climbing area were lifted and carried by joining the ends of a rope and threading it under the log so that a series of two carriers grabbing a hold of the rope could walk the spar along on either side.
The Pioneering Area was named Peschke Field after Adolph Peschke, who through the years had motivated and inspired so many with his high standards, creativity, and pioneering know-how.
The following layout is a depiction of the pioneering projects and activities featured at the 2013 national jamboree up on Garden Ground Mountain at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. For a larger view, click on the layout once. Then, for a closer view, click on any section you choose: