A crew of Scouts went about erecting a FLOATING FLAGPOLE made entirely of Scout staves. They lashed together five staves for the pole and two staves each for the three supporting uprights. The idea was to rely upon the strain of the guylines to keep the uprights straight, without sinking them into the ground. The problem was the two staves making up each upright were just too rickety to effectively withstand the stress created during the hoisting process.
All in all, it worked, but attention should be directed to the lashings joining the stoves for the uprights. —> Use longer lashing ropes or apply three round lashings, and, make sure they’re really tight!
For those interested in starting a pioneering program in their unit, it’s often suggested that one of the first things to procure is a supply of Scout Staves. The BSA Supply Division’s Scout Hiking Staff is still the best deal on the market for Scout Staves. Item: Number 1443 on scoutshop.org
They’re very practical for teaching lashings.
They can be used for a variety of involving and fun interpatrol competitions and Scout meeting challenges
They’re exceedingly useful on outings
A SCOUT STAFF, by Robert Baden-Powell:
“The Scout staff is a useful addition to the kit of the Scout. Personally, I have found it an invaluable assistant when traversing mountains or boulder-strewn country and especially in night work in forest or bush. Also, by carving upon it various signs representing his achievements, the staff gradually becomes a record as well as a treasured companion to the Scout.
“The Scout staff is a strong stick about as high as your nose, marked in feet and inches for measuring. The staff is useful for all sorts of things, such as making a stretcher, keeping back a crowd, jumping over a ditch, testing the depth of a river, keeping in touch with the rest of your Patrol in the dark. You can help another Scout over a high wall if you hold your staff horizontally between your hands and make a step for him; he can then give you a hand from above. Several staves can be used for building a light bridge, a hut or a flag staff. There are many other uses for the staff. In fact, you will soon find that if you don’t have your staff with you, you will always be wanting it. If you get the chance, cut your own staff. But remember to get permission first.”
II. In Pioneering, half hitches are everywhere! Two of them next to each other is a clove hitch, and that’s something we use time and time again. As John Thurman declares, “If only we can get Scouts to learn that if you make one half hitch and another half hitch and bring them together they make a clove hitch, what a lot of time the Movement would save in the amount of fiddling and fumbling that goes on when a clove hitch is the order of the day.”
Scouts will demonstrate they can tie half hitches around a horizontal pole, proceeding from both the right and the left.
Scouts will demonstrate they can tie a round lashing by starting and ending the lashing with two half hitches.
Scouts will lash together two staves to make a longer pole by using two properly positioned round lashings.
Suspended horizontal hitching post or similar setup, to accommodate the entire class
Two or more 5-foot Scout Staves for every Scout (the more the better)
Four 6 to 10-foot x 1/4-inch manila lashing ropes for every Scout (the more the better)
6-foot x 1-1/2-inch diameter spar set up as a crossbar with a 6-foot length of 1/2-inch nylon or polyester cord, attached in the middle, to serve as a large visual aid
Starting at the center of the 6-foot spar, the instructor slowly ties a half hitch for all to see, proceeding from the left and initially carrying the running end over the top of the spar.
The half hitch is untied and slowly tied again for all to see. This is repeated as necessary while, in like manner, the class ties their own half hitch around the horizontal hitching post.
When each Scout can tie the half hitch, the instructor slowly demonstrates the tying of two half hitches in succession. (No mention needs to be made that this is a clove hitch.)
When all Scouts can accomplish this, three and four half hitches are tied in succession. Scouts give it a go.
Starting again at the center, steps 1-4 are repeated on the other side, this time proceeding from the right and initially carrying the running end over the top of the spar.
Using two Scout Staves and a lashing rope, the instructor demonstrates how, by holding in one hand the two staves and the long end of the rope as the standing part, he can tie two half hitches around both staves working with the running end. This forms a clove hitch which will start off the round lashing. It will be easy to see that since the long end of the rope will be used for the wrappings, to start the lashing, the half hitches will be applied moving towards the nearest end of one of the staves.
Scouts apply the technique, tying the clove hitch around two staves in the manner shown.
The instructor demonstrates wrapping the longer end tightly and neatly around both staves, leaving enough rope to finish the lashing with two half hitches.
Scouts practice lashing two staves together with two round lashings. The space where the two poles are joined, gets two tight round lashings—one on either side of the overlap and right near the ends of each pole. (See photo to the left.)
Scouts combine into one group and, using all the materials on hand, join all the staves tightly together into one very long pole, with round lashings.
Several campcraft skills come into play in order to successfully complete this Simple Flagpole challenge. Each patrol flies their patrol flag from a 14′ flagpole they construct using the following materials:
four Scout Staves (or 3 Scout Staves if their patrol flag is already tied to a 5′ pole)