Raft Race at Summer Camp

The camp staff placed a supply of materials in an open area by the lake assigned as the designated raft building place. Groups of Scouts could use any of the materials there to create whatever kind of raft they chose. On hand were lengths of precut bamboo, plastic 55 gallon drums, and lengths of old manila rope. There was no set raft building schedule, so Scouts could devote as much of their free time as they wanted. The only definition regarding time factor was that of the race itself, scheduled for Friday at 3:00 p.m.

This raft building venture revealed a consideration that was not so obvious for many who participated, either in an advisory capacity or as a builder — a little something called “center off gravity”. As soon as many of the rafts were launched, this not so obvious consideration quickly reared its head, to the shock and surprise of the riders and to the delight of many observers. As soon as the race began, some of the rafts that looked like they’d do just fine performed a 180º flip over. By lashing on their drums directly under the bamboo, without taking into consideration the need to provide some form of counter balance, many of the Scouts had created a center of gravity that was too high, and this resulted in an unexpected and immediate dunking. All in all, it was a great race! And, after the race, I happened to overhear a wet group of Scouts remark, “That was fun. We gotta do that again!” Experience is the best teacher.

Pioneering Area: Activity Stations & Games

Peschke Field featured a wide range of interactive pioneering structures and projects. In addition to bridges, towers, catapults and the camp gadget/skills area, Scouts and Venturers could experience the following Pioneering Games and Activity Stations:


Link to: Atomic PileAtomic Pile

Like all good team building challenges, the “Atomic Pile” requires concentration, cooperation, and strict attention to the Scout in the position to call the signals. The activity is great for developing effective leadership skills. Click HERE

Cabin Building Station: Derricks at the Jamboree

Trying their hands at using a swing derrick, boom derrick, and gin pole, like the old time pioneers, Scouts and Venturers could get a feel for lifting and positioning logs to assemble a log structure. Click HERE 

Rope-Toss-Log-Lift Challenge

How fast can you lift a log off the ground by coiling a rope and tossing it over a crossbar, tying a timber hitch around a log on the other side, tying a clove hitch around a stake in the ground, and finally lifting the log by tying a sheepshank? Click HERE

Rope Climbing

The Rope Climbing Area in Peschke Field featured three varied climbing challenges for Garden Ground Mountain visitors. Scouts and Venturers could learn how to adjust a prusik knot, use wooden discs, or climb a high rope ladder. Click HERE

Mallet Making

Mallet making, where Scouts and Venturers could make a mallet, perfectly-sized for driving in large tent and dining fly stakes, was by far the most crowded and popular of all the pioneering area stations at the 2013 jamboree. Click HERE



Just like the game where X’s and O’s are drawn on a piece of paper, this game is played by tossing large, weighted monkey fists through 2′ x 2′ areas formed in a vertical Tic-Tac-Toe board built by lashing together four 6′ spars. Click HERE

Battering Ram

A lot of pushing and pulling was required in the Battering Ram Station, but once in position, the crews were able to swing the big fist into the obstruction and, without fail, delightfully crash through! Click HERE


The carousel has been a mainstay for the past several jamborees. Because it was so much fun to ride, there was often a line of Scouts and Venturers waiting their turn to get on board. Click HERE

Swing Boat

The pull rope on each side allowed the riders to raise themselves up and back as high as they wanted, and by rhythmically pulling on and releasing the rope, they could control their speed, back and forth. Click HERE