Pioneering Program Curriculum IV: Square Lashing!

This is the fourth post in a series that will eventually comprise an activity-based, unit pioneering program curriculum.

SUPPORTING VIDEO: How to Tie a Mark II Square Lashing

IV. Simply speaking, Pioneering can be seen as building structures by lashing together spars. In most cases, the lashing that is used is the square lashing. For ease, simplicity and above all efficiency, the square lashing used here is the Mark II Square Lashing.

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  • A. Scouts will demonstrate they can tie a proper Mark II Square Lashing by:
  •       1) positioning their lashing rope so that the crossbar is initially supported
  •       2) completing three neat, tight wraps
  •       3) making the transition from wrapping to frapping
  •       4) completing two tight fraps and finishing with a square knot
  •  B. Scouts will demonstrate they can join two Scout Staves at 90° angles, by using a properly-tied square lashing.


  • Crossbar(s) suspended between to uprights or supports, about 3 feet high and long enough so that each Scout can stand in front with enough room to practice
  • Two Scout Staves for each Scout
  • One 10-foot x 1/4-inch manila lashing rope for each Scout
  • One 6-foot x 1/4-onch manila lashing rope for each Scout


1) Instructor crouches down or sits in a chair in front of a crossbar. A Scout Stave is leaning against the bar on the other side. Scouts are gathered behind and to the sides of the instructor, so they can watch his hands as he demonstrates the Mark II Square Lashing while narrating:

  • First thing is to halve the rope.
  • Place the middle of the rope behind the vertical spar and under the horizontal (crossing) spar.
  • Start the wraps by working both ends at the same time bringing them up in front of and over the horizontal spar and then crossing behind the vertical spar.
  • Start the second wrap by carrying both ends to the front, bringing them down over the horizontal spar and down behind the vertical spar. Cross them underneath.
  • Just like the first wrap, bring the ends up in front of and up over the horizontal spar and then cross them a final time behind the vertical spar. You now have three wraps. Carry both ends to the front on top of the crossing spar.
  • To begin the fraps, cross the ends over the top of the wraps.
  • Pull the rope tightly, around the wraps between the spars, and after two fraps, finish with a square knot.

Note:  An Instructor monitors each of the following steps:

SImple Lashing Pole. Note that the vertical spars are behind the crossing spar.
Simple Lashing Pole. Notice the vertical spars are behind the crossing spar.

2) Using a Scout Stave and a 10-foot lashing rope, each Scout takes a position in front of the crossbar, which will serve as the horizontal (crossing) spar. They place their Scout Stave behind the crossbar.

3) Scouts halve their rope and place it behind their Scout Stave with an end on either side and under the horizontal spar.

4) Scouts start theirs wraps, keeping them neat, even, and flush to one another.

5) After three wraps, Scouts bring the ends of the rope to the front and cross them to begin their wraps.

6) Pulling their two fraps tightly, Scouts finish their lashing with a square knot.


1) Each Scout is given two Scout Staves and a 6-foot lashing rope and instructed to lash the poles together in the middle with a neat, tight square lashing.

INTERPATROL COMPETITIONSIndoor Ladder Race and Free-Standing Flagpole