Pioneering projects are great fun to build, and there is a good sense of accomplishment that can be achieved, but I’m always looking for a pioneering project to be a bit more useful in the long term. When I was a Troop Scouter, if a Scout proposed a project, I always looked for another angle beyond just building something ‘because we can’ . A lot of effort goes into a pioneering project, so that effort should be used as effectively as possible.
Here are a few suggestions about how pioneering projects can be more than just a one day stunt:
They can be used to raise Awareness, either about Scouting, or another cause. Examples on this blog include Ruan’s Pioneered Rhino, the Airshow Biplane and The Isengard Tower
They can be the basis for a Game. One of our Springbok Scouts built a tower that was used as a lookout post, and a platform to launch paper planes for an interpatrol competition. Catapults and trebuchets are good fun, especially with an adequate supply of rotting tomatoes. An obstacle course is another obvious game-based project. Rafts and treehouses are another type of pioneered structure that lend themselves to adventures.
Pioneering projects can be Permanent additions to a campsite or a public area, like a permanent bridge, an observation tower, permanent gateway or even an in-store Scouting display.
Finally, pioneering projects can of course be part of your Campsite – whether they are small camp gadgets, gateways, JOTA radio masts or even the three storey platform your tents are built on.