The Walking A-Frame Challenge
Also Known as the Norwegian Waddle
ObjectiveThe objective of this activity is for each Patrol to construct an A-Frame using lashing poles and rope and then to use that A-Frame, with four guy lines, to walk a member of the patrol through a course perhaps 25 feet in length.
ParticipantsEach participating patrol must have at least five members in order for the challenge to be completed. It is possible to conduct a variation of the activity in with as few as two Scouts.
MaterialsAt the beginning of the activity, the Troop Quartermaster should issue each participating Patrol the following materials:
- 2 lashing poles about 3 inches in diameter and 12 feet long
- 1 lashing pole about 3 inches in diameter and about 7 feet long
- 3 one-quarter inch lashing ropes 15 feet long
- 2 one-quarter inch guy line ropes about 40-50 feet long (note that shorter ropes can be substituted as long as they can be tied together to make a total length of 40-50 feet
Course LayoutPrior to the activity, the SPL should lay out a course. The simplest course is a rectangle about 12 feet wide and 25 feet long. To make the course more difficult, it can be made narrower and/or longer and corners can be inserted.
InstructionsThe SPL should issue the following instructions to the Patrol Leaders: Using only the materials issued to your Patrol by the Quartermaster, you are to construct an A-frame. Do not cut any ropes unless told to do so by the Quartermaster. Your A-frame should have four guy lines attached to the top, each about 20-25 feet in length. When your A-frame is complete, move it to the beginning of the course. To traverse the course, stand your A-frame up and hold it up using at least one Scout on each guy line. You or a Scout of your choice should ride in the A-frame with his feet on the cross member and one hand on each of the side members. The riding Scout may shift his weight in any way but he may not touch the ground. Scouts who are holding the guy ropes may be inside the course if necessary. By shifting the weight of the riding Scout and alternately pulling on selected guy ropes, you are to move the A-frame through the course to the finish line.
ScoringThis activity may be done just for fun, without any scoring, or the SPL may assign points for correct lashings and timely movement through the course.
VariationsThe following variations may be used:
- Small patrols may try moving the A-frame across the course without a riding Scout. It can be harder that way!
- Try moving the A-frame without a passenger and with only 2 guy lines.
- Make the course longer or put in some corners.
- Have the Patrol move the A-frame one length of the course with each patrol member as a rider.
- Try it with two riders at once.
Teachable MomentsThis is an excellent activity for Patrol team building and Patrol Leader development. The successful patrol leader will either know how to do the activity or he will listen to someone in his patrol who knows how or can figure it out. Once in the course, teamwork is essential or the A-frame will fall. This activity also gives Scouts the opportunity to demonstrate skills in knots and lashings required for 2nd Class and 1st Class.