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Bridge Building

As I told you before, my scouts in Ashanti, when also acting as pioneers, had to build nearly two hundred bridges. And they had to make them out of any kind of material that they could find on the spot.

There are many ways of making bridges.

Pioneer bridges are generally made by lashing poles together.

In the Himalaya mountains, they make bridges out of three ropes stretched across the river and connected together every few yards by V-shaped sticks, so that one rope forms the footpath and the other two make the handrail on either side. They are a jumpy kind of bridge to walk across. But they take you over and they are easily made.

The simplest way for bridging a narrow, deep stream is to fell a tree, or two trees side by side, on the bank, so that they fall across the stream. With an adze you then flatten the top side. Put up a handrail, and there you have a very good bridge.

Rafts, too, can be used to cross a stream. Build your raft alongside the bank-in the water, if the river is shallow; on the bank if it is deep. When the raft is finished, hold on to the down-stream end, push the other out from the bank, and let the stream carry it down into position.

To make a Ladder with a Pole-Tie sticks firmly across the pole at intervals to form steps. A pole can be made by tying several Scouts' staffs together.


Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell (Chief Scout, London, UK)

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