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February 28, 2014

Floating 'Scouts SA' Billboard at Gilwell, Johannesburg

All photos courtesy Terence Vrugtman
Gilwell, Florida, is the home of Scout training in Johannesburg, and also home to the Orion Rover Crew, who led 160 Scouts from 8 troops in the West Rand District in building this raft spelling out 'Scouts SA' at Florida Lake for BP Sunday this year. Orion's Isengard Tower was featured on this blog before, and this time around Terence Vrugtman and Byron Van Gool enlisted Discovery Scouts, Protea Ridge, 1st Horison, 1st Eagles, Florida Lake Sea Scouts, 1st Strubens Valley, and Kagiso Scouts to put this project together in 7 hours.

This project acted as the annual pioneering competition for the district, and is a great example of how groups can work together to create something visually striking in a short time. Each of the eight rafts was constructed independently, with the letters being assembled once ready. Modular projects like this can be put together with simple co-ordination.


Here are the instructions that were issued to the troops:

  • The Project! To, as a troop build a standing single letter of the “SCOUTS SA” Logo that can float on water to form part of the District Project. 
  • The Concept What are we doing? As a troop, you need to build a floating, self-standing letter of the “SCOUTS SA” Logo. You will be marked on: Project accuracy, general pioneering skill, on-spot knot testing, uniformity, spirit, model building and the final product. Use the below diagrams, rules and guidelines to build your letter (Troop Scouter has it) as best as possible to make this awesome project come to life. 
  •  Base Guidelines and Rules Build a floating base that: 
  1. Must have 4 drums, 
  2.  Must be as close to 2.5m Wide as possible (Don’t destroy your troop equipment), 
  3. Must be 3m Long, 
  4. Must be a rectangular frame, 
  5. Must have diagonal supports, 
  6. Can have additional supports, 
  7. Can have decking, not needed, 
  8. Must have the ability to support your letter, 
  9. Will have lashings necessary to support the structure, Letter Guidelines and Rules Construct a letter that: 
Must be made from ropes and poles/staves
Must be 3m High/long
Must be as close to 2.5m Wide as possible (Don’t destroy your troop equipment)
Must be 3D and have a depth of .05m (Measured from inside pole to inside pole)
Should be as close to the font as above in the concept image
Must have a hessian front to support the letter features
Should be as close to “letter shape” as possible (Hessian might be the key)

  • General
  1.    All aspects of the project must be built on the day
  2. Only Scouts (11yrs – 18yrs) may build. Adults may support and guide
  3. You must follow and stick to the times provided in the programme
  4. Judging will be done by the Scouters and Rovers of the West Rand District
  5. Scores will be vetted by the DC
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