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August 19, 2016

Cardboard box rafts- Akela 2016

At the recent Akela 2016 camp, I was involved in running outdoor activities for the Pack Scouters, alongside the community service and crafts bases that were run. Alongside a tensegrity cube, I ran this challenge- to build a raft using staves, light cord, cardboard boxes and dustbin bags, and float a member of their team across a swimming pool (around 10 metres/ 30 feet).
Photographs courtesy Marissa Rakic

The idea is to build the cardboard boxes up, then seal them in plastic bags, and use these boouyancy 'blocks' tp build a raft. In practice, of the three teams who attempted it, only one got their 'sailor' safely across the pool. Here are the two unsuccessful teams at their moment of immersion:

The first team built a raft that had good, solid boxes, well tied together. However, they built a narrow raft which had very poor stability, and despite a few attempts, the raft was unable to remain upright.
The second team distributed the bouyancy more evenly, but one of their boxes failed around halfway through:
 The third team, pictured at the top of the post, managed to get across without any incident. I allocated 45 minutes for this, and all three teams had sufficient time, even allowing for around half the team being unfamiliar with raft building. I can recommend this as a patrol challenge if the weather is good. I would suggest having a full set of boxes for each team- in the event that a box gets wet, it is almost impossible to re-use.
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