Pioneering & Knotting

Knotting and pioneering is one of the four core scouting activities listed in the revised scout programme under the category of "Core Scouting Experiences".


In the Scout Movement, pioneering is the art of using ropes and wooden spars joined by lashings and knots to create a structure. Pioneering can be used for constructing small items such as camp gadgets up to larger structures such as bridges and towers. These may be recreational, decorative, or functional.

Pioneering is the scouting way for scouts to express their creativity, experience team work, understand the concept of progressive learning and a great way for scouts to learn how to plan, execute and problem solve!

There are various skill sets within pioneering that can be broadly categorised into the following:

Knotting and Lashings - the basic skill required to put a structure together.

Anchorage - Like a building the requires foundation, a structure needs to be securely anchored to the ground before it is save to use.

Gadgets - Pioneering at a smaller skills, typically involving the building of camp gadgets utilising the same pioneering skill set and principles.

Leverage - The use of leverage equipment such as block and tackle or temporary leverage points is essential in the erection of bigger, heavier structures. Leverage techniques involving simple pulley systems are commonly used to tighten ropeworks.


The art of knotting is one of the most useful life skill a scout can pick up. Form learning how to tie everyday knots like a double slip reef knot with their shoe lace to tying a dress tie or advanced applications in pioneering, knotting is a skill that can be applied to many areas of life.

There are many categories of knots that scout can learn. The following are some of the common categories:

Hitch - A knot tied to a post, cable, ring, or spar.

Bend - A knot uniting two lines.

Loop - A knot used to create a closed circle in a line.

Lashing - A knot used to hold (usually) poles together or secure poles onto another object or structure.

Whipping - A binding knot used to prevent another line from fraying.

Splicing - A knot formed by interweaving strands of rope rather than whole lines. More time-consuming but usually stronger than simple knots.


Anchorage is another crucial part of pioneering. Unless the pioneering structure is designed to be free standing, it will require a firm anchorage to the ground to be stable. Even freestanding structures can also benefit by having additional support to increase its stability under load or weather influences.