Merit Badge Requirements Merit Badge History
Pioneering Merit Badge Workbook
This Scoutmaster Bucky Merit Badge Workbook is based off the current Scouts BSA Requirements.
Type your work on this page or download the Pioneering Workbook PDF.

Consider also using the Pioneering merit badge class preparation page for clarification and expections when participating in a Scoutmaster Bucky merit badge opportunity (online or in-person).

Scout's Name:
Requirement 1: Do the following:
Requirement 1 a: Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you might encounter while participating in pioneering activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
Most likely hazards
Anticipate hazards
Prevent hazards
Mitigate hazards
Respond to hazards
Requirement 1 b: Discuss the prevention of, and first-aid treatment for, injuries and conditions that could occur while working on pioneering projects, including rope splinters, rope burns, cuts, scratches, insect bites and stings, hypothermia, dehydration, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, sunburn, and falls.
Rope splinters
Rope burns
Insect bites and stings
Heat exhaustion
Requirement 2: Do the following:
Requirement 2 a: Demonstrate the West Country method of whipping a rope.
Demonstrated West Country method of whipping a rope
Requirement 2 b: Demonstrate how to tie a rope tackle and the following knots: clove hitch formed as two half hitches, clove hitch on a bight, butterfly knot, roundturn with two half hitches, and rolling hitch.
Clove hitch formed as two half hitches
Clove hitch on a bight
Butterfly knot
Roundturn with two half hitches
Rolling hitch
Requirement 2 c: Demonstrate and explain when to use the following lashings: square, diagonal, round, shear, tripod, and floor lashing.
When to use
Requirement 3: Do the following:
Requirement 3 a: Using square and tripod lashings from requirement 2c, build a Tripod Wash Station (or with your counselor’s permission, another camp gadget of your own design).
Requirement 3 b: Using rolling hitches or roundturns with two half hitches, and round lashings from requirements 2b and 2c, build a 15-foot Scout Stave Flagpole (or with your counselor’s permission, another camp gadget of your own design).
Requirement 3 c: Using shear, square, and floor lashings, clove hitches on a bight, and rope tackles from requirements 2b and 2c, build a Simple Camp Table (or with your counselor’s permission, another camp gadget of your own design.
Requirement 4: Explain the differences between synthetic ropes and natural fiber ropes. Discuss which types of rope are suitable for pioneering work and why. Include the following in your discussion: breaking strength, safe working loads, and the care and storage of rope.
Requirement 5: Explain the uses for the back splice, eye splice, and short splice. View a demonstration on forming each splice.
Requirement 6: Using a rope-making device or machine, make a rope at least 6 feet long consisting of three strands, each having three yarns. Whip the ends.
Requirement 7: Explain the importance of effectively anchoring a pioneering project. Describe to your counselor the 3-2–1 anchoring system and the log-and-stake anchoring system.
Requirement 8: Describe the lashings that are used when building a trestle, how the poles are positioned, and how X braces contribute to the overall structural integrity of a pioneering project.

Requirement 9: Working in a group, (or individually with the help of your counselor) build a full size pioneering structure, using one of the following designs in the merit badge pamphlet.

  • Double A-Frame Monkey Bridge
  • Single A-Frame Bridge
  • Single Trestle Bridge
  • Single Lock Bridge
  • 4x4 Square Climbing Tower
  • Four Flag Gateway Tower
  • Double Tripod Chippewa Kitchen
  • Another type of structure approved in advance by your counselor

Carefully plan the project, assembling and organizing all the materials, referring to the points under Safe Pioneering, and complying with the height restrictions in the Guide to Safe Scouting.