As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Crossing the Alligator Pit Game

For the Hobbies Troop Program feature, the plans for the Troop outdoor program suggest playing a game called “Crossing the Alligator Pit” as a patrol competition.

This is a very challenging game which combines lashing skills and teamwork. It would also work well  for an interpatrol activity at a meeting focused on pioneering skills.

Here is how you play:

Crossing the Alligator Pit

Equipment (per patrol)

  • Some method of marking an area on the ground – string, chalk, etc. depending on the surface
  • 3 spars, each about 6 feet long
  • 3 sections of rope for lashing, each about 6 feet long
  • 4 sections of cord or sturdy string for use as guy lines


  1. Mark the “alligator pit” on the ground. It should be 20 feet from one side to the other. Make it wide enough so that the patrols can line up along one side with a few feet between each patrol.
  2. The patrols start lined up on one side of the pit.
  3. Give them a signal to start.
  4. The patrols should lash their spars together into a a-frame shape. The program helps suggest a shear lashing at the top and diagonal lashings for the crossbar.
  5. Attach the four guy lines near the top lashing.
  6. Stand the construction up. One Scout stands on the crossbar. Four additional Scouts use the guy lines to prevent it from tipping over.
  7. The Scout on the crossbar then “walks” the structure across the alligator pit, with the four Scouts on the guy lines keeping their lines taut to keep in from tipping over.
  8. The first patrol to successfully cross the pit wins.
cap diagram


One response to “Crossing the Alligator Pit Game”

  1. Larry Green Avatar
    Larry Green

    This is actually a wonderfully challenging activity. Though the program helps might suggest diagonal lashings at the cross spar, when approaching this activity from a pioneering standpoint, square lashings are called for. Diagonal lashings are primarily used where two spars cross in a trestle, where the timber hitch is used to spring the X-braces together. l

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.