Camping‎ > ‎SY2013‎ > ‎

Catapult Competition

The Big Bears are getting ready for the Catapult competition at the Fall Camporee in Quail Hill on 5-7 October 2012. The scouts are learning the old school way to lay siege upon a castle so if an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) destroys all modern technology, we can still attack neighboring communities.  I think you'll agree, if it is not a learning experience, at least it is fun! 

Check out the first round of catapult testing conducted at this last troop meeting

Also note that the catapults were not of the same design and all were different and some very different


At the Fall Camporee 2012 at Quail Hollow Scout Reservation come watch us chunk, throw, fling, shoot, hurl, chuck, lob, and let fly hundreds of pumpkins. The scout patrols will be launching their catapult.

Registration is required to ensure we have enough pumpkins.

Main Event:
Catapults – Notification will be sent on pre-registration and rules & regulations events.  6 – 8 volunteers (judge and safety T101 3 people (Todd Columbia), T122 2 leaders, T434 2 leader) Todd
Columbia <>
  1. Must be able to carry it to launch site. If needed Hank will be hauling catapults down to site
  2. Height limit
  3. Pumpkins provided by council
  4. Trophies for 1st , 2nd , 3rd
Scouts Official Rules (materials by scout team and pumpkins provided council)
  • Pumpkins provided by council
  • Best of 3 launches for the maximum distance (trophies award to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd)
  • Scouts should use a basic designed catapult such Trebuchet, Torsion, Ballista, Mangone.
  • Catapults should be manually cocked by scouts. No mechanical device should be used to cock machines such as a winch
  • Machine shall be limited to springs, cords, rubber, or dead weights for creating stored energy.
  • The important factor is the counter balance weight cannot exceed 75 lbs. This is for safety.
  • Max height = 70"
  • projectile weight = 4 - 10 pound pumpkin
  • Pumpkins cannot be modified, carved, or filled and must be natural – council supplies all pumpkins
  • for this event

  • For every 10 scouts the unit registers they will be eligible to enter one catapult (example: 38 Scouts
  • up to 3 catapults entered)
  • Troop/Patrol group participation is required
  • No maximum number of participants per catapult
  • An adult mentor is permitted to assist in the construction only when and if necessary.

General Rules for Catapults

Height of catapult including throwing arm fully extended (the un-cocked height, straight up in the air) may not exceed limit. The sling is not included in the height limit, so the sling may exceed the limit. Also as state above, a cocking mechanism can also exceed the height limit.

No digging into the ground is allowed (like a pit for the counterweight to fall further). You may use the ground to stake the catapult to prevent rocking. Ropes, wires or straps are also allowed and are not included in the total weight. This is encouraged again for safety reasons.

There is no advantage given to catapult that are under weight or under height.


All catapults must have a safety device (like a C-clamp) to stop the throwing arm from firing prematurely during loading of the projectile. Another excellent safety device is a support which can be placed directly under the counterweight, preventing it from falling. The safety committee will determine if the trebuchet is safe. If the trebuchet is deemed not safe, the safety committee will make every effort to help the team make it safe, time permitting.

Once the counterweight is lifted, the catapult is dangerous. Be careful not to put hands, feet or any body part in the potential path of the throwing arm or counterweight. Put the safety on immediately after the counterweight is lifted (before loading the sling, etc.)!

All catapults will be inspected before firing and must pass the inspection to fire.
Two Patrol Flags are required: We are encouraging teams to bring two flags to add to the visual spectacle. One flag will be placed by the team's catapult. The other flag will be placed at the team's best throw. This will allow spectators to see who is winning during the three launches.
Subpages (4): Group-1 Group-2 Group-3 Group-4