I received an email from our Scoutmaster, Allen, this week asking if I would help him build a catapult for our District’s Cub Scout Day Camp. Well what guy would not jump at the chance to build something that has the capability to destroy something? Obviously I said yes.
The first thing you gotta know about Allen is he is a mechanical engineer and loves perfection. He told me he went online and found some plans for a 15-foot tall catapult and scaled them back to a 10-foot tall machine. He also told me that the dimensions weren’t just right so he reworked the dimensions and got everything to work.
The reason we were asked to build this is each Cub Scout will be given an egg and a styrofoam container like the type you would use to serve a hamburger. They can bring anything they want from home and they must protect the egg, as we launch it into next week.
Allen, Drew (my 15-yr-old Life Scout), Cameron (my 5th grade Webelos) and myself worked for two days building it. The temperatures in Oklahoma the past two days have been 95-degrees plus and it was hard work. But we finally finished and the fun began.
We tested dirt clods, cans of spaghetti sauce and cantaloupes. Some went a long ways and some actually never released and crashed into the trebuchet. Our longest launch was about 60-yards and the cantaloupe exploded upon landing. But in all it was a great time.
Even though it was hot and complicated work it was worth the end result and I can’t wait to see the smiles on the faces of the Cub Scouts this Friday at Day Camp.