2017 TLUSA Western PA Rendezvous

When: May 5-7, 2017

Due to flooded conditions at the campground in Pymatuning State Park, the location for this weekend has been changed. The new location:
Deep Valley Christian Camp
1073 Studebaker Rd
Slippery Rock, PA 16057

Who: All Trail Life Troops in Western PA and Northeastern OH

Registration: by Patrol. We need to know how many catapults to supply.

Cost: $15 per person. This will pay for all ropes and catapult materials, a Pin or Standard Medallion for each person, campsite expense..

What: Participants will learn the skills and requirements of Rope Works Trail Badge. Skills will be taught by demonstration and instruction followed by patrols building catapults to launch projectiles 100-200 feet.

The weekend is designed to be a learning experience for younger Trailmen, a teaching experience for older Trailmen and leaders. Saturday morning will be instruction time for basic rope education, knot skills and lashings. The afternoon will be for assembly, testing and competition of patrol build catapults.

All materials for the catapults will be provided: rope, rope storage buckets, pulleys, whipping materials, projectiles, and fresh cut trees for the structure of the catapult. The catapults will be constructed of all natural materials, no milled or metal parts except the pulleys and projectile containers. All rope is natural fiber. Traditional pioneering techniques will be used as outlined in the Trailmen’s Handbook. Attached to this document is a diagram of the catapult we are suggesting be used. There are many
other types of catapults that can be used, however, we have made many of this type and they work very well. Each troop will be given all the materials used in the Rope Works Trail Badge instruction and catapult assembly. This will include the materials listed above.

Camping. We will have large area reserved for our use. It is along the shore of beautiful Pymatuning Lake near Jamestown, PA. We prefer to use tents and you will be able to park your vehicles very close to where you camp. We call that type of camping: “plop and drop.” There are bathrooms, water and dumpsters available. There are no showers. We will be camping right on the lake therefore, we ask each troop to instruct their Trailmen in Water Safety procedures and always use the buddy system for all movement around the camp. http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/pymatuning/index.htm

(Reservations are pending as the State Park is renumber sites, we will reserve the whole camp for the event)

This illustration is a fairly accurate drawing of a catapult design that we have used in the past. the size and dimension of your catapult is likely to be different. That is ok.


  • Catapults must be made from natural poles, not lumber. These will be provided. The knots and lashing to be used must be Trail Life USA approved knots. Illustrations of these are provided.
  • No extra mechanical means of applying torque is allowed. (no springs, elastic bands, etc.)
  • Patrols can practice and adjust lashings and knots between competition launches.
  • Patrols may launch their catapult three times and the longest launch will be measured and used for scoring.
  • To make a competition launch, the patrol must have catapult at the launch site and the Patrol Leader must have permission from the judge to launch. There will be a location designated for competition launches. Lashings and knots will be judged after the last launch.

  • Up to 10 points for patrol team work which includes leadership of the patrol leader and his communication with the judges.
  • Up to 10 point for proper lashings used on the catapults. 
  • 1 point for each 10 feet the catapult launches the projectile.
  • Example: The “Venomous Shrews” patrol is awarded 8 points by the judges for team work, 9 points for lashes and then launches their projectile 87feet, 163 feet and 154 feet. The longest of the three is 163 feet.
  Their score is 8 + 9 + 16.3 = 33.3

Patrol Competition classifications:

  • Woodland Trailmen and their Trail Guides assisting
  • Navigator and Adventurer (No adult guidance)
  • Troopmasters, Trail Guides, Trailmasters, Advisers and the like.

Contact Information:  Troy Beilstein, Trailmaster, Troop PA-0002

Cell phone:  724-372-1917.

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