There are many kinds of construction projects that are both fun and educational. The number of crafts that involve knot tying are limitless, and there are countless books and Web sites devoted to this subject. Some projects make objects to decorate scout troop meeting rooms or yacht club lobbies. Even a simple rope mat can add a bit of nautical flair to a room (see Chapter 10).
Some projects — like knot boards — can serve as educational exhibits. A knot board is easily made with a small piece of plywood, a staple gun to fasten completed knots to it, and some labels. A labeled knot board is a common decoration for scout troop meeting places and boating clubs. Some are very elaborately decorated, with braiding for the borders, and maybe a nautical painting featured in the middle.
Scout troops on pioneer outings often fashion large structures using lashings as the principal construction method. The Boy Scouts of America publish a pioneering pamphlet that teaches rope skills and ideas for many construction projects, including bridges, towers, ladders, and more.
Making a Grommet, as shown in Chapter 10, is a good small project to help people become familiar with the structure of three-strand rope. Demonstrating rope making is a good activity to do with a group of people because a number of people can be involved at one time. Instructions for rope making can be found in many books as well as online.
The techniques and recommendations in this chapter can be followed closely or can just be used as a guide to lead you to ideas of your own. Teaching knot tying can be a learning experience in itself, and a lot of fun at that. A little extra effort goes a long way, but whatever you do, students will appreciate your efforts and greatly benefit from them.