During the Fall of 2007 a group of 12 ten year old Webelos Scouts were working on their engineer activity pin. One of the requirements is to build a functional catapult. The handbook shows how to build a catapult using a milk carton, rubber band and spoon. Its something the boys could have completed in about an hour.
Instead, being a little over zealous, we went online to research catapults, found plans for a trebuchet (which sounded more interesting) and started putting the materials together. 6x6 and 8x8 square oak logs, 6 trips to the local scrape metal yard collecting some 2 tons of steel, 100 x 1.5” steel bolts manufactured for this machine, two electric winches, nylon tow straps, welders, electricians, shoemakers and about 5 weekends and we were on to building an 8000lb trebuchet.
It was half way through the summer of 2007 that we stumbled upon the Punkin ChunkinTM contest in Delaware. Once we heard about this event, we knew we had to try to get our siege engine there. That’s when we hooked up with a crane service, because there was no way we were going to take this machine apart.
The Lil Gourd Machine Getting ready '07 Delaware Premier Team: Troop 634
About 90 of our people came down for the weekend of the contest. Almost all for the first time. Some of us came home from the 2007 Punkin ChunkinTMcontest amazed at what we saw. The support of the committee, the camaraderie amongst competitors, the ingenuity of the contraptions. We knew we wanted to share this experience with our Scouts. Not just our Scouts – but everyone!
We thought it would be great to host a similar event in southern New Jersey, let ours be a test opportunity for the real event in Delaware 3 weeks later, send all of the proceeds to BSA and make our event open to all wishing to attend.
To see what all the excitement is about with punkin chunkin, you've got to check out Team Chucky from Teaneck, NJ - World Champion Torsion experts. These guys have too much fun and they are great at this!