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Fig. 164. 
Snow Fort Commenced

By Dan Beard

How to Build the Fort

All the Scouts must join in building the fort, selecting the highest point of the grounds, or, if the camp is level, the corner of a wall or fence. Supposing the top of a mound has been selected as the place where the works are to be built, the first thing to do is to make out the plan of the foundation.

The dimensions depend upon the number of boys.  A circle twelve feet in diameter, or a square with sides of ten feet, will make a fort that will accommodate a company of ten boys.  It is better to have the fort too small than too large.  The chief engineer must set his men to rolling large snowballs; the smaller boys can commence them and the larger ones take the balls in hand when they have gained in size and become too heavy for the younger Scouts.

Make these balls of snow as large and dense as possible then roll them in place upon the lines traced out for the foundation.  We will suppose it to be a square.  In this case, care must be taken to have the corners of the square opposite the most probable approach of the enemy.  This will leave the smallest point possible exposed to the attack, and the inmates of the fort can, without crowding each other, take good aim at the foe.

After the four sides of the square are covered by large snowballs, as in Fig. 164, all hands must pack the snow about the bottom and fill up each crack and crevice until a solid wall is formed. Then with spades and shovels the walls should be trimmed down to a perpendicular on the inside, but slanting upon the outside, as shown in Fig. 165.

Fig. 165. 
Snow Fort Finished

The top of the wall may be two feet broad and the base four feet. When the wall is finished, prepare a mound of snow in the center of the square for the flag-staff. This mound will be very useful as a reserve supply in case the ammunition gives out.  A quantity of snowballs should next be piled up, inside the walls, at the four corners. This done, the fort is ready for its defenders, and it only remains to equip the attacking force.

The building of a fort generally uses up all the snow around it, making it necessary for the besieging Patrols to carry their ammunition with them upon sleds made for that purpose.  One boy can haul snowballs enough for a dozen companions.


Kit Carson Snow Fort & Battle;
How to Make Ammunition Sleds
How to Make the Shield

Snowball Fight Rules;
Other Snowball Games

A Snow Battle from Dan Beard's Youth
        How to Bind a Prisoner without a Cord; 
          Company Rest. 

See Also:
Snow Tag Game;
Other Winter Snow Games.

American Boys Handy Book






Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Snowball Rules ] Snowball Battle ] [ Snow-Fort ] Kit Carson Snow Battle ] Snowball Shield ] An Old Snow Battle ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Winter Games ] Snowball Warfare ] Skate Sailing ] Woods in Winter ] Snowmen ] Snow Statuary ] Ice Fishing ] Skating ] Evening Entertainment ] Winter Projects ] Advancement ] Polar Bear Swim ] Snow & Ice ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.