The troop returned to San Jacinto State Park for some amazing backpacking through the snow. Scouts had a lot of fun riding the Palm Springs Tram and at the top found a winter wonderland with heavy snow falling as they hiked. Scouts hiked for a couple of hours and set up camp in the deep snow at around 9,000 feet elevation. The boys really had to live the boy scout motto, “Be Prepared”, to stay warm, dry, and comfortable on this adventure. Check out the pictures!
The boy scout motto is “Be Prepared” and this trip was a good opportunity to live this. The scouts were looking forward to an exciting overnight bikepacking trip to a favorite camping spot in the Angeles National Forest. Although we knew that the road had been closed due to a recent forest fire, the USFS and Caltrans both assured us that the road up the canyon would be open bright and early Saturday. Alas, Saturday morning came and the authorities were mistaken. Troop 147, along with a troop from Huntington Beach (who drove all this way for a day hike) and many other hikers and bikers, were turned back at the San Gabriel Canyon Gateway Visitor Center. Instead of giving up, the boys decided to cycle in the opposite direction down the San Gabriel River trail to Santa Fe Dam. We very lucky – the Santa Fe Nature Center was open, and even better, we were welcomed to their volunteer appreciation breakfast where the boys enjoyed their pancakes, eggs, and sausages! Plus, members of the local Kizh (Gabrieleño) Indians were on hand for a special ceremony. The scouts were all treated to a ceremony where they were “smudged” with sage smoke in the Indian tradition. After this, boys worked on lots of scout skills such as backpacking stoves, knots, and animal tracking, led by their Scoutmaster and Senior Patrol Leader. The rest of the day was spent riding around Santa Fe Dam, working out on the various exercise equipment, and paddling around the lake in kayaks and paddleboats. Somehow the scouts saved energy for the ride back, with them biking at least 14 miles (that’s for the adults – the scouts rode more miles for the fun of it!). We’ll revisit our bikepacking trip sometime soon. More importantly, we’re proud of the scouts for turning a potential disappointment into an outing to remember.
For a highly unusual change, the troop skipped camping for the month of December. First time in many years. Instead, we took in excellent tours of one of LA’s marine fire departments. We had an amazing tour of the fire station and boats given by enthusiastic firefighters. Then, it got better – we had a tour of the USS Iowa given by the grandfather of two of our scouts. Mr. G. gave an up-close and personal tour of what it was like to live and work on the Iowa.
We also managed to squeeze in a quick look at the San Pedro Maritime Museum, and walk along the shorefront looking at various statues and memorials – very interesting.
Photos to be available soon!
The cub scouts of Pack 66 and boy scouts of Troop 147 had a fun day of fishing on a beautiful day in late November. Scouts left from Long Beach harbor on the cozy fishing boat “Southern California”. The boat was filled to its capacity of 60 fisherman. The weather was perfect and the ocean was calm. The fish were biting – scouts caught mackerel, treefish, chuckleheads, sheepheads, and a lot of nice rockfish. We even had a visiting sea lion that ate a few fish right off the lines! Everyone had a great day of fishing (with some time for playing cards and watching the sea life), capped off with a beautiful sunset on the ocean before we returned to the lights of Long Beach.
The troop’s monthly campout featured something different in November. We camped at Lake Silverwood and worked with the Pacific Crest Trail Association to do maintenance work on a local section of the trail. The PCTA generously provided us with a huge campsite, free of charge. In return, we provided the heavy labor of our scouts.
Muscles were sore, smiles were big, and the boys had a great time. The boys also learned a lot about how much work it takes to maintain trails. I think we’ll offer our help to them again next year.
Some pictures will be posted shortly.
Troop 147 loves to go rock-climbing. Not just climbing on some fake wall in a shopping mall, but at some world-class sites in Joshua Tree National Park! We have done this regularly the last few years, and again scouts set up camp at a roomy group site at Indian Cove. Our troop was instructed by our excellent instructors from BSAONBELAY. The scouts climbed up and rappelled down the rock all day long. Even some parents had the energy and nerves to climb. A long day of climbing in perfect weather was capped with a fun campfire, great stargazing, and good food.
And, we’re going back! We have already booked our group site at Indian Cove for November 2014!
Stay tuned for some awesome pictures of Troop 147 scouts scaling the cliffs of Indian Cove!
Another great weekend at the beach for Troop 147. This time we invited lots of Webelos to show them (and their parents) how much fun the scouts have every month. Boys did all the usual beach stuff including boogie boarding, swimming, and surfing. Couple that with some skills training for the prospective scouts, good tree climbing, great food, and a fun campfire program that all scouts contributed to – what a great weekend!
Pictures to be posted soon.
This year for the first time, the troop split into two summer camps. The older scouts went to Philmont for a high-adventure trek (see that post) and the younger scouts went to Camp Marin Sierra for more traditional summer camping. Marin Sierra is in the Sierras above Tahoe, and the farthest camp we’ve done (almost 500 miles away!). The camp had great reviews from other local troops and the boys were not disappointed. We had a great turnout of 16 scouts and 6 adults. Scouts earned loads of exciting merit badges, enjoyed swimming and boating in Chubb Lake, and even enjoyed some unusually tasty camp food. Everyone loved this camp, so perhaps we’ll go back again one summer.
Lots of great pictures will be posted soon!
Troop 147 successfully tackled BSA’s Philmont Scout Ranch this August as part of two separate crews. What an adventure in the New Mexico mountains for our scouts! Many days were spent backpacking up and down mountains (from base camp at 6,700′ to mountains over 11,000′ high) loaded with full packs, adding up to over 70 challenging miles. Scouts (and leaders) persevered through powerful lightning storms, windstorms, hailstorms, and rainstorms, plus the occasional hot and sunny day. We were stalked by a mountain lion in camp one evening, and saw lots of other interesting wildlife from rattlesnakes to turkeys to deer to various lizards. The afternoons and evenings were crammed with activities such as horseback riding, burro racing, shooting rifles, throwing atlatls, forging iron, touring gold mines, and learning about the rich paleontology, archaeology, and more recent history of the area. Wow, we got to see the world’s only Tyrannosaurus rex footprints, right where they were made 65 million years ago! Even the train ride to New Mexico on the Southwest Chief was fun for all – we even observed “the deer and the antelope play” on the range.
Philmont requires months of physical, mental, and equipment preparation, and is not something the troop will do every year. However, we will certainly go back when a new crop of scouts is strong enough to attempt this major wilderness adventure. See the photos for a small taste of this amazing place.
Wow! We had a great turnout for a high-adventure weekend in the Channel Islands National Park. Scouts and several moms, dads, and siblings kayaked all day on Saturday through some amazing sea caves on Santa Cruz Island. We saw an amazing variety of marine life from coelenterates and echinoderms up to pinnipeds and cetaceans. We had plenty of time to snorkel and swim, too. And no scout outing would be complete without a hike – this time we hiked along the cliffs and had great views toward the mainland. The ferry trips over and back on a small ship were also a highlight – especially the rough swells coming home. Even the land creatures were fun to watch, such as the endangered Channel Islands fox, and the particularly ravenous ravens who attacked our watermelon when we turned our back on them. Combine the beautiful campsite with the great activities, and this is an adventure we’ll have to do again in the future.