Every few years the troop works together to earn the Cycling Merit Badge. This is an Eagle badge and one of the most difficult to achieve. And being in SoCal, what better time to take long bike rides than in the dead of winter? The scouts learned and practiced bike maintenance and traffic safety. After tuning up their bikes, boys completed 6 rides of increasing length over a few months, ending with a tough 50 mile ride from the San Gabriel Mountains to Seal Beach. Various fun rides included visits to Caltech, Santa Anita Racetrack, the American Military Museum, Whittier Narrows, East LA (for CicLAVia), and an overnight bike backpacking trip in the wilderness. Thanks especially to all the parents who rode with the boys and provided moral support. See the photos!
The troop paid another visit to one of our favorite desert camps – Red Rock Canyon State Park. We arrived after dark on Friday night and scouts set up their camp in a bit of desert wind. The next day, scouts had a great time exploring the cliffs. Boys had a full Saturday complete with skills training and a 4×4 adventure to Burro Schmidt Tunnel and Bickel Camp (cool old mining sites). We ended Saturday with a relaxing campfire of toasted marshmallows, dumb jokes and stories, with the Milky Way overhead and the occasional shooting star. Scouts prepared for another windy night by being extra careful in battening down their tents. We awoke to a beautiful cold but sunny dawn to break camp before the long drive home.
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