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 decided to try something different and camped at Calico Ghost Town. It was typical Mojave Desert camping with the added bonus of a real ghost town to explore. Boys had a great time including a fun train ride, touring an old silver mine, panning for gold, and exploring a “mystery shack” where the laws of physics seemed to be broken. Boys had plenty of time for some skills training, lighting a great campfire, cooking up good grub, and even playing a few games in the desert.
Wow, the Troop went to the best summer camp in the USA! Swimming and snorkeling in crystal clear water, through kelp forests. The sea life was amazing! Boys went sailing and canoeing and kayaking and paddleboarding. There was even a great touch-tank of marine life to learn about. And of course all the usual summer camp activities like shooting rifles and learning first aid, coupled with the usual fun & games. We’ll be back!
The troop headed way up into the Sierras for an amazing backpacking adventure on the Bishop Pass Trail in the John Muir Wilderness. Several “crews” of scouts and leaders spent from 2 to 5 days in the backcountry, hiking on and off trail. We explored many lakes including Long Lake, Bishop Lake, Saddlerock Lake, Ruwau Lake, Chocolate Lakes, and Bull Lake. There was great fishing in most of these lakes, and many boys caught (and cleaned, cooked and ate) delicious brook trout. At the high altitude (well over 11,000 feet), there was also plenty of snow remaining for snowball fights and sledding. The mosquitoes were annoying at times, but the scenery made up for it. Some of the older boys trekked over Bishop’s Pass (elevation 12,000 feet) to see the spectacular scenery of Dusy Basin. Take a look at some photos:
The annual Diversity Hike of BSA’s San Gabriel Valley Council was conveniently held in Monrovia this year. Troop 147, ably led by its SPL, volunteered to be the color guard for the opening flag ceremony, and represented themselves well. After opening speeches by local dignitaries (including Monrovia’s mayor), our scouts and leaders started hiking a 5 mile loop through Monrovia. Hikers stopped at ten houses of worship along the way, and learned about others’ faiths. It was very interesting to hear from Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist, and other faiths all in one day.
The San Gabriel Valley Council held their annual Scout Expo, but with a new name (“Youth Expo”) and a new location (the Rose Bowl). Troop 147 usually volunteers to run an activity booth, and this year, scouts and leaders put together an Art booth. Scouts from all over could earn their Art merit badge under the tutelage of Assistant Scoutmaster Todd Dirks. Mr. Dirks is an accomplished artist and art teacher at Pasadena High and the boys had a great time in his class. At a separate table, the younger Cub Scouts and Webelos had lots of fun earning their Art belt loop. Several Troop 147 scouts and parents helped out for hours in the hot sun and deserve a lot of credit for giving up a Saturday to help out. Our scouts also earned a few merit badges of their own – not only Art, but some earned Electricity, Chess, and Fingerprinting. Check out a few pictures…
Camporee is an annual event in which boys work as patrols, competing not only with the other two patrols of Troop 147, but also with about 350 scouts (about 50 patrols) from local cities in the Lucky Baldwin District of the San Gabriel Valley Council. This year’s events included first aid, knots & lashings, citizenship, knife & axe, firebuilding, orienteering, camping, cooking, rifle-shooting, and a mystery event. We had a great turnout of 20 scouts, and our three patrols (Mystery, Spartan, and Eagle) did great – even the newest scouts represented themselves admirably. The adult leaders in the troop also deserve some credit – they worked hard all day in the hot sun running the knife & axe skills event, and ran a safe, educational, and fun program. Check out the photos…
The troop headed to the Colorado River for an outstanding canoe trek. After passing through Hoover Dam security, we launched canoes from the base of the dam into the cool clear waters of the Colorado. Scouts canoed 25 miles downstream from Hoover Dam to Nelson’s Landing over three days. Spectacular scenery, dark caves, hot mineral springs, canyon climbs, a tour of a fish hatchery, a visit to a marina, some scout skills training, great campfires, and great food – there was so much to see and do, we can’t describe it all. Just look at the pictures!
Scouts spent a weekend in March camping at a great railroad museum in Perris. Boys worked on their railroading merit badge, in the process learning all about the past, present, and future of rail transportation. Special thanks go to our great merit badge counselor, tour guide, and camp and museum host for the weekend – Steve Pesante. Many of our new crop of scouts joined us for this one, and earned their very first merit badge. Every scout even got to drive a trolley car! Boys also did a great job setting up camp and cooking as patrols. There were some nervous scouts at night because a mountain lion attacked somebody nearby a few weeks ago (and escaped), but this fact helped make sure everyone obeyed the buddy system. We’re proud of the new scouts for doing so well on their first campout, and of the senior scouts for showing the new guys the ropes (figuratively & literally). Take a look at a few photos:
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!