Another great outing to Indian Cove in Joshua Tree National Park. Thanks to our excellent guides from BSA Onbelay (www.bsaonbelay.org), the boys had an outstanding day of climbing on some pretty technical routes. And of course scrambling around on the boulders, the desert campfire, and seeing the Milky Way in the dark night sky are always highlights for the scouts and adults too.
The scouts really enjoyed backpacking up the Mt. Wilson Toll Road to camp at Henninger Flats. Thanks to Ranger Johan Lockhart, the boys earned their Plant Science and Forestry merit badges with an intensive day of field and classroom learning. Scouts even helped plant and water trees to be established in burned areas of the forest. And, the campsite had outstanding views of the Los Angeles city lights.
Beach camping! The scouts love it! It’s not exactly in the Scout Handbook, but SoCal scouts also need to learn surfing and boogie boarding. Boys made some great meals in their new patrol kitchens, and enjoyed a beach campfire on both Friday and Saturday nights. We’ll be back!
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 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.
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!
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!