“What did you do at Spring Break?”, “Got my Eagle Scout Medal – what about you?!”
We recognised Allison D today, another of our original intake of female youth, at her Eagle Court of Honor. Sibling of existing Eagle, Tristan, and accompanied by Assistant Scoutmasters Emeritus, Phil & Kathy, a great turn out of current and former scouts, adults and wider family and friends turned out to celebrate.
High impact landscaping service at our Charter org
March Court of Honor
We welcomed our two newest scouts – Isabella and Emily. Great to have the join, and also for making life easy for the Assistant Scoutmasters by having the same names as current scouts 🙂
Scouts presented our in-flight plans for the summer 50-miler to Lost Coast: trip route and meal. We’ll be sure to have enough calories and great places to camp
Our Charter organisation is essential to the Troop: we are officially a program under their legal entity; they provide space for our storage shed; use of the hall at now cost; a place to meet and hold events. In turn, it was great to be able to help them out. T260 turned up on force to make short work of some tough landscaping work, doubling the area the Church had hoped to cover in 2/3 of the time!
Delayed after having to cancel the previous weekend due to a CA state declared State of Emergency, a depleted force set-off to get those miles in. With (mostly) full packs, and a 2:1 adult:scout ratio, we enjoyed glorious spring weather as we romped around a 10-mile loop in Joseph D Grant (thanks Ram for planning). It was still very wet underfoot at parts, providing novel experiences for scouts used to hiking through extended years of drought – but strong ‘À la recherche du temps perdu’ vibes for those raised backpacking in Scotland.
Kudos to Katie for contributing to the story quote with a full slip+fall in the mud (alas, not witnessed by the rest of the Troop).
California after the rain – wheewee, beautiful. Although also pretty cold.
A strong turnout for what was a lovely 8 mile loop on Sunday, topped off with a short 2-3 miler on Sunday for a visit to the waterfall. The temperatures were low, made to feel colder with moisture in the air, and a gusty wind.
The green, lush hills, recently invigorated by the rain were a delight; supplemented by fresh filled streams. There’s nothing that can distract scouts as much as a nice fire – except maybe a flowing stream, and SugarLoaf Ridge delivered on both.
Enjoy the pics – and if you weren’t there, we hope you are inspired to join us next time.
Kicking-off a new year in classic California style: cold nights, stars, no rain.
We were just coming off the back of 2-3 weeks of some of the heaviest downpours and storms in recent years; multiple trees were down; power had been out; paths were flooded; access roads closed. This required some nimble classic T260 maneuvers as we shifted from our original plan of Joseph Grant day walk + overnight, to an in-overnight-out at Chesebrough (thanks Dylan at the office for squeezing us in at late notice).
As this is coming into the second half of the activity year, we amped up the challenge a little – walking through Castle Rock SP first, before connecting to the roadside trail and down into Chesebrough. Once at Camp, we hung around until all was quiet, careful not to drink from the drowned-squirrel water, before setting up camp. Human Fusbal and some volley ball kept us moving and warm.
The Old Goats got a fire going on attempt #2 [tip: wet wood and a high sided fire ring with no air holes – avoid]. The hardy scouts that stayed up past dark were rewarded with some fire for warmth and some campstove cooked fresh brownies (eat your heat out Mark Cahn!)
We stayed above freezing, and headed back the shorter way [only ~ 6 miles] on Sunday making a total of 14 miles. Nice stamina and spirit from some of newer/less-experienced packers [Cruze and Joshua].
In what was a Troop first (and in no way a catering cost saving measure) brother and sister Harris and Emily C. celebrated a double Eagle Court of Honor on 8 Jan 2022.
Harris, #106 + 5 Palms, had his original CoH date cancelled due to Covid and by the time things relaxed, Emily was close enough to gaining her Eagle, #112, that they decided to hold it together. A fitting capstone on what has been a joint adventure through scouting, starting in Wellington, New Zealand and culminating with Troop 260 in San Jose.
We were all set to blast up to Lake Sonoma, but a rate wet + cold weather front moved down from the North. Either one of these would be fine, but together and with a range of experiences committed to go, we made the call to divert instead to the local Calero Reservoir for a day of skills.
The weather held for almost the hold day as we were further South, and the location proved really pleasant: reeds, wildlife, islands to explore and coupled with some skills and races for practice.
New Canoe Trailer Master for this trip (thanks Bob); we learned about invasive species from the rangers. And noone fell in. Awesome.
A troop canoeing classic destination: Millerton Lake with an overnight at Boston Bar campsite. After some recent rain, the hills were green and the small streams into the lake were running – not a common event these years in California. Compared to our Millerton Trip (marred by brown hills and smokey skies) we all felt buoyed by the lush feel.
The scouts were certainly upping their canoe skills and experience: we got to Boston Bar comfortably before dusk despite a later than usual start. Card games and meal plans unfolded for the scouts, as the adults kept themselves at a healthy distance (and with more healthy food!)
The paddle back was faster (as per usual) with a gorgeous, still water all to ourselves for most of the way back. After loading and an early lunch at the top carpark we were back in SJC and unloaded before dinner time.
The Troop has an annual tradition of doing a weekend of shooting and archery sports at a private range on Mt Umunhum. After a covid break on 2020, the Troop was back on for 2021 (big thanks as ever to Nic and Ray, Troop 260 emeritus).
The day went ahead, despite some bad overnight weather forecast, and it was a cracker. Huge turnout, and a great chance for the Scouts to experience a range of weapons under strict supervision.
The night was… exciting. A rain front came in, and the wind was high up on the mountain. A number of scouts gained some valuable experience:
it’s a good idea to fully close your door after heading out for a pee when it’s raining hard
guy ropes and stakes are useful for keeping your tent in the same place in the wind
layers, rain gear, and hats are a good to have at any time of year!
Given the weather, the Troop packed up early and bailed out back to San Jose. A good experience was had (at least on reflection) and some great stories were made.