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.
During our last few meetings, some scouts have being working on building a knot machine for the troop. After weeks of working to build it, they finally finished the knot machine on February 14th, and the rest of the troop got to try it out!
Modeled after Camp Hi Sierra’s knot machine, our knot machine now serves as a great tool to help scouts learn different types of knots like bends, hitches, and loop knots. It’s a more interactive and engaging way for everyone to master knots, and a bonus is that we can now have knot tying competitions 🙂
Big kudos to scouts Aidan, Matthew, and Harris, and ASM Mr. Clark for putting the knot machine together!
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.
Fresh from Canoe Skills training, a maximal group departed WG in one of our largest ever convoys to head for Millerton Lake. Despite very depleted water levels and smokey air from nearby fires, it was great to “on the water” and for new and old paddlers alike.
As our first trip of the new season we didn’t go far and we also not canoe-camping. This allowed us to focus more on paddling skills than loading. After unloading and buddy assignments we headed around the headland for a about a mile where we pulled in for lunch.
Marion and Simi having trouble steering on the leg out, until finally realising just before lunch that they had been paddling their canoe backwards the whole way 😀
Maintenance of our record of at least 1 capsize on an early trip, a triple-loaded canoe of scouts (Nate, Jaden +1) took a dip. (good planning, we were close to shore and got to practice an onshore recovery)
The wind was getting up and so we headed back and used the extra time to give all the scouts a taste of a capsize!
Camping was overnight at the group site on the north of the lake. The ground was rock-hard but the food was plentiful (especially for the Old Goats!) and we had the rare opportunity of a real campfire, with skits and yells and singing.
Thanks for all the great photo contributions to the gallery below.
30? 40? 45?! I think we lost count as the scouts and family members piled in to our canoe skills day at Shoreline Lake, Mountain View.
We ran three stations, led by an experience adult and scout combo and everyone cycled round: paddles and strokes; packing and launching; safety and rope throwing. The focus was on getting on the water.
We’ve had a great batch of new scouts and adult members joined over the past few months and they were universally excellent – from both a skills and energy perspective. I think some of the older goats might be getting left behind this year 🙂
2 years since the canoes were last rinsed, and stacked up at Doc’s. In that time some have accumulated a fair bit of dirt and the Troop has gathered a new batch of scouts and family members.
Time for a deep clean, inventory and loading practice session as we kick off our 2021/22 canoeing season.
We ended up with 12 canoes all ready for the water, all PFDs and paddles checked and counted. And a ‘raft’ of new troop members skilled up on carrying, loading and strapping down the craft. Bring on the water!