#pixnparks 8 (or 7?)… anyway, The Finale!

The perfect ‘rona-safe set of activities for T260 concluded last weekend with our final scheduled Pix-in-Parks challenge: Coyote Lake Harvey Bear. (Those of you with keen eyes that also attended Jimmy’s Eagle Project will have spotted the used fishing line disposal tubes placed along the road along the lakeside)

Despite being close enough to civilization to hear the 101 at times, this 3.5mile loop also offered some lovely forest, and the chance to see deer, birds, cows and even a coyote. We went on a cloudy morning which cleared but still left the skies looking good for some great photos!

For those of you that have done all the Pix-in-Parks “magnificent 7” for 2021, go here to claim you t-shirt of bandana.

A scout stands astride the mighty trail, Click here or the image above for full gallery

updated Covid-19 policy

On 18 May 2021 – SCC moved to “yellow tier”. As a result, we have updated our Covid-19 policies. The Committee ratified this new policy today and it is effective until further modified.

  1. We encourage all our families to get vaccinated
  2. We will request vaccination status from all registered adults and youth – and update it over the coming months
    1. We are now required to gather this through medical forms, but may also need an additional check / register
  3. Fully vaccinated adults and youth will follow the County guidelines – no masks outdoors (with the exceptions observed) – and masks indoors
  4. Non vaccinated adults and youth follow the County guidelines – masks outdoors (when distancing isn’t possible) and indoors
  5. Adults will be able to rejoin outdoor meeting spaces, following relevant protocol (above)
  6. Maintain availability of and use of hand sanitizer
  7. Support any youth or adults choice to continue to wear a mask, even if not required

#PixNParks 7: Calero

A new park for a quite a few in the Troop (and a potential candidate lake for us to do some basic canoeing skills next year), Calero is set in the rolling hills and scattered oak tree landscape that is quintessentially California.

It seems like most of the Troop was out on Saturday morning this time – maybe going early to avoid the forecast hot weather at the end of the day. We had sightings of wild turkeys, snakes, funnel web spiders and a host of birds.

Great views from the higher sections, rounded things off to make this ~3.8mi loop an excellent start to the weekend.

Click the image above, or here, for the full gallery

Quicksilver at a moderate pace

We’re back – with backpacks!

About 25 youth and adults spent Saturday morning doing hike at Almaden Quicksilver County park. This follows our successful Alviso salt flats walk a few weeks ago, but we upped the game, introducing loaded backpacks for anyone wanting to attend this summer’s 50-miler.

It’s been over a year since many of us have had a big pack on, and we need to ramp up to being ready for a week-long trip. For some new scouts, it was their first experience of a few hours under load.

The pace was moderate, the spirit was strong. Excellent work by all.

(PS – Scouts, bring maps next time >;-/ )

Cover photo - Almaden quicksilver 210501 photo gallery
Click photo above to open photo gallery

(not so) Fresh Air

We’re BACK! First weekend activity together in … over 1 year!

Public health protocols are back into Orange Zone – so a distanced, masked, outside event was back on the cards. We dusted off plans from last October / November and gathered at yahoo! global HQ’s very empty carpark for a few miles, flat circuit of the Sunnyvale water retention ponds (hint: sewage treatment works!)

Loads of birds, lovely views across the salt flats – and a great turn out of nearly 30 youth and adults, We split into 2 groups and spent a lovely couple of hours chatting, listening to Scoutmaster history nuggets, and – occasionally – holding our noses.

We also got a chance to review the contents of our personal first aid kits, personal gear as a refresher after so long not being out.

Click on the image above, or here, for the full gallery

#PixNParks 5&6: Rancho san Antonio & Hellyer

If you want to park at the weekend at Rancho san Antonio, you have to get up early! Being so close to the city, we turned up around 0800 (or possibly even earlier) and were out of luck in all the car parks 🙁 The surrounding streets for at least 1.5 miles are all parking hostile and so we abandoned the effort and came back later in the week. Most T260 families managed to make it work and there are some great pictures of wild deer, flowers and views over Mountain View and San Jose.

Hellyer Park was a short few miles walk / bike up the Coyote Creek Trails – one of the main Class A trails in San Jose that stretches from near Historic Park in downtown San Jose to Morgan Hill. Shaded with trees mostly, and clear from the homeless encampments that mar the northern sections this was a nice walk / bike ride finishing at the popular pond (with ducks!).

Click above, or here, for the full gallery

#PixNparks 2&3 : Mt Madonna & Lexington

A combo (and backdated post) to catchup on the 2nd and 3rd mini-trips in this series. Gorgeous weather greeted our weekend walkers at Mt Madonna, with several family groups bumping into each other on the way (but avoiding the horses, thankfully).

Lexington was busier: accessible from the reservoir side and from the houses to the North, this was a quick circuit to get an excellent view of the reservoir and hills. It was a bit concerning to see the reservoir water levels so low barely into spring.

Click pic above, or here, for full gallery

Eagle project completed! – Emily C

Starting back in August 2020, Scout Emily C completed her Eagle Project this past weekend. Despite a number of Covid-related delays and setbacks (including having to send a bunch of Troop scouts and family members home who turned up to help!) the beneficiary – Our City Forest – now has a spanking new, eco-friendly plant pot solar sterilizer!

OCF wanted more sterlizer capacity, and an upgrade to the old unit. Emily focused on building a more robust design and on adding additional heat-absorbing features like the plastic under the lid and matt black paint in and out.

Emily started adventures with the Troop in 2015, doing her first 50-miler in the Hi-Sierra in 2016 when she was 10. The inaugural Patrol Leader for our female youth, Emily is now working on the rest of the badges she needs to complete her Eagle rank.

Well done Emily!

Emily and Alison paint
Full Gallery link, or click the above image

#PixNParks #1 – January ’21

Right. We can’t hike together as a Troop with the current viral situ, so in a masterful stroke of program leadership, the Troop is instead using the Santa Clara County PixNParks 2021 challenge to encourage each troop family to get out.

Once per month, we set a particular park challenge, and during that weekend we are all encouraged to (separately) head to the location and grab a pic of ourselves there (and on the way).

Month 1 (January) was the Bass Pond at Joseph D. Grant park. An easy ~2 miles to get everyone back into the swing of things after the holidays. Nice effort T260!

Scouts Richard and Erika M at the Pond (click for full gallery)

Webelos visit

We always really enjoy hosting Webelos (incoming Cub Scouts) as they explore troops in the area they may like to join. Normally, we roll-out our standard round of skill stations: knives, campstoves, first aid – to much fun and enjoyment.

Of course, this time our Patrol Leaders had to re-tool for an online approach – and they did a great job, with interactive presentations, quizzes, demonstrations and stories. It’s not quite as good as getting up close to that big knife for the first time, but still fun!

Turnout was high with about 7 Webelos and some of their family members joining.

ONline webelos session