Trip report: Big Basin Lane Camp

It was very pretty scenery, the trees were lovely. Since it had rained recently, the streams running through the forest were full. We also practiced our map reading and compass setting so we could make sure we were on the right trail.Scout H

Despite a forecast of heavy rain and just above freezing temperatures, a group of 12 set out last Saturday for our March backpacking weekender. (“High adventure” doesn’t mean staying at home if it looks inclement, right?!)

Everyone was well prepared, with waterproof gear, changes of warm clothing and navigation. To our pleasant surprise the rain largely stayed away and we enjoyed a fabulous 12.5 mile loop trek through some stunning woodlands.

Overnight was cold, about 35F/2C but everyone fared pretty well, some pulling on their extra clothing layers. Possibly the 3 packs of Oreos consumed after dinner helped provide some of the Scouts with the energy they needed to stay warm!

Scout J even got to practice some resilience and initiative when realizing he’d forgotten his tent poles! Nothing some trees and 8m of paracord couldn’t solve 🙂

I enjoyed the scenery the most and that it didn’t rain. The trees were nice and lush from the recent wetness and so it wasn’t as dry as usual.Scout E

click below for the photo gallery

Scout Sunday: learning about Lutheranism

In the second of our activities supporting the “a Scout is reverent” part of the Scout Law, we attended a Sunday service at our Charter Organisation – Christ the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

CtGS has been a strong supporter of the Troop over the years, especially in our efforts to ensure Scouting is as inclusive as possible and open to all youth, irrespective of sexual identity or gender. It was great to be there to learn about their congregation and how they worship. Pastor Manda spent 40 minutes with us afterwards to answer questions on Lutheranism and Christianity.

 

 

Troop 260 custom knives for First Class+ ranks

Here at the troop we are very fortunate to have the support of a master farrier and blacksmith – Ken Brundage.

Ken has coupled his skills and Troop 260 Scouts’ attachment to quality knives to form a new reward program. Now every scout obtaining the rank of First Class (or higher) will get to make their own sheath knife on the forge up at Camp Chesebrough!

50-miler 2018 update – 3 to 4 places left

This year’s summer 50-miler is going to be backpacking The Lost Coast in Northern California.

The Lost Coast Trail is a wild and unique backpacking adventure along one of the most rugged sections of the Northern California Coast. The King Range area is nearly untouched by civilization, with only a few small towns along the two-hour shuttle from Shelter Cove to the Mattole Beach trailhead to the north.The Outdoor Project

Due to permit restrictions the size of our group can only be 15: at this time we have 11 to 12 youth + adults committed, so please notify Scoutmaster Scott if you are keen to go!

To whet your appetite, and also as a reprise for those that attended, check out the photo gallery from our canoeing expedition to Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area in 2017.

Click below for a photo gallery of the 2017 50-miler in Boundary Waters

8 Essential knots for hikers

We’ve  all been in the position of needing to secure, hold-up, join something using some rope or a line. How often do we fallback to one of our basic stalwarts (what problem can’t be solved with a combination of a square knot and a half-hitch, right!)?

Here’s a great article from Backpacker.com with easy to follow videos covering 8 essential knots for backpacking:

  1. Backpacker hitch (secure things to posts/trees using friction)
  2. Square knot (bind to lines of ~equal diameters)
  3. Girth hitch (attaches a sling or a webbing strap loop to your harness or to another sling, strap, or rope)
  4. Overhand knot (a simple stopper knot)
  5. Taut line hitch (adjustable loop knot for use on lines under tension, eg guy ropes)
  6. Clove hitch (holds a line to a post)
  7. Bowline (create a loop that won’t adjust in size, great for rescues)
  8. Sheet bend (join lines of different diameters)

Thanks to deputy Committee Chair, Mark Cahn, for the link.

A Scout is reverent: Temple visit 2018

In acknowledging the part of the Scout Law that says “a scout is reverent”, Troop 260 encourages its Scouts to visit the places of workship of different religions. Learning and experiencing how people of different faiths practice is essential in building understanding and trust – and avoiding fear.

A couple of weeks ago, it was time to visit the Temple Emanu-El in San Jose to attend Shabbat. Below, three Scouts provide their perspectives:

My time at the Temple of Emanu-El was an interesting experience. Although I have been there several times I always enjoy going there. The people I met are fun; there’s lots of singing, and there’s food and drinks at the end. The temple also is very scenic with a huge half dome roof the puzzles me on how tall it is every time I go there. I would definitely go there again if i had the opportunity.Enzo
The Scout Shabbat at Temple Emanu-El is a Jewish celebration where the celebrate us scouts coming to their temple. I enjoyed my time at the service. They sang songs in Hebrew and it sounded nice (although I couldn’t understand what they’re saying). After the mass, we get to have lots of good food. There is a blessing before the feast, kids have apple juice or cider and the adults have wine. Then we eat, talk and reflect on the mass and what we learned.Niko
I have been to Temple Emanu-El for the scout shabbat numerous times, and it is always good to visit. I am really open to understanding different cultures and beliefs, and my experiences there give me a new perspective to Judaism than what is on history textbooks. There’s plenty of singing in Hebrew about giving thanks and living the best life possible. The Rabbi then speaks out on a reading then applies it to today in our life. As soon as worship is over, food is served at another room. The Rabbi then proceeds to give a blessing, and we eat. And as always, the food is great. I would definitely go back to participate in next year’s scout Shabbat.Steven

Inspiration – Scout Outdoor Code

Given so much of Troop 260’s time is spent in the outdoors, we take the Scouting Outdoor Code seriously. Our State and the wider places we visit offer huge natural riches and we want to ensure that while we enjoy them, we do so responsibly and with future visitors in mind.

The Code asks us to be, amongst other things, conservation minded.

Those of us looking for inspiration of what being conservation minded can achieve, may enjoy this short film about this Texas Fried Chicken mogul turned landscape restoration pioneer.

The increasing importance of Scouting

The number of megacities with populations of more than 10m has doubled to 29 in the past 20 years, and each year nearly 80m people are moving from rural to urban areasThe Economist, 27 Jan 2018
Our Troop has a focus on being outside: on hiking, backpacking, canoeing. We consider a high-adventure, outdoor experience to be fundamental to scouting.

At least every month we have a weekend away. In the summer our 50-miler and attendance at Camp Hi-Sierra last for a whole week.

Seeing the above statistics on a rapidly urbanizing society, I imagine what we offer as a Troop becoming ever more important.

If you aren’t already taking part, do join us! New scouts and family members are always welcome. If you are already involved – see you next month for Henry Coe 😀

New Year – new website

For almost a decade, stalwart T260 supporter Nic Matulich had been building and maintaining out website. After indicating recently that he was keen for someone else to take a turn, I thought it would also be a good chance to refresh the site.

Some stuff changes, some starts the same. The site is still hosted using an online service (but today it is called ‘the cloud’ 😋). By switching to WordPress I hope to provide better separation between content and Infrastructure. This will enable Scouts and parents to contribute content (posts, page edits) without needing access to the underlying site.

The sure also uses a theme that is designed to scale from desktop to smartphone – something that wasn’t a consideration even 10 years ago.

More to come. Stay tuned.