Junior (and Adult!) Leadership Training, 240420

Every year the troop does JLT (junior leadership training) where we get together with the scouts and discuss leadership roles in the Troop, and put them into practice through games and activities. This year, we needed a big clean-out of our equipment shed – it was getting a little tricky to move in there, and our Quartermaster didn’t have an up-to-date gear list. With our Yard Sale coming up in a couple of weeks it was a perfect time for a scout-led spring-clean.

Who knows how or why we ended up with 25 pairs of 1970s scout shorts… maybe they will be a hit and start a new fashion trend at the Yard Sale 🙂

Next, the scouts had a meal planning and prep session. Scoutmaster provided a set of constraints (including every course must contain strawberries!) along with a basket of ingredients that were on special at Safeway (a scout is thrifty). After planning a shared menu, each patrol then made their own versions – and subjected them to a rigorous judging panel. Lastly the scouts and parents got to rummage in the “to go” clothing pile – with many scoring classic troop t-shirts, some barely used water shoes, backpacks and more. It seems we didn’t reduce the pile of vintage shorts much, however.

This year was also our first (and probably first of many) concurrent Adult Leadership Training sessions: it’s important to share and pass-on specific troop knowledge along with core BSA policies and operating procedures. A useful interactive session that de-mystified much of how the Troop works from a parent/adult perspective.


Court of Honor – 231216

Everyone’s favorite CoH of the year – the T260 “bring a plate” festive bash! It’s a great time to get together, hear from our Chair and ScoutMaster as they reflect on the year and look ahead, socialise with out families and friends on the Troops…. and overeat!

Well deserved rank advancements for Joshua, Jaden, Ben, Ben and Aidan were awarded and we enjoyed some media complications of trips for the previous few months.

Huge thanks to all the people that helped prepare for, contribute to and organise the CoH.

Photo Album – https://photos.app.goo.gl/1K8W1kqshUuhyhyT8

Trip Report: Elkhorn Slough 2311

Always beautiful (providing it isn’t raining) and full of wildlife, the Slough didn’t disappoint in 2023. With sea birds, fish and – providing you keep your distance – glimpses of Sea Otters – it feels much richer in nature than some of the inland lakes the Troop paddles.

To align with the tide flow, the Troop started upstream from Kirby Park – this provided ample space to prep, and let the Troop travel with the ebb tide rather than fighting what was a reaosnable tide that day.

Dodging the road bridge, the team made it comfortably to the harbor and had lunch, washed the canoes and headed to sunset beach for a camp, and beach activities. With the winter sun coming early, it wasn’t long before it was time for some classic Pacific Coast sunset shots on the beach. And a retreat to warm fires and sleeping bags!

Phot Album – https://photos.app.goo.gl/JyqSknwYLGCGsqyo6

Trip Report: Mt Umunhum – 2310

Every year, the Troop has a tradition of an October shooting sports weekend / car camping trip to Mt Umunhum. We partner with a combination of our own trained and qualified adults, and a local Venturer Crew with similar skills and capabilities to allow scouts and adults exposure to archery and rilfe shooting.

This year, the tradition of adults cooking up a big shared BBQ dinner was maintained, along with the scouts leading in an (always “uncomfortably exciting”) Iron Chef breakfast.


Emily C last night & webelos open house – 231016

Excitement and poignancy in the air, as this night saw the departure from the Troop after founding female Youth member, ex Serpents Patrol Leader, and two-year SPL Emily C, had her last night with the Troop before aging out.

Thanks Emily for contributing so much to the Troop over the last 8 years, from your first 50 miler in the Hi Sierra, to your work as a Staff Member at Camp Hi-Sierra.

To offset the departure, it was appropriately, a night for potential new Troop 260 members to join us for a Webelo’s open house, where the Troop ran through its standard, but always well received, stations on knives, fire, games and stoves (hot choc!).

Photo album – https://photos.app.goo.gl/KoGiZDrtR4EPzCLx9

Trip Report: Lake Sonoma 2309

Report by Scout, Bryce P. (thanks Bryce!)

Bullet point summary

  • We finally made it to our canoe set in spot, a little late, but in one piece and good to canoe together. 
  • After canoeing for an hour or so, we had an enjoyable lunch on the island in the middle of Lake Sonoma. Please ask our new Emily, what she called the island ; ). Then back into the canoe, and towards our overnight sight.
  • We made land, unloaded, where another Troop from Marin were also camping for the night. It was great to connect with another Troop. 
  • Then we had a very muddy swim in the lake, where Isabella made a mud grave and I made a floating raft out of PFD type IVs
  • There was a night canoe in which some adults and scouts went out on the lake right before sunset, watched the stars and fetched cleaner water to go through the water cleaning pumps.
  • The adults had a delicious, well planned, Vietnamese food while the scouts had mac and cheese.
  • Everyone grouped up for Isabella’s signature “coloured fire” along with drawing fun shapes, words, and even scenes using our flashlights and an app called Spectre. 
  • Woke up, packed our canoes and headed back. We failed to go through the mass of house boat’s this time.
  • Had lunch up in the parking lot
  • Tried a new method of washing the canoes using manual car washes. It was much faster though it did use something like $13 dollars (e.x. Rainbow carwash)
  • Overall, Great trip! Everyone ended up a bit tired and some a bit damp, but smiles all around. 

Trip Report: Lake Sonoma

For some of our scout’s first overnight canoeing trip we decided to spend a beautiful 2 days on Lake Sonoma. Throughout the 3 mile journey we got to practice our strokes and jokes before stopping at an island, 100ft from our campsite, for lunch. We managed to reach our campsite early and so had plenty of time to swim! Though the ground was a bit muddy we had plenty of fun with Isabella managing to create a grave, or a shrine (we couldn’t tell the difference) and everyone trying to find the depth of one specific spot dubbed “The Abyss” which we eventually found out was over 12 ft deep.

After drying off and having dinner, some scouts and adults left on a short dusk canoe in search of stars and less muddy water for our water pumps. The Old Goats had on offer some nutritious and delicious Vietnamese wraps & soup with a wide arrange of vegetables, protein, and rice noodles. (Thanks Thuy and Son) The scouts, on the other hand, had Mac and Cheese along with a bit of the adult’s dinner (in exchange for a tomato). Right before bed we had a beautiful coloured fire (Isabella’s specialty). Also, we used an app called Spectre, which allowed the scouts to make drawings that showed both our scout spirit (Troop 260 drawing) and our creativity (see photos).

The following morning we had our traditional packets of oats, packed our canoes and set off for home. Although the paddle back was quick, it was also serene and the landscape was beautiful. On our car drive journey back to the church we decided to try a new method of washing our canoes, using a carwash! Though our scouts did end up a little soapy, we managed to quickly clean the canoes (15 mins). We even managed to clean the canoes without taking the canoes off the rack. Our canoes are all extra clean, for next month. A great first overnight canoe trip for 2023!

Photo Album – https://photos.app.goo.gl/QoqwFZuSMHAPNEMUA

Junior Leadership Training : 230819

After last year’s donut:scout ratio of 15:1, this year, JLT was a much more management 1 1/2 : 1

The scouts listened patiently to some tips and guidance around leadership – and what it means for them, in our troop, and more generally. The morning was peppered with activities and interactive bits too which kept people engaged and reenforced the material we covered.

At the end, the scouts captured their ideas and associated actions for tweaking the focus of the program over the coming years.


Trip report: 50-miler, Lost Coast – July 2023

This year, the troop voted to go back to the Lost Coast (previous trip in 2018). They had cool and bright weather whilst the rest of us sweltered in a heat wave, and took the time to enjoy the amazing coastline and pristine solitude.

The pics are below for quick access – but thanks to. our Scoutmaster, Glenn Rock, we have a day-by-day diary for posterity immediately following.


July 16-22

Scouts and families met on July 10 for a food hunt – based on the meal planning completed by Bryson and Maanasa , we bought food at 5 stores within 1 mile of each other (thrifty). After food was purchased, all returned to CGS to sort food items into meals, distribute weight evenly, and pack them into bear cans – bear cans required to keep critters out of our food and other aromatic items. More on this later.

Day 0.

Ten participants (6 scouts and 4 adult leaders) met at CGS to conduct a gear check based on the list assembled by Joshua and Pierce (empty backpacks, spread out on ground and have scout and adult leaders review) to assure all personal and group gear was packed. By 9:30am we were on the road north to our planned our chosen staging area – and as fortune may have it, potentially escape the heat. Stopped for lunch and gas along the way where Santa Rosa, Ukiah, and Willits had temps of 106°. As we departed Highway 101 and started our last leg of the drive, hopes for cooler temps were on the other side of the hill. We arrived at Shelter Cove and were embraced by 85° temps and breezy conditions. Breezy = 30 mph gusts throughout the night and little temperature drop until 4:00am the next morning.

Day 1

To the trailhead we go to experience the route planning accomplished by Matthew, Aidan and Aidan. Up at 4:30am for breakfast and a short, hilly hike over to the shuttle pick-up at Black Sands Beach (yes, it is black sand). While hiking to the start, adults drove backpacks to the pick-up location to help all conserve some energy for later. Shuttle ride was bumpy with a lot of turns as best described by a joke the driver shared, “What side of the road do you drive on? On the right side of the road except in Humboldt County where you drive on whatever is left.” Arrived at the Mattole Beach Trailhead, backpacks on and started the journey – and were greeted by clear skies and more 30mph winds with 50mph gusts – too bad we did not bring kites. Saw Sea Elephants, Sea Lions, and Seals along the way. Backpack fit and boot tying issues started to reveal themselves, yet all made it to Sea Lion Gulch. Chose our campsite and learned quickly that everything needed to be pinned down or would blow away. Throughout the day and night, hats, chairs, sleeping bags, and clothes were beguiled by wind as it tried to seduce them away. Another windy night yet signs of change in the morning with some dew.

Day 2

Up at 4:50am, hit the trail at 5:30am. Between us and our next destination, Spanish Flat, lies an impassable zone. Impassable at high tide and scouts’ first experience implementing critical strategy – one trail option that opens and closes based upon external forces beyond control. Backpack fit and boot tying challenges lingered as they were not taken away by the winds of the day/ night before. Regardless, we regrouped, picked up our hiking poles, had scouts help scouts and hiked over rocks of varying sizes and shapes over the first 4 miles. We exited the impassable zone with time to spare – good planning by the scouts. A few miles further, we arrived at the shady and wind calm campsite Spanish Flat. All picked their campsites, explored, napped and found opportunities in the creek to wash off (yes, scouts do ‘bathe’, just not at CHS). 

Day 3

Up at 6:30am, oatmeal breakfast and on the trail by 7:00am. A somewhat contrarian day compared to those experienced – marine layer lended a new ambiance to the trail along with bear tracks, tide pools, creek crossings, dry and packed sand, rocky terrain. Backpack challenges continued to linger yet some were resolved through reorganizing the gear. Shoe tying challenges disappeared. Kinsey Creek brought some respite, play and water refill. Ranger provided guidance on the trail junction ahead. Arrived at Big Flat at 12:00pm had selected our campsite for the balance of the day. Marine layer lingered until 4:15 and brought sun for the balance of the day with a spectacular sunset. Exploration of Big Flat into the evening. Deer unafraid of humans were with us throughout the day/ evening. First real opportunity to understand we were the outlier visitors.

Day 4

2:00am, IT’S A BEAR!!! At least that is what Joshua thought as he woke up Matthew for help.  The bear visited others, scouts and adults alike, throughout the night. At breakfast, all bear sagas were shared and collectively determined that the small black bear was the type known as Mephitis mephitis – skunk. As important as determining our visitors I.D., it was invaluable to learn why food wrappers, toilet paper and the like are stored in bear cans. After swapping stories and collecting gear, all moved across Big Flat Creek to Miller Flat – about 200 yards. Good rest day on the shadier side of the creek brought sightings of more deer and a family of river otters scurrying up the creek.  

Day 5

Up at 4:45am and on the trail at 5:30am. Adventure brought another impassable zone to navigate on our way to Horse Mountain Creek. More large and small rocks to move around and over – some wet and slick, others not so. Arrived at our camping destination and broke out food to assemble brunch (aka use up as much food as possible). The campsite was fully exposed with 12 hours of full sun exposure in our future. Adults options with the SPL – stay or finish the hike early by hiking to Black Sands. After brunch SPL discussed with each scout – unanimous vote was to finish. Backpacks on with the final destination visible in the distance. Push to the end had Pierce and Bryson in the lead, Joshua in the middle and Aidan, Aidan and Matthew in sweep. Sweep seemingly wanted to relive and enjoy the trip as long as possible as they finished that last 1.5 miles walking backward. Together, scouts and adults finished the last climb to the parking area together, All returned to Shelter Cove campground for one last night and a successful trip – 10 entered and departed without injury and many stories to tell.

Day 6

Up at 5:30am – breakfast final pack and return day. Three Little Bears visited the campsite overnight. Lesson learned (again) – don’t leave food or other aromatics outside a bear can. Mr. and Mrs. Moffatt drove up to help with transportation back to San Jose. Caravan assembled and the trip back was uneventful – except for thinking about the next outdoor adventures. 

Scout-o-rama 2305 : splat the scout

T260 was back at Scout-o-rama with a blast this year after a few years absence during and just after covid. We left our traditional piazz-dilla’s behind and instead turned up with some some outdoor gear on display.

The canoe and backpacks attracted people over; Isabella’s marketing hooked them in with pics of the scouts in action; and then an improvised game of “toss/cornhole” but using bear cans kept them engaged – and coming back.

There’s nothing like the goal of trying to splat a scout with a sponge… 🙂


Eagle Court of Honor – Allison D: 230325

“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.

Needless to say, too much food was eaten.