Bear Grylls becomes Chief Ambassador for World Scouting

Ever watched this daring do programmes where Bear drinks water from camel dung, or fashions a jacket from the skin of a dead seal? Did you catch the purple Scouting emblem on his jacket?

Currently UK Chief Scout, Bear is taking on a new role as Chief Ambassador for World Scouting.

One of my first tasks as Chief Ambassador, will be to represent us at an event at the United Nations headquarters to launch Scouts for SDGs – a mobilisation of 50 million Scouts, with the goal of making the world’s largest coordinated youth contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs

Read the blog post here.

New Eagles (almost)!

A massive “well done” to Scouts Aidan and John for successfully completing their Eagle Scout Boards of Review on Wednesday this week!

Once we hear back from National that they are fully confirmed, they will be the Troop’s 103rd and 104th Eagle Scouts.

Dates and details of their Eagle Courts of Honor will be available in the coming weeks.

Aidan – Eagle Board of Review
John Eagle Board of Review

New Senior Patrol Leader

The scouts voted last night on who they wanted to be their Senior Patrol Leader. Congratulations to Tristan!

A huge thanks for the other scouts that also stood for election. Putting yourself forward can be daunting, but is much appreciated and respected.

Aiden will join Tristan as ASPL and by the end of next week’s meeting, all other leadership positions will have been decided.

There was big applause for Steven who had been our gallant SPL for the best year, alongside gaining his Eagle rank!

Trip Report: Lake Sonoma canoeing

The Troop visited a new, reasonably local, canoeing spot last weekend – Lake Sonoma (Hat tip to John L for finding this new spot and booking it).

We fielded a modest sized crew of 13 – thankfully Scout Aiden as acting SPL had his navigation skills in play and was able to guide the (often mis-guided) adults and the rest of his scouts to the overnight camp. The paddle was a bit longer than normal – about 7 to 8 miles, but we were helped by a slight wind at our backs.

There were a good number of power boats out, but the no-tow zone was quickly reached and the crenelated shoreline made for an interesting paddle.

  • Pros: Relatively easy to get to, relatively easy put in, minimal inspection hassle, lots of boat camping sites, average number of power boats and picnic tables, chemical toilets and fire pits per site.
  • Cons: It is a long paddle with potential for strong headwinds, the Sunday drive home has several heavy traffic choke points. (North of SF Bay has potential for heavy rain in winter months.)
  • Also… there is a camp on an Island only a couple of miles from the put-in… next time!

In the words of our Scoutmaster: The pros outweigh the cons – we will be back

Click below for the photos…

10,000 meals in 2 hours!

Today, we had the chance to support our Charter Org (Christ the Good Shepherd Church) in a great service project: packaging 10,000 meals for the charity Rise Against Hunger

The Troop had a great showing – 10 Scouts and 4 Adults – and we helped from setup at 10:00 all through to the final sweep at 2pm. Our support was welcomed multiple times by the Church and the Rise representative.

It was a great chance to log some service hours for the Scouts whilst putting on a strong showing for our Charter org that continues to be very supportive on a number of fronts.

Click below for gallery

Knots, games & girls

The scouts had an excellent evening last week practicing some of the basic knots needed for Trail to First Class (and that are generally useful to know). After some patrol time, they finished with a “pet rescue” game, simulating the need to throw a rope and then tie a bowline. Much hilarity – and a little bit or rule stretching – ensued!

Re-introducing formal meeting plans is having a really positive impact.

This was also the first evening when our new female youth patrol joined. With the formal expansion of the scouting program to all youth from February next year,  Troop 260 is making an early start – capturing interest and developing skills.

click picture below for photo gallery

Trip report: Henry Coe 2-nighter

Our April 2018 weekend event was a 2-night, 14-mile hike in Henry Coe State Park.

It’s been a while since the Troop did a Friday through Sunday trip; fortunately we were rewarded with beautiful still, clear weather for the night walk from the Park HQ to the Manzanita Point campgrounds.

On the way, we did some star-gazing, found a toad, and almost missed the site (thanks Mateo!). Everyone managed to setup their tents in the dark without issue.

On Saturday we awoke to the sounds of birds (and wild turkeys). The weather was cool but bright for the entire day – perfect for hiking. The route was tough – c 8 miles, with a 1600-foot continuous climb up from Poverty Flats to the top of Middle Ridge. We had a new scout, and some less-seasoned family members on the trip and they all came through with flying colors!

Sunday was a short, but tough, walk out – tough from the 25% slopes more than the light rain. A great mini-adventure.

T260: Henry Coe 1804

BSA focus on female youth participation

Now that female youth are welcomed in Cubs and scouts is opening up to female youth too, it is great to see official BSA communications highlighting their participation.

The latest Scouting Wire has a feature story on female Cubs participating in the recent pinewood derby.

Here at Troop 260, our focus has long been on high adventure scouting for all the family. Watch this space for upcoming information on how we are moving early to formally extend our Troop to female youth.

Get outside with 260 – it’s good for your brain!

A recent Scouting Wire article highlights research from Spain and the US that shows being outside in nature has a positive impact on kids’ brain development

The study from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health has found that long-term exposure to green space during childhood is associated with structural changes to the brain that lead to improved memory and less distraction. Additionally, children who grew up in environments with more exposure to nature had more activity in the regions of their brain associated with learning and social skillsScouting Wire

Read the full article here.

Microfiber detectives

We probably all have some outdoor clothes made with plastic microfiber – a fleece, some thermals, a hat?

This podcast from the BBC investigates the contribution of plastic textiles to the increasing levels of plastic waste in the environment. And potential ways forward.

A single domestic wash could shed 700 fibers

Podcast link

Spoiler alert: it’s a great excuse to stock up on some new Merino wool gear 😀