Trip Report: Hope Valley snow camping – 2402

SNOW CAMPING RETURNS

After years (literally) of either too much or too little snow, the Troop got back into the snow – returning to Hope Valley in North California. Snow shows, ski bibs hired or borrowed, the team set off for a white adventure.

Overnight temps dropped well below freezing, but the daytime temperatures nudged higher and allowed for some fun snow showing walks, sledding,

Scouts and adults had a great time – were well prepared with double sleeping mats and sleeping bags (Even if some of them didn’t use them – *cough* Sreevas… 🙂 )

https://photos.app.goo.gl/2RLQbBQpgZz64QyZ7

Pancake Breakfast – 240211

In Scouts BSA, every unit has a Charter Organization that is the legal entity under which the unit operates – for Troop 260, this is Christ the Good Shepherd Church in San Jose. They do a lot for us – providing the use of the hall, allowing us to store our canoes and gear on the premises, supporting our operations. It’s nice to be able to give back.

Just before lent, the Troop treated the CtGS community to a free pancake breakfast! Scouts were table servers; adults helped in the kitchen and we delivered a set menu with only a few pancakes landing on the floor!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/P4JFtgi9HN5r3B3s9

Calero Hike – 231118

We are blessed with great weather in California (sometimes too great), but it’s not always sunshine and balmy evenings, and a scout has to “be prepared”. This month, a combination of local regulations / restrictions on Calero couple with a storm front made canoeing a no-go. Instead, the hills around our designation offer a wide range of trails, many of which are new to the Troop, and so our Plan B was a day hike in the Calero foothills.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/pmiet3rPVbfSVCG66

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.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/2fgyS6EfpG8SVfF78

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

Trip Report: Canoe Skills – Shoreline, 230827

It’s been a while – over a year for most of us, and for some their very first time!

Canoeing is back – wooooooooooo.

2023/24 is another canoeing year for the Troop and to make sure that we get every up to speed as fast as possible, whether old hands that are bit rusty, or complete newbies, skills sessions form a key part of the early trips. Shoreline is close by and makes an easy half day trip to do some basics: throw rope rescues, paddles, packing and loading, and some on-water time.

Of course, we also go over BSA Safety Afloat, just like we do at the start of any waterbourne adventure.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/uTiZRaWTDyYjCAW36

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.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/GVv8LKLneHCakhAH7

New Troop Leaders – 2023 Elections

This week, the scouts voted on their new Senior Patrol Leader and their new Patrol Leaders for the year ahead.

Huge thanks to outgoing SPL of 2 terms, Emily C. Welcome to the new team:

SPL – Matthew L.
ASPLs – Isabella D., Bryson M.

PLs – Gabby L., Pierce R., Josh A. + Cruz D. (our first shared PL position!)

Outgoing SPL prepares for the transition of power
Scoutmaster announcing the results
The new L-Team is immediately installed!