Eagle Project: Niko T. October 2021

This time it was Teddy #3 to polish-off their Eagle Scout project with aplomb.

Niko designed and organized the build, painting and earth fill of a twin-set of custom planter boxes with solar lids for the Friends of Children with Special Needs group in the Bay area.

Big shout out to Niko and assisting scouts for getting this latest Troop 260 project into the community.

More planter action in the full picture gallery

Canoe Skillz @ Shoreline Lake

30? 40? 45?! I think we lost count as the scouts and family members piled in to our canoe skills day at Shoreline Lake, Mountain View.

We ran three stations, led by an experience adult and scout combo and everyone cycled round: paddles and strokes; packing and launching; safety and rope throwing. The focus was on getting on the water.

We’ve had a great batch of new scouts and adult members joined over the past few months and they were universally excellent – from both a skills and energy perspective. I think some of the older goats might be getting left behind this year 🙂

Next stop – an overnighter at Millerton Lake!

On the water, learning the basics – click for full gallery

Canoe cleaning and prep

2 years since the canoes were last rinsed, and stacked up at Doc’s. In that time some have accumulated a fair bit of dirt and the Troop has gathered a new batch of scouts and family members.

Time for a deep clean, inventory and loading practice session as we kick off our 2021/22 canoeing season.

We ended up with 12 canoes all ready for the water, all PFDs and paddles checked and counted. And a ‘raft’ of new troop members skilled up on carrying, loading and strapping down the craft. Bring on the water!

Scouts, Hoist!! – Click above or link to left for full gallery

Wilderness First Aid training, 2021

After 16 hours over two days, James took 9 adults (Marion, Phil, Kathy, Stan, Gavin, Glenn, Ram, Tristan and Scott [CPR only]) and 5 scouts (Alia, Bryson, Aidan, Pierce, Maanasa) through their wilderness first aid and CPR course.

Policy requires us to have a WFA trained adult on any high-adventure trip. As a troop we like to #BePrepared and have several.

The training was highly relevant and relatable for the activities we do and risks we may encounter. A sampling of memorable facts below:

  • HAFE (high-altitude flatus expulsion) – or Excessive farting – or may be a sign of altitude sickness
  • Shakira – the hips don’t lie – is a great tune for CPR timing (120 bpms!)
  • A dog ball thrower makes a suitable alternative to a SAM splint!

Great hosting by Alia L. and her two cats (very much the star if the show) on a hot weekend

Good enough! more photos clicking above or here.

Trip Report: Camp Hi-Sierra 2021

It’s over for another year! It’s been 2 years since the troop’s ‘annual’ visit to CHS. We had 20 scouts this year, along with seven adults providing coverage through the week. It was a hugely successful event with all scouts gaining screeds of merit badges,  6 Saga rank advancements and 5 specially nominated awards (4 Honor Patrol black beads, Dope Cope Rope climbing honor).

It is with mixed feelings I report that Troop 260 regained its traditional place of a complete no-showing in the camp wide games leaderboard  (knots aside – we monstered that one). But, as always, we competed with tremendous heart and had fun!

Throughout the week, in between the dust clouds, the lost water bottles, the misplaced scout shirts, ‘lost’ backpacks, and occasional sliced finger, much fun was had. Our youngest scouts made great progress on advancement through their early ranks, along with gaining new skills and their first merit badges. Our more experienced scouts undertook some service projects, and helped other scouts review and complete requirements, and navigate CHS roles.

We had one of our largest continents ever at the polar bear 6:00 a.m. swim (the water was MUCH warmer than 2019 probably had a lot to do with this). Our stewards of the day set the table, cleared food, and ensured everybody was well fed.

You can see the many pictures below that tell the story better than I can here. 

Thanks must go first to our scouts for putting their energy into the program and all the achievements they gained and experiences they had. Supporting them are large list of people: 

  • all our adult leadership at the camp during the week – Donald, Cheryl, John, Vince, Kathy, Phil, Sarah).
  • our scoutmaster Scott, and Carolyn Calzia who planned and admin’d the trip
  • All of our drivers (Denver, Richard, Tiffany, Ram, Sudha, Glenn, Whitney, Amie, Dave, Phil, Kathy, Cheryl, Ivo, Kelli, Sarah, John) especially the ones who drove up and down in a single day!
  • John and others for attending many of the CHS briefs and safety protocols evolved over the past 6 months
  • and, of course, all the amazing CHS staff under Bruce, Nate and Conover for making this happen; they are truly amazing.

We leave behind 2 scouts who are joining 2 already there as Counsellors in Training (Emily, and Richard joining Niko and Enzo). And 1 staff member (Harris).

Troop 260 has signed up for week 1 of camp in 2022 – June 26 to July 2. Mark your diaries now!

The 2021 Camp Hi-Sierra album!

Trip Report: Ohlone trail (Boyd Camp)

Less than an hour’s drive took us to the trail head, and from then we took it easy with the steep climb up to Boyd Camp about 2.2 miles in. We made it in a bit over 2.5 hours and enjoyed loads of time at camp to loaf, relax, climb trees, play ninja and cook up some food.

A bunch of us then took an afternoon hike down to William’s Gulch – a short ~1/2 mile but with 500 feet of elevation gain. oof. Lots of water was drunk on the way back up! We found a lovely shaded gulch and some gently moving pools at the gulch and caught a glimpse of the onwards trail to Stewart’s camp.

The scouts were up at 0600 for an 0700 departure and we were back at the cars barely 1 hour later!

This weekend was made even more special as it was a double first:

  • first time for the Troop (if recent history) backpacking on this part of the Ohlone Trail
  • first time with one of our female youth leading trip (thanks Acting SPL Emily C!)

More on this route

The glorious outhouse at Boyd Camp, click image above or here for full 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

Winter backyard campout

Everyone needs more camping nights for their ranks and badges. But we are in a county, country and global pandemic lock down.


Let’s do another backyard campout! Fires, tents, camp stoves and card games. The only things missing was the being physically together… and the catholes 🙂

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

Backyard campout #2 (December 2020)

With the Covid situation in Santa Clara County regressing, and a number of scouts keen to rack-up overnight activity nights for rank advancement, the Patrol Leaders’ Council scheduled another backyard campout in December

The weather wasn’t too cold – but it did rain the next morning! Not a problem for all the expertly pitched tents from T260 🙂

(noting that for team Davis, who were mid-way through a back-yard renovation, this did result in an unexpected mud bath on the way to preparing the morning cup of tea)

Well done Troop in keeping your experience fresh – we are all looking forward to real adventures as soon as possible.

Link to photo gallery

Junior Leadership Training 2020

With County guidelines allowing some level of distanced but in-person activities, we were able to hold our annual Junior Leadership Training at the scout hall. This was the first time most of us had been back at the hall since March and it was nice to be around some familiar facilities.

Naturally, we were all masked-up, distanced sitting and during the activities and there was gobs of hand sanitizer flowing around!

Our Scoutmaster drive a full 3 hour program of meeting planning, Scouts and Troop organization, roles and responsibilities review, and a focus on the upcoming Troop elections. This was all peppered with some fun 🙂 – including 2 quizzes, and a pioneering (poles and lashings) leadership game.

Click picture above, or link, to visit photo gallery