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.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/zz8c2zSWQbupQKb98

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

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… 🙂

https://photos.app.goo.gl/qRtBP6frgwyPLEDU9

Trip Report: Joseph Grant 230318

A cheeky 10-miler.

Delayed after having to cancel the previous weekend due to a CA state declared State of Emergency, a depleted force set-off to get those miles in. With (mostly) full packs, and a 2:1 adult:scout ratio, we enjoyed glorious spring weather as we romped around a 10-mile loop in Joseph D Grant (thanks Ram for planning). It was still very wet underfoot at parts, providing novel experiences for scouts used to hiking through extended years of drought – but strong ‘À la recherche du temps perdu’ vibes for those raised backpacking in Scotland.

Kudos to Katie for contributing to the story quote with a full slip+fall in the mud (alas, not witnessed by the rest of the Troop).

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

Trip Report: Sugarloaf Ridge 2303

California after the rain – wheewee, beautiful. Although also pretty cold.

A strong turnout for what was a lovely 8 mile loop on Sunday, topped off with a short 2-3 miler on Sunday for a visit to the waterfall. The temperatures were low, made to feel colder with moisture in the air, and a gusty wind.

The green, lush hills, recently invigorated by the rain were a delight; supplemented by fresh filled streams. There’s nothing that can distract scouts as much as a nice fire – except maybe a flowing stream, and SugarLoaf Ridge delivered on both.

Enjoy the pics – and if you weren’t there, we hope you are inspired to join us next time.

Link to photo gallery here, or click above

Trip Report: Pinecrest Lake

We went up to Pinecrest Lake for our May canoe trip, as a visit to the area before Camp Hi Sierra in June! The paddle was fantastic, and the views of the surrounding forest were pristine.

On the drive up, we stopped by two gas stations because the food mart wasn’t open at the first one, and arrived at Pinecrest Lake by 10:30am. We unloaded the canoes by 11am, and paddled on the circumference of the lake, which is just under 4mi. We then stopped for lunch at a picnic spot- some scouts waded to a nearby island to enjoy their lunch, while others stayed by the lakeshore picnic tables. After lunch, we paddled back to the dock, and spent some time practicing steering strokes (C, D, & J strokes + ruddering), in preparation for the upcoming 50miler. Then, we loaded up the canoes, paddles and pfds, and headed to our campsite.

Our campsite was none other than an area near aquatics, in Camp Hi Sierra! Scouts and adults got to experience the camp in a different way, as we were the only ones there. Everyone set up camp and cooked their food (we drew clean water from the bathroom sinks), and scouts enjoyed playing several rounds of the card game “go fish!” before sunset.

We drove back in the morning, and finished unloading and washing the canoes by lunchtime.

Paddling on the circumference- Full photo album

Trip report: Lake Sonoma

Our March canoe trip was at Lake Sonoma. Because of the short canoeing distance, scouts and adults got to leisurely practice their strokes and skills! 

After unloading canoes from the trailers and cars, we canoed for about 3mi (with a lunch break in between). We unloaded pretty early (around 2pm) at a lush and treed spot, and scouts and adults had plenty of time to set up camp, play games, and cook- One scout had even brought along flame colorant (thanks Isabella!), for a multi-colored campfire.

Mr. Calzia has been an amazing scoutmaster for several years. He will be stepping down this May, and this was his last trip as scoutmaster. On our paddle back, we all rafted up and held out paddles to the sky, as a sign of gratitude for his leadership and service.

We arrived back at the dock at about 10:30 and loaded up the canoes, paddles and pfds. After stopping at a nice shaded area at Olompali State Park for lunch, we got back to SJC and finished unloading by the late afternoon.

full photo gallery

Knot machine complete

During our last few meetings, some scouts have being working on building a knot machine for the troop. After weeks of working to build it, they finally finished the knot machine on February 14th, and the rest of the troop got to try it out!

Modeled after Camp Hi Sierra’s knot machine, our knot machine now serves as a great tool to help scouts learn different types of knots like bends, hitches, and loop knots. It’s a more interactive and engaging way for everyone to master knots, and a bonus is that we can now have knot tying competitions 🙂

Big kudos to scouts Aidan, Matthew, and Harris, and ASM Mr. Clark for putting the knot machine together!

Scouts trying out the knot machine– full photo gallery

Trip report: Calero Reservoir canoeing

We were all set to blast up to Lake Sonoma, but a rate wet + cold weather front moved down from the North. Either one of these would be fine, but together and with a range of experiences committed to go, we made the call to divert instead to the local Calero Reservoir for a day of skills.

The weather held for almost the hold day as we were further South, and the location proved really pleasant: reeds, wildlife, islands to explore and coupled with some skills and races for practice.

New Canoe Trailer Master for this trip (thanks Bob); we learned about invasive species from the rangers. And noone fell in. Awesome.

Full photo gallery

Trip Report: Lake Millerton, 2111

A troop canoeing classic destination: Millerton Lake with an overnight at Boston Bar campsite. After some recent rain, the hills were green and the small streams into the lake were running – not a common event these years in California. Compared to our Millerton Trip (marred by brown hills and smokey skies) we all felt buoyed by the lush feel.

The scouts were certainly upping their canoe skills and experience: we got to Boston Bar comfortably before dusk despite a later than usual start. Card games and meal plans unfolded for the scouts, as the adults kept themselves at a healthy distance (and with more healthy food!)

The paddle back was faster (as per usual) with a gorgeous, still water all to ourselves for most of the way back. After loading and an early lunch at the top carpark we were back in SJC and unloaded before dinner time.

Cruising on the Lake – full photo gallery