Summer Camp, 2016

In August 2016 everyone in Troop 407 packed up their bags to go to Camp Chawanakee, which is near Shaver Lake. We got there and chose tents. Our troop got a spot right by the lake. It was very rocky, but the views were breathtaking. In the morning, you could see carp jumping out of the water.

Summer camp is an opportunity to earn merit badges, awards, ranks, and many other badges. We had four stations to go every day, then there was free time, where you could do various activities, like swimming, mountain boarding, mountain biking, or do extra merit badges. Some people who didn’t have merit badge classes during their free time went to the lake to fish.

On some days you could go to Polar Bear, which was at 6:00 a.m. You would participate in various activities, which included getting into the lake, which was warmer than the air outside. Then the staff would wait until you got used to the water then make you lay on the deck which would make you VERY cold. You would also get back in and do polar bear exercises and catch a sand fish, which is a clump of sand. Participants earned a patch for their commitment.

Some troops could participate in a canoe trip, which you would do at night, and then sleep on an island. The sun set while we were canoeing. When we got to the island there were no tents to set up; we just slept on the ground in our sleeping bags. The island was forested, but some of the trees were dead. We woke up really early, went back to our regular camp and ate breakfast there. The experience was really fun and taught us to be prepared for anything.

Near the very end of camp, the staff had an awards ceremony. Some participants earned various awards, including Elliott winning a prize for catching the heaviest fish of the week and Aiden winning Pilgrim Scout for being a good representative of the Scout Law.  Several kids also earned the Hunter Award. The troop also earned awards including Wilson, which was awarded because we did a good job cleaning up our campsite, and the Horse stick, which was awarded to Jude, Zach and Zack for cleaning up every single bucket in the horse corral really quickly.

Summer camp was a great experience, and I’m sure all the Scouts can’t wait until next year.

Ryan becomes an Eagle Scout

On April 24, 2016, Ryan became an Eagle Scout in a ceremony at the Doubletree Hotel in Claremont. John Campbell was the emcee. Troop leader Jim Martin gave his famous speech about Eagle Scouts and called an “Eagle’s Nest,” which is when former Eagles come into a circle and recite a pledge.Ryan Eagle

Annual Backpacking Trip

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On June 11, members of the troop hiked from Islip Saddle to Little Jimmy Campground in the Angeles National Forest. The trail head is on the south side of Highway 2. The hike started at 6,600 feet elevation, picked up the Pacific Crest Trail for 2.5 miles, climbed through chaparral and then pines to the campground, which was at 7,500 feet elevation.

After setting up camp, the group hiked to Mt. Islip, which is about a mile from the campground and is at 8,250 feet elevation. The Islip summit is a somewhat isolated peak along the high country backbone, which separates the Crystal Lake Basin on the south from the Mojave Desert on the north.

There were amazing panoramic views in all directions, though cloud cover blocked some of the view. Scouts were above the rain and fog that family and friends back home experienced over the weekend.


Court of Honor: June 7, 2016


On June 7, families gathered at La Casita in Claremont to honor Scouts’ achievements. The troop has gotten really big with now three patrols, and so there were a lot of people there.

First, the Wolverine patrol set up chairs and other various items for the occasion. Then, David gave the invocation for our dinner. Dinner was provided by The Taco Man and sponsored by Assistant Scout Master Alejandro Segura-Mora.

After dinner, the Bulldog patrol did a flag ceremony, followed by presentations of rank.

Earning Scout rank were: Coen, Roman, Dylan, Kai and Alberto.

Earning Tenderfoot were: Elliott, Owen and Zachary T.

Earning First Class were: Aidan, Cameron, Trent, Phillip, Will, Ben and Charlie.

After these ranks, Scout Master Jim Martin made some announcements and other presentations, including applauding the latest Eagles, Jack and Cole, who will be officially awarded their rank soon. The unit also was awarded the Gold Unit Award for 2015. Each Scout got a patch to wear on his shirt sleeve.

Next, the adult leadership presented merit badges. Finally, Cole handed out the Star rank to Jackson, Zachary M. and Jude. These boys only have two ranks left before earning their Eagle rank.

After the presentations, we had dessert and cleaned up. It was amazing to see so many Scouts earn ranks at this time of year, before we’ve even gone to summer camp.



Lake Cuyamaca Fishing Trip

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Members of Troop 407 drove into the mountains near Julian on Saturday, May 21. When we got there, it was very foggy and looked like it was going to storm. It was also extremely cold. The campsite was really rocky and desert-like, but there was also prairie grass. The lake was only about 200 feet from the campsite.

We set up camp, then we drove to a bait shop and restaurant, where we did a service project by picking up trash for an hour. We found a lot of trash. Then, we got our fishing rods and park rangers taught us how to fish. We learned how to use power bait, how to cast and how to reel in.

Then, we drove back to our campsite and started fishing. We were using power bait, which is a mix of fish, garlic and shiny stuff. No one caught any fish on the first day. We didn’t see any fish, either. Even though we didn’t catch anything, it was exciting since we knew that a fish could bite anytime.

After we stopped fishing, we made dinner. There were fire restrictions and it was cold and windy, so we went to bed early. It was extremely cold through the night.

In the morning, we immediately started fishing again. Squirrel Patrol Advisor Eric Tucker led a class on identifying native plants. We identified plants such as yellow pine and canyon live oak. During Mr. Tucker’s class, one of the parents caught a fish, so Mr. Tucker ended the class. It was a rainbow trout. We cleaned and gutted it and then used the guts and head as fish bait.

That fish was the only one caught all weekend. We packed up and were headed home by Sunday afternoon.

2016 Camporee

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Troop 407 participated in Camporee at Bonelli Park in San Dimas on April 30 through May 1. When Scouts arrived, they went through a thorough inspection of their uniform, Scout knowledge and 10 Essentials. Then, Scouts set up their tents and readied their campsite for the following day.

In the morning, Scouts woke up at 6 a.m. and immediately started making breakfast. Then, Scouts completed activities such as fire safety, knife and axe safety, a mystery event and orienteering. The mystery event was a water slide that we went down in our clothes. The activities took almost the entire day.

Afterward, Scouts went to their campsites and were able to participate in a Dutch Oven cook-off, where Scouts made food items in a Dutch Oven and judges tested the results on taste, smell and look. Our patrols put in a valiant effort, but didn’t win any awards. Next, Scouts relaxed and played games while some of the Scouts got dinner ready.

Later that night, at 8:30 p.m., Scouts attended a campfire, which announced the winners of the events. The Squirrels got first place and the Wolverines second! That is quite a jump from last year when we were in second-to-last overall and the year before when we were dead last! Everyone should be proud of their contribution. For a few boys, it was their first Camporee. Also that night, Order of the Arrow elections were held based on ballots that were cast at a previous Scout meeting. Zach M., Jackson and Thomas were elected members.

Sunday morning, Scouts were required to attend Scouts Own. After that, we packed up and left the site. What a great event and weekend!

Thomas becomes an Eagle Scout

On Sunday, March 27, 2016, Thomas became an Eagle Scout. His ceremony was held at the Claremont United Church of Christ, and family, friends and troop members came together to help celebrate.

Troop Leader Jim Martin made a speech about ratios describing how many Scouts accomplish various things. For example, he said out of every 100 Scouts who join, 30 will drop out. Only 1 out of 100 Scouts uses his skills to save the life of another, and only 2 out of 100 Scouts become Eagle Scouts. This speech was very moving.

Assistant Troop Leader John Campbell told a story about Thomas and how Thomas helped him when he needed to carry his gigantic duffle bag back to his truck at summer camp, all the way across the campsite. This story demonstrated how Thomas used his Scout spirit to be helpful.

Claremont Mayor Sam Pedroza came to the Court of Honor for Thomas and he made a speech about how he has known him for a long time. Thomas also made a speech about people who had helped him along his path to Eagle. Some of those people were our leader, Jim Martin, and the mom of one of his friends.

After the ceremony, we all ate dinner together. Everybody is proud of Thomas, and he is an inspiration to Scouts who want to take the path to Eagle.