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.
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!
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.
Anza-Borrego was a really fun trip. It was a desert climate with mountains surrounding us. When we went on our first hike Saturday afternoon.
We took Palm Canyon Trail to a palm oasis, about 1.5 miles from our campsite. When we were about three-quarters of the way there, we saw some endangered big-horn sheep, who have a nice home in Anza-Borrego. They were running alongside the path we were on, about 10 feet away from us. After the big-horn sheep ran away, we continued to the palm oasis where we saw frogs, tadpoles and lots of palm trees.
Some of our Scouts got to visit the Anza-Borrego Visitors Center. We were able to learn about the history of Anza-Borrego by watching educational videos and by looking at the center’s animal displays. One thing we learned is that in the Triassic period, Anza-Borrego used to be a tropical beach, and there was water everywhere.
Later, all the Scouts got to see a presentation about mountain lions put on by a volunteer naturalist. We got to see videos and slideshows of mountain lions in the wild. We learned that mountain lions live only in North America and South America and they can’t roar. They make a bunch of different sounds, but not a gutteral roar. They can also spit.
Troop 407 had a lot of fun and learned a lot in Anza-Borrego.