April 21-23, 2017
On April 21st – 23rd, Troop 26 attended the annual Camporee for the South Coast District of the Los Padres Council. The theme this year was “Lewis and Clark, The Rancho Alegre Trail”. We spent the weekend going from various stations doing challenging activities such as starting a fire with wet wood, identifying plants, or rescuing somebody in a First Aid emergency, just to name a few. There was fierce but good-natured competition between the many troops that were there to get the highest number of points for each of the stations. This outing gave the younger scouts experience on how to work together as a patrol and also how to listen to their patrol leader, as we were graded heavily on these requirements.
The trip began on Friday afternoon, with Troop 26 packing up all of the scout’s gear and heading up to Rancho Alegre at 4:30 pm. When we finally got to the campsite, SPL Cooper Bohley gave each of the patrols their camping area and told them to set up their gear, then help build the gate, made out of ropes and poles, that was the entrance to the campsite. Our gate was complex. It had a door that swung up and held our troop flag aloft on the top. When we finished the elaborate doorway, it was time to get cleaned up for dinner. Dinner was delectable. After dinner, most scouts played cards in their tents or sat around the campfire. Robby Williams and Jonathan Weakliem taught the younger scouts about fire safety so they could receive their firem’n chit. The next day, everybody got up and had a delicious dutch oven “mountain man” breakfast (sausage, hashbrowns, onions, bell peppers, eggs, and cheese!) that the older scouts helped make. We then got into our class A’s, grabbed our patrol flags, and headed off to the flag ceremony. After the flag ceremony and a brief welcome by ‘Lewis’ and ‘Clark’, we headed off to our activities. Troop 26 scored extremely well in the stations, although we didn’t get the 1st Presidential award. We did get two 1st place awards and two Presidential awards, which is the biggest honor. After all of the scoring events, we had lunch and went off to have free time. Most scouts went to tomahawk throwing or BB gun shooting as these were the most popular activities. But Cooper Bohley, Logan Beckstrand, Alex Randall and Spencer Randall worked on a dutch oven cheery cheesecake that was submitted as Troop 26’s entry in the dutch oven dish competition. We later learned that the entry took 1st place, as did our gate! That night was the Order of the Arrow ceremony around the campfire. There was also a flag retirement ceremony. When that was done, all of the scouts went to bed. Early the next morning everybody woke up, had a quick breakfast after packing up, did a camp sweep, and were on the road to return to the church. When we arrived, we helped unload Mr. Beckstrand’s truck and put away the gear.
This was an enjoyable outing that showed us that we are a very well run and very experienced troop. It also showed us that we have room for improvement and that we should try to work on the skills that we did not do well on in the grading. The trip was three days long and was very interesting. The challenging activities were hard but amusing. The fierce competition will be stronger than ever next year because our troop will want to win the 1st Presidential award. Also, all of our younger scouts will be older and will know what it means to listen their patrol leader. I would recommend to all the young scouts to consider attending the Camporee next year.