If you remember previous alumni newsletters, you will remember how I often mention how much is the same in Troop 26. Well, the end of 2021 does bring some changes! In Sept I turned over the reins of Scoutmaster to Mike Schley. I had huge shoes to fill when Michael Brown had moved up to a new job in Oakland, and there were times that 4 years seemed like forever, but it also seems like it went by in a flash.

We always talk to the scouts about learning by doing – whether knot tying, or backpacking. I found my time as Scoutmaster was the same; I learned a lot by doing! It took a ridiculous amount of time, but the rewards of watching the scouts finish their first hike, or celebrate on top of Mt. Whitney, or when I would sit in a board of review, was worth it.

The last two years have been hard for all of us, and I’m proud of how the scouts have responded. They did zoom meetings, well attended, for a year and a half! We did the occasional day hike, when we were able. And the Troop 26 former scouts stepped in to give talks during the zoom meetings! The subjects were always amazing to hear about, but what was also fun was that now when Mr. Soga tells a story about some trip long ago with one of the speakers, the current scouts feel the connection.

We’ve started trips again, day hikes, morning canoeing on Lake Cachuma, then on to overnights – slowly with a 19 Oaks, then to bigger trips – Camp Whitsett in the summer, and even the Northern Tier! Mr. Eardley led a large group making snowshoes this fall, and we hope to do the overnight snowshoe trip in January!

The new year will bring new challenges, as we emerge from COVID, and the bankruptcy, but I’m excited from the enthusiasm I see from our scouts – and from our new Committee Chair Kerry Miller, and our new Scoutmaster Mike Schley!!

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday and a joyous new year!

Yours in Scouting,
Mr. Weakliem
Assistant Scoutmaster