Troop 26 Newsletter – April, 2013

Quote of the Month

Regardless of ability no one individual can accomplish and complete
anything worthwhile without direct or indirect cooperation of others.
– Waite Phillips

Scouting for Food – March 2nd and 9th

What turned out to be an extremely busy month for Troop 26 kicked off with two weekends of Scouting For Food. SFFis BSA’s national outreach initiative where scouts all over the country collect food items from the community to benefit their local food banks, and just like in other years, Troop 26 was proud to participate in such a worthy cause.

As Mr. Pinner pointed out to the scouts, over the next year, approximately one out of four residents of Santa Barbara County will require some sort of food assistance. That is a staggering number of friends and neighbors that need help.

So, on the morning of Saturday, March 2nd, 12 scouts and 7 adults assembled at St. Mark’s Church to distribute bags to the local neighborhood in hopes of returning a week later to find those bags full of food. While most area troops would have been pleased with that turnout, a typical Troop 26 day hike/outing attracts 20-25 scouts.

I suspect that several scouts were “saving” their participation for the following week and it’s “food hike”. However, a “gentle” reminder from Mr. Shaw and Mr. Pinner corrected any misconceptions with regards to participation expectations (100%!).

The following Saturday morning (March 9th), 23 scouts and 8 adults met to return to the neighborhood in order to collect any and all donated food items. Additionally, since every year there is a competition between all the troops in the South Coast District as to who can collect the most food, many families in the troop donated additional (heavy) food items to the cause.

After collecting all the donations, the troop reassembled at St. Marks for the 2nd year of a new troop tradition, hiking as much of the food as possible to the Santa Barbara Food Bank, 1.7 miles away. This is done for three reasons: 1) Since this is the troop’s day hike for the month, some hiking does need to be done, 2) it’s a great way to show the local community what scouting is about, and 3) it helps remind the scouts that many people all over the world can’t simply walk to the pantry or fridge for food, but rather have to walk many miles just for their daily rations.

Moreover, rumor has it that at least one other area troop is planning on copying emulating Troop 26 and will hike in their food next year. All in all, I think this year was our most successful year, with the Troop collecting just over 2000 lbs of food. On top of that, several scouts collected additional food items from their friends and neighbors, yielding even more food for the food bank.

However, one scout went above and beyond to take part in SFF. James T., who couldn’t distribute bags with the troop, or collect the food with the troop, took it upon himself to distribute bags throughout his entire neighborhood and ended up collecting an additional 600 lbs of food.

The two collections yielded 2630 lbs of food, a new Troop 26 record! Of that total, over 1,145 lbs were backpacked in by the scouts and leaders of the troop. Maybe next year we can top 3000 lbs?

Special recognition is owed to the 11 scouts that carved time out to participate in both weekends, especially Justin P. who was also holding Eagle Scout Project work-days both Saturdays. Way to show your scouting spirit, gentlemen!

Great Job Troop 26!

Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks, Utah Report – March 23rd – 28th

By Riley B., Troop Historian

On Saturday, March 23rd, 2013, twenty scouts and six adults from Troop 26, left St. Mark’s church and headed for Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in southwestern Utah. We drove through four states, for a grand total of 475 miles in one day!

Needless to say, it was a very long day. We stopped in Barstow at a park for a quick lunch and then drove the rest of the way to our first camp, called Snow Canyon State Park. The next day, we woke up at about 5:30 AM and went to McDonalds for a quick breakfast.

After that, we broke into two groups and went to different trailheads to hike a 14-mile trail through the Kolob canyons of Zion National Park, which included the second largest natural arch in the world, Kolob Arch. It was a great hike with vast and majestic views of Zion.

At the arch, both groups met up and had a brief lunch, the adults traded car keys, and then we hiked out. Even though we left camp very early, and hiked quickly, we didn’t return to camp until almost 7 PM. Waiting for us at camp were four scouts and one adult that were unable to join us on Saturday.

They certainly missed a great hike. Shortly after we arrived back at camp, we made dinner, which we all quickly devoured.

The following day, we drove to Bryce Canyon National Park, which was our camp for the next two days. As soon as we arrived we set up and then went on a short 4-mile hike on the Queen’s Garden-Navajo Loop. The sights of the strangely eerie hoodoos in the Bryce canyon were fantastic.

The next day, we went back into Bryce canyon, but went 8 miles and had over 2300ft of elevation gain on the Fairyland Loop trail. We saw a “sunken ship” shaped rock and ate lunch on a cliff looking out on the north part of Bryce. In addition to the hike, some of the adults and scouts decided to go on a drive to over look spots that looked over Bryce Canyon

On the 5th day, we drove back to Zion National Park. Soon after we all arrived at the camp and set up, we went to a spot on BLM land that Mr. Pinner knew about where we could look for and collect petrified wood for about an hour.

When we came back to the campground, some of the scouts went to take a shower and the rest of the scouts and adults went on a Zion National bus to hike a bit on the Narrows trail. Nick Swider, Mr. Belfiore, and Justin P. hiked back to the camp for some extra miles.

By the end of the day, we were all tired and tried to rest up before the ride back. Some of the older scouts took a short climb to an overlook of the camp and Zion city to see the last beautiful view of Zion.

We woke up at 6:30 to spend some time in the Welcome Center and buy mementos. When we were finished shopping, we drove the 475 miles back home. On the way home, we had lunch at Pizza Hut, and to make it even sweeter, Mr. Pinner generously treated us to milk shakes at an In-N-Out Burger.

It was an awesome trip in the back country of Utah. The weather held up, there was no rain and we had mostly clear skies. A big shout out goes to Mr. Pinner for his excellent trip planning and for making this trip a most memorable experience!

Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks, Utah Report – March 23rd – 28th

By Assistant Scoutmaster Stewart

Southwestern Utah has become a very special place for me, a place I seem to find myself drawn to repeatedly. In fact, when thinking about places that I’d like to get a professorship, the St. George/Cedar City area was near the top of my list.

Therefore, when the troop voted to reprise it’s Zion trip of a few years back, I jumped at the chance to not only go, but to also help plan the trip. While Zion is quite possibly my favorite place on the planet, I wanted to introduce the troop to Bryce Canyon, a close second in my book…


Bright and early, the troop gathered at Big 5 for the troop’s spring adventure: Utah! The scouts and adults quickly stowed their gear and divided themselves into the various vehicles. Since we were a few seats short for the outing (that sure sounds like an euphemism for crazy…), the Hirsch family graciously lent the troop their Toyota Sequoia for the trip (Thank You so much!).

We hit the road quickly and headed out. We made great time, with no traffic to speak of, so when we made it to Barstow, just past 11 AM, I don’t think many people were quite ready for lunch, but we were all ready to stretch our legs. The remaining drive took us through parts of four states (California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah).

Mr. Belfiore commented that this was something usually reserved for a drive through New England, rather than the American Southwest. Upon entering Utah, we lost an hour by entering the Mountain Time zone, so we rolled into Snow Canyon State Park just before 5 PM. The scouts quickly set about setting up camp.

Due to an odd configuration of the group site were camping in, there weren’t quite enough spots for everyone to pitch their tents, so a few of the adults “took one for the team” and slept in their vehicles, which turned out to be a surprisingly comfortable endeavor.

With a long hike ahead of the troop in the morning, the scouts fixed (and devoured) an easy hamburger/hotdog dinner, and then went to sleep.


I am not a morning person, so a 5:30 AM wake-up was certainly not something I was looking forward to, especially with the near-freezing temps, and I know I was not alone in that sentiment. But a quick breakfast (with coffee!) perked everyone up and we split into two hiking groups for the day’s goal: Kolob Arch.

Since we were in a National Park, we were not allowed to hike as one big group, but had to split in half. Fortunately, there are two different routes to Kolob Arch, so half the troop drove to the north end (Lee Pass) and other drove to the south end (Hop Valley). In a “slight” miscalculation, I thought the approach from the north would be a bit easier, so my group (Group ‘A’) started at Lee Pass.

The temperature at the trailhead was a balmy 26°F (-3.3°C), so the scouts quickly set about dividing the day’s lunch between themselves and we hit the trail. I don’t think I’ve ever hiked so long in my down jacket! The descent into the canyon was absolutely breathtaking as the sun began to creep over the canyon walls and illuminate the red, yellow, and white sandstone all around us.

We followed the path of Timber Creek, past where it joins the La Verkin Creek, down to a short spur trail that lead up to Kolob Arch. At 287.4 feet, Kolob Arch is the second longest arch in the world (a measly 2.7 feet shorter than Landscape Arch, in Arches NP). It is a truly spectacular sight. Here, the two hiking groups met and ate lunch together.

I think since we couldn’t hike under the arch (like you can for many of the arches at Arches), some of the scouts were a little… underwhelmed, but most scouts agreed that the hike was worth it. Fortunately, the hike out of the canyon was also a feast for the eyes, with the afternoon sun really lighting up all the colors of the towering walls surrounding us.

On the way toward the Hop Valley trailhead, however, was when I discovered my miscalculation of ease for that path out. During lunch Mr. Swider asked how sandy our hike in was. We only hit one short patch of sand, no more than about 100’ long, so we told him. In return, he said that their way in was also not too sandy, “no more than about a half mile.”

As ‘Group A’ made our accent up and out of the valley, we discovered that Mr. Swider must have meant that there was no more than a half mile that wasn’t sand. That, coupled with a longer distance out and a 1,300 foot elevation gain, made for a hike that went on for longer than anyone really wanted.

Still, both groups made it out, and back to camp for a fantastic spaghetti meal (frankly, after 14.5 miles of hiking, cardboard with tomato sauce would have been equally delicious, but I was glad for a good meal all the same).

We were also pleased to see that the remainder of the troop had arrived (Mr. Zepeda, Esteban, Nicholas, Jason Teng, and Kevin Shaw), after being unable to join us on Saturday, due to various other commitments. There was little difficulty on getting to sleep that night, but staying asleep was another matter entirely, as the temperature dipped even lower than the night before.


A much more “human” wake-up time of 7 AM found the troop gathered for a quick breakfast and camp take-down as we prepared to drive to Bryce Canyon National Park. The drive, thankfully, was substantially shorter than the one to Zion, so we arrived right around noon, perfect timing for lunch.

While we had initially planned to camp in a KOA about 30 minutes away, we found that there were plenty of available sites in Bryce itself, so we decided to camp there, keeping us close to all the planned hikes. We were fortunate to come across another Scout troop (from Bakersfield) that was just packing up when we arrived, so were able to secure five great sites all together.

After lunch and getting camp set up, the troop headed out for our first hike in Bryce. Even though Bryce and Zion are only separated by about 100 miles, the geology, and erosion patterns of the two areas are quite different. Bryce is dominated by hundreds of limestone towers, called hoodoos, which erode into odd shapes, often resembling people and animals.

Again the troop separated into two groups and hiked opposite ends of a loop trail, called the Queen’s Garden-Navajo Loop. This took us by several famous hoodoos, two of which were Queen Victoria and Thor’s Hammer. Mr. Pinner was quite skeptical about the likeness of many of the hoodoos, but I had hours of fun hiking with Mr. Zevallos as we would point to various structures and describe what we thought they looked like.

Mr. Pinner claims that he can still hear the bell ring (Polar Express reference), but I have my doubts. Whatever lack of imagination some people may (or may not) be suffering from, everyone was certainly awed by the sheer beauty of the place. I saw even the most jaded of scouts stopping, pointing, and taking pictures.

Fortunately, this hike, at just over 4 miles, was substantially shorter than Kolob Arch, so we returned to camp with some time for play before another thoroughly satisfying taco dinner, quickly followed by bed.


For those that thought that Snow Canyon was “cold”, the word was quickly redefined as temps dipped into the low 20’s during the night. Morning was cold, overcast, and breezy. A hot breakfast burrito breakfast helped thaw everyone out as we hit the trail for our third hike of the trip: the Fairyland Loop.

At just over 8 miles, it was shorter than Kolob, but it had almost double the elevation gain (2,359’).  Again, two groups hiked opposite ends of the trail and crossed at the halfway point. With most of Bryce being close to 8,000’ in elevation, there was still quite a bit of snow around, not only on the hoodoos, but also the trail itself.

When the two groups met, it happened to be at a nice patch of snow, with one group holding the higher ground. Clearly, there was only possible option: a snowball ambush. While one group fought a valiant uphill battle, they eventually had to “storm the beaches at Normandy” to overcome the superior tactical position of the enemy.

After the fun, the two groups head off to different lunch spots (it was too early to eat at that point). For our group, Kevin S. found a spot with a simply breathtaking view. We sat on the top of a flat mesa where the entire Bryce canyon was laid out before us.

With a warm sun shining down on us, we enjoyed what is most certainly the best lunch view I have ever had in the troop. We completed the remainder of the hike (tough climb included) quickly and arrived in camp at about 2:30 PM.

While most of the scouts were happy to use the remaining time in the day to play cards, nap, or toss a Frisbee about, others wanted to see more of the park. Mr. Swider, Mr. Belfiore, and myself happily piled the interested scouts into vehicles and drove to the far end of the park (only about 20 minutes) to see the bristlecone pines (some of the oldest living things on the planet).

However, when we got to the area, with it’s 9,000’+ elevation, the trail was still covered with multiple feet of snow. While thwarted with that plan, we decided to stop at the various scenic turnouts along the way back to camp. In hindsight, I am glad that we did, as we were treated to wonder after wonder as we made our way to our last stop before returning to camp: Inspiration Point.

After a steep half-mile trail, we were hit with what I believe was the most awe-inspiring view of the park, if not the entire trip. And, in a bit of luck, there just happened to be one, single bristlecone clinging to the edge of the trail. While not the most impressive specimen, I was still happy to have seen one. The day ended with a huge meal of Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo and bright, full moon.


In what seemed to be a continuing trend, the morning was colder than the one before it (19°F/-7.2°C), which helped spur the troop to eat, clean, and pack quickly for our return to Zion. While we had initially planned to stop at Checkerboard Mesa for a 5-mile hike, Mr. Pinner and Will Belfiore (SPL) read the mood of the troop and figured that after 25+ miles of hiking, people were ready for a little more “fun” for their final day of camping.

So, after reaching Zion and setting up camp (shorts and t-shirt weather too!), the troop visited an area of BLM land where there was an abundance of petrified wood just laying on the ground. Moreover, it was perfectly legal for everyone to keep what they found. An hour later, the scouts returned to the cars with bulging pockets and packs, full of pieces of petrified wood… everyone except Justin Palmer and Mr. Belfiore.

It turns out that Justin will be turning 18 before the end of April and that he was going to be about 14.5 miles short of 1,000 hiking miles in the troop, even after all the hiking we’d done. Not wanting a scout to come so close to the mystical 1,000 miles and not make it, Mr. Belfiore offered to accompany Justin on any additional hikes he could figure out to help close the gap. Therefore, instead of gathering petrified wood, Justin and Mr. Belfiore spent their hour hiking an additional 3 miles (11.5 to go…).

Our fun managed, the troop returned to camp, where the scouts were faced with a “lady or the tiger question”: showers or a tram-ride through Zion to see it’s most famous sites. Despite having been so cold and not having showers for most of the trip, the vast majority of the scouts opted for the tram.

Upon reaching the end of the valley, we all piled out for a short hike along the Virgin River toward the entrance to the Zion Narrows. However, while the troop took a short 2-mile stroll along the river, Justin (accompanied by Mr. Belfiore and a moccasin-wearing Nic Swider) seized on another hiking opportunity. Instead of taking the short hike, then riding the shuttle back to camp, Justin opted to hike the 9 miles back to camp (2.5 to go… will he make it?) at a blistering pace that put them back in camp just in time for dinner.

As a treat for the scouts, the adults took over the cooking and cleaning chores for a final dinner of jambalaya. Soooo good! The scouts took advantage of the extra time for some final card games and other forms of relaxation. A great end of a great trip.


With a long drive ahead of us, the troop arose at 6:30 AM and got to the business of cooking breakfast (French Toast!) and breaking camp. We hit the road just after 9 AM and started working our way back through the four states we’d crossed to get here. A lunch stop in “scenic” Baker, and shakes in Santa Clarita fed our stomachs as we neared home. Finally, right at 6 PM, the troop pulled into the parking lot of St. Mark’s. Home at last! We’d spent six days camping, and driven 1344. We were back and ready for some serious rest.

On a personal note, I want add that even though I’ve lead the troop to summer camp twice before, and have been “in charge” of a few day hike and a couple weekend outings, I can honestly say I was totally unprepared for the enormity of a Troop 26 Spring Break Trip. Planning, and shopping for 15 meals for 32 people… transportation… lodging… activities… it was simply an enormous undertaking.

Thankfully, the troop has been blessed with many leaders over the past few years that have made the job look way too easy, and this trip was no exception. If it weren’t for leaders like Mr. Belfiore, Mr. Swider, and Mr. Zepeda, along with dedicated parents like Mr. Ball and Mr. Zevallos, these fantastic trips simply couldn’t happen. I especially have to second Riley’s “shout out” to Mr. Pinner.

After watching him exhibit seemingly boundless levels of energy, patience, and sensitivity continuously for six days, I am left in awe. Mr. Pinner was up first, in bed last, supervised the cooking and cleaning of every meal, and answered a million-and-one questions, all the while keeping such a calm demeanor that a Buddhist monk would look like Mel Gibson in comparison. He truly is a Soga-esque treasure that should not be allowed to leave the troop under any circumstances.

It was truly an honor to have done what I could to aid him on this trip, hiked with him, and seen what an example of true scouting leadership he is.

April Day Hike – April 6th

In preparation for Camporee each year, out April day hike is usually a workday at Rancho Alegre. However, this year the camp had some scheduling difficulties so Camporee workday was cancelled. Therefore, Troop 26 gets to go on a day hike! Yahoo!

At their last meeting, the Greenbar decided that since the troop got rained out of going in December, we’d go to the The Playground located near San Marcos Pass this coming weekend. We will meet at the Big Five parking lot at 7:00 am this coming Saturday, 6 April and drive up Route 154 to West Camino Cielo.

The hike is fairly free form and not long (max. 3 mi.) and includes opportunities for boulder climbing so please dress appropriately (long pants recommended). Participants should bring a day pack with the 10 essentials as well as lunch and plenty of water, especially if it is a warm day.

If you have a pair of small, handheld pruning shears, bring them in your daypack as well. The trail is sometimes overgrown and we can do some minor trail maintenance along the way. Scouts will be dropped at their homes by ~1 pm.

South Coast District Camporee – April 19th – 21st

We will meet at St. Mark Church on Friday, 19 April at 3:45 PM in full uniform, your gear packed in a duffle bag or internal frame pack, $10 food and camp fee, a sack dinner & drink for Friday night.  Our Troop will be cooking together and all food on Sat/Sun will be provided.

We will be driving to Rancho Alegre and setting up camp in the Sioux Campground (Mr. Stewart stayed up past midnight to signup for our favorite site). Each Patrol will compete in various events. Be ready to test your scouting skills in competition on Saturday until mid-afternoon followed by challenge events just for fun. You will be provided a packing list and information regarding the weekend event separately.

Each scout must have an up-to-date medical form (Parts A&B) in order to participate. Signups for this trip will open on 2 April and close on 16 April with a packing list provided starting on 9 April.

There will be a BBQ dinner on Saturday night hosted by The Troop 26 Committee and a closing campfire open to all family members to attend.

We will return home at approximately 12:00 PM on Sunday. We will need drivers for Friday and Sunday.

Summer Camp at Emerald Bay – June 23rd – 29th

It seems like as soon as the troop finished one big trip, the next one is right around the corner. Summer Camp is certainly no exception. What used to be many months away, will now happen in just under three months from now, and there’s lots to do between now and then.

Merit Badge Sign Ups

Merit Badge Sign-Ups are now open! Now is the time for you/your scout to make your selection for the various merit badges that Emerald Bay offers. Unlike last year, where spaces in classes were available on a first-come, first-served basis, Emerald Bay does things differently. Sign-ups are open to all, and councilors are moved around to meet demand. However, some classes are limited by equipment.

There are only so many kayaks for Kayaking, so many rifles for Rifle Shooting, so many bows for Archery, etc… Therefore, it is in your best interest to make your selections as soon as you can and make those choices known to me. You can either do so in hard-copy at the next meeting, or via email any time. Email, obviously, will get it done sooner (also keep in mind I will be unavailable while on the Utah trip).

A link to the handy EB Merit-Badge selection matrix is here.

There are three primary merit badge sessions, two before, and one after lunch. Please make sure you sign up for a badge for each session. There is plenty of time to do a lot of fun activities in the afternoon and evening, after the main sessions are over, so you won’t miss out on all the fun by having a full load.

A few words of advice:
1. If your scout does not already have the Swimming Merit Badge, I would strongly encourage him to take it at camp. It’s required for Eagle and is frequently required before a scout can earn other aquatic-bases merit badges (like Small-Boat Sailing). I do not know where Troop 26 will attend camp next year, but it would be a shame for your scout to miss out.
2. Rifle Shooting and Archery are truly cool merit badges (guns, fire and knives!) and highly popular ones with scouts, especially younger scouts who may not have many shooting opportunities. While any scout can complete the majority of the requirements with little/no difficulty, the final requirements involve a demonstration of skill (i.e. scoring a required number of points with 5 shots/arrows). Some scouts will do this on their first day of shooting, while other scouts won’t in the entire week. I do not discourage scouts from taking advantage of the opportunity to try to earn these badges, but they need to be prepared for potential disappointment if they are unable to score well enough at camp. I know several scouts attempted this badge last year, at Mataguay, but did not achieve the needed score. If they like, they make re-take the course. Alternatively, if they bring their Blue Card from camp last year with them, they may can take advantage of open-shoots to attempt to make the needed score and get that final requirement signed-off.
3. Some badges have some extra materials fees that go with them (bullets, shells, baskets, carving kits, etc…). Approximate costs are listed with the badge. Be sure to keep those in mind when signing up, as those can add $50 to your summer.

Medical Forms

Several scouts will need new medical forms before camp. Some of you know who you are, while others will possibly be surprised. If you are in the former camp, please print out the most recent BSA Annual Health and Medical Record, and fill out Parts A & B, and have your scout’s doctor fill out Part C. Part D only applies to those scout planning on participating in SCUBA activities at camp.

SCUBA scouts will also need to have their doctor fill out the PADI Medical Statement. If you are unsure whether your scout’s medical forms are up to date, please check with me at any meeting.

Volunteers Needed

Finally, we currently have 21 scouts, and 2 adults planning on attending camp. That’s 23 bodies that will need seats both to-and-from the boat. As always we need parents to step up and volunteer to drive at least one direction. If your scout is going camp, please consider driving one direction.

Let me know if you have a direction preference (to and/or from) and I will do my best to arrange things to suit your preference.

Sierra Trek: North Lake/South Lake 2013 (Older Scout Group) – August 3rd-11th

Signups for this summer’s older scout Sierra Trek from North Lake to South Lake (3-11 August 2013) are now closed and we have more people that would like to go than we have spots on our wilderness permit (15 total).  Participation will be the criteria on who goes and who stays with 60% being the minimum.

The trek is roughly 55 miles long and gains/loses roughly 10,000 ft in elevation while crossing 3 passes and hiking a portion of the John Muir trail through Evolution Valley. The troop hasn’t been on this hike since 2005. An initial estimate of the trip’s expense is $250 and that will largely depend on the price of gasoline.

Anyone interested can review large-scale maps of the trip at any troop meeting, or check with Mr. Johnston for the portion of the trail he hiked last summer as part of his completing the John Muir trail. A $25 non-refundable deposit is required and already due.

If you haven’t paid already, your signup position will be offered to others.

Sierra Trek 2013 (Younger Scout Group) – August 4th-11th

Younger Scout Sierra Trek 2023 is scheduled August 4 through 11, 2013 and planning is underway. The destination will be Humphreys Basin, John Muir Wilderness.

To participate on this trek, you have to meet the 60 % participation rules, (60% of Day Outings/Backpackings and 60% of Overnight Campouts). This 60% rules apply to all participants including adults.

The Sign-Up Sheet is available at troop meetings and sign-up will close on January 29 (Tuesday) meeting with $25 non-refundable deposit. The estimated trek fee will be $250 per person.

The Voice of Experience, by Sam Soga

How to Choose Personal First-Aid Kits

Pre-Assembled First-Aid Kits
Most beginning backpackers select pre-assembled first-aid kits as a matter of convenience rather than building their own. It’s an easy way to make sure you have not forgotten any of the basics.

Most kits are packed compact, water-resistant pouches that can be refilled and reused.

First-Aid Basics

Whether you’re choosing a pre-assembled kit or building your own, make sure you carry the supplies that match your trip plans, or your needs. Think about:
* Your trip’s duration
* The strenuousness and potential dangers inherent in your route
* The distance you must travel to reach medical assistance

The Essentials

Every first-aid kit should include:

  • A manual: a comprehensive, easy-to-follow first-aid instruction booklet that clearly explains how to handle basic problems
  • Basic bandages: assorted adhesive bandages, athletic tape and moleskin
  • Wound care: Alcohol wipes, Antibiotic ointment
  • Basic drugs/lotions: aspirin, antiseptic, antacid tablets, sunscreen and any prescription medicines (Inform your trek leader if you are taking any prescription medicines)
  • Basic First-Aid tools: tweezers, razor blade or knife
  • Miscellaneous items: bee-sting kit, handy wipes, plastic gloves and eye pads

(If you are allergic to bee sting and carrying EPIPEN, please notify your trek leader)

The Extras (Trek Leader carry large First Aid Kit)

For long trips and difficult routes, you may wish to include a larger selection of items such as:
* Additional bandages: gauze pads, ace bandages and butterfly bandages
* Additional drugs/lotion: burn ointment and Hydrocortisone Cream (1 %)
* Additional first-aid tools: sling, basic splint, forceps, instant ice pack and thermometer

Know Basic First Aid

A fully stocked first-aid kit is useless unless you know how to use the supplies inside. Make sure you know basic wilderness first aid before you leave home. Update your skills from time to time so you don’t forget important procedures.

Recipe of the Month

Chicken and Stuffing (Serves 4 to 6)

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cups onion flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. celery flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried mushrooms
  • 2  (6 oz.) cans chicken (or chicken in the pouch) –  Or one 12 oz. can chicken
  • 1 bag stuffing mix with herbs and spices

Add hot water to dried mushrooms for 30 minutes to re-hydrate. Drain. Bring Water to boil, add onions, celery, mushrooms and chicken. Add stuffing mix. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and mix well.

Troop Committee Corner

This is a busy month for the Troop. Sat.April 6th is a day hike. The District Camporee starts Fri. the 19th with the Camporee BBQ on Sat. April 20th. Michael Ensign will be heading up the BBQ. If you are able to help Michael with the BBQ please let us know at the parent meeting.

The April Court of Honor will be on Tues. the 23rd. This is a Pot Luck and we can use some additional help setting this up. Your scouts will be assigned a dish to bring.

A big thank you to Mr. Pinner and Mr. Stewart for organizing a wonderful trip to our National Parks in Utah.And thank you to all the drivers who helped with this well organized trip. We look forward to seeing everyones photos.

I look forward to seeing everyone at Tuesday’s parent meeting.

Jerry Ball
Committee Chair

Scoutmaster Minute

As Waite Phillips’ quote in this month’s newsletter reminds us, we all need help and teamwork to complete great feats.  Whether your team just made it to the NCAA Basketball Final Four or your patrol is preparing for this month’s Camporee, you will succeed when you realize that individual efforts only really help when they’re in support of the group.

So get yourself prepared, practice your skills, help your patrol get organized and ready to compete in 3 weeks time at this year’s Los Padres Council, South Coast District Camporee. Gottawantadoit!

Don’t Stop Here

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December 2023 Scoutmaster Minute

Hello friends of Troop 26, We have had a year full of great outdoor adventures and public service! Our Scouts plan the event calendar 12-18 months in advance. With the

The Voice of Experience (How to Dress in Layers)

How to Dress in Layers Your Base Layer: Moisture Management This is your next-to-skin layer. More than any other layer, the base layer helps regulate your body temperature. If you’ve