Troop 26 Newsletter – February, 2013

Bear Trap Trip Report

This trip attracted a large group of scouts and scouters on a clear and cool Saturday morning. After an hour and a half drive to the trailhead we shouldered our packs and headed up the trail, lead by star scout Andrew D. At first we hiked through moistened brush on a muddy trail that soon turned to a frozen group.

The North side of the mountains had a soft dusting of snow and increased as we closed in on our destination. The lead group could see fresh, small, animal tracks crisscrossing the trail. The snow had mostly fallen from the night before. Upon arriving at our campsite, we found the fire rings intact and fully covered in snow.

We all immediately set to work erecting out shelters. Once this task was done we moved on to collecting wood for the fire. Camping at Bear Trap in the winter without a fire is a grim thought. A fire energizes and livens up the camp. It also brings a welcome warmth to the fellowship.

As the sun crept behind the hill, a snowman appeared, blinking lights decorated some tents and cups of hot drinks were now a common sight. The sun sets early and promotes an early dinner as well. At 4 pm scouts and adults are breaking out their pot and pans, sorting ingredients preparing the nights dinners. Some delicious hot meals were served.

The crowds around the campfires thinned out by eight that night and the last diehards were in bed asleep by nine. The weather was fickle, clouds moving in and out, snowflakes falling for a brief period and then some rain very early Sunday morning. The rain melted off much of the snow from the day before, leaving scattered pockets of the white stuff here and there.

Sunday morning was cold but not over bearing. Busy scouts and adults prepared breakfasts, folded tents and cleaned up the campsite leaving dosing the fires for that final task. It was a little before ten in the morning when we left Bear Trap #1. Jared E., Matthew S. and Ethan K. led our group heading back towards the cars, working on one of their advancement requirements.

Andrew D. helped guide them and showed them the necessary skills required in reading a topographic map. We had one stop on the way out. A spot, that lends a great view to the West. Here at this spot, Assistant Scoutmaster, Mr. Belfiore held a Scout’s Own. It was very appropriate.

At the cars we all enjoyed a lunch in the sunny parking lot before heading back to Santa Barbara to our homes. A big thank you to all those drivers that pitched in. It would not happen without you.

San Ysidro Loop (Younger / Shorter Hike) Report

The first Saturday of February dawned bright, but cold. No. Wait. Actually, Saturday turned out to be quite overcast and, thanks to an inversion layer, unseasonably warm. Even though we hit the trailhead shortly after 7:30 AM, it was already 60°F and quite humid.

I’m not quite sure how I became in charge of another day hike, but I suppose it’s the punishment for being lazy short. While Greenbar had chosen something called the ‘9 Trails, 2 Roads Loop’ for this month’s day hike, a few of the adults thought that an ambitious 20-ish mile hike was perhaps not appropriate for the whole troop.

In actuality, this trail is made of two loops, either resembling a figure-eight, or an infinity symbol, whichever you feel is more appropriate. Therefore, the younger scouts and a shorter-legged scoutmaster opted to hike the smaller of the two loops. The hike started at the San Ysidro trailhead, climbed to the Edison Catway, then traversed over to the Romero Canyon trailhead.

Along the way, we took a short detour to a spot called “The Chair”, where we were treated to a great view of the ocean and some of Mrs. Soga’s Friendship Bread. The hike finished along Bella Vista Road and the Wiman Trail, to return to the cars. So, while the older scouts and taller scoutmasters were still on the trail for their 20-miler, we were back at the cars and home just after noon.

In the end, Mr. Soga figured this “easy” hike to be about 8 miles, with 2,500 feet of elevation gain; not too shabby, if you ask me.

Eagle Court of Honor for Charlie Z. – February 12th

Charlie Z, Troop 26’s newest member to our long list of Eagle Scouts, will hold his Eagle Court of Honor on Tuesday, February 12, starting at 7 pm, at St. Mark United Methodist Church, in the main sanctuary.  This is the same location we’ve held several previous Eagle COHs.

Scouts should wear their full uniform, including merit badge sash and be on-time. Families are also welcome to attend. Please come to this meeting and share in the presentation of Charlie’s Eagle Scout rank.  Please join us for dessert afterwards. If you have any questions please contact Mr. Shaw.

The Pines Backpacking Trip – February 23rd – 24th

This month’s overnight backpacking trip will be to the Pines Campsite located in the Sespe Mountains above the Thatcher School in Ojai.  This is an excellent, relatively short hike for newer scouts and there will be time set aside for advancement once we arrive at camp.

A much more difficult option for this outing will be available for older scouts to hike beyond the Pines Campsite to the Topa Topa rock outcropping, camping at the White Ledge campsite and then hiking out via Sizar Canyon in the upper Ojai Valley.

With all the rain we’ve had, we should be able to have campfires at both camps.  More information and sign-ups at the February 5th Troop meeting.

Scouting for Food – March 2nd  and March 9th

Troop 26 will be participating in the “Scouting for Food” event again this year.  On Saturday, March 2nd we will be distributing collection bags in a designated neighborhood with a request to fill the bags with can goods for collection on the following Saturday March 9th.

This is a great way to make a positive impact in our local community.  We will need adult volunteers for both Saturdays.  The more volunteers we have the easier it will go. Let’s make this event a great display of Troop 26’s commitment to our community. An information flyer regarding the event will be available at the scout meeting.

Spring Break Trip: Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks, Utah – March 23rd – 28th

After a five-year recovery period, Troop 26 will be returning to southern Utah to visit Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. Both Bryce and Zion are part of the Grand Staircase, a vast geological range of sedimentary rock spanning from Utah to Arizona. Bryce (the ‘top step’) and Zion comprise two of the three major canyons in the Grand Staircase.

In fact, the Grand Canyon, site of last year’s spring break trip, is the bottom step, so this trip will be a nice bookend… geologically speaking. Interestingly, the youngest layers of rock seen in the Grand Canyon are the oldest in Zion, and the youngest layers in Zion, are the oldest in Bryce. For those interested in geology, and the resulting jaw-dropping natural beauty, this is a can’t-miss trip.

While Mr. Pinner and Mr. Stewart are still working on the fine-scale details of this trip, they have finished the general planning; they’re trying to pack as much hiking, adventure, and fun as possible into this trip! In brief, the troop is will be making the long hike to see Kolob Arch, which at 287.4 ft, is the world’s second longest free-standing arch (landscape Arch in Arches NP is #1, by less than 3 feet).

We’ll also hike two loops in Bryce, where we’ll see many hoodoos, including one of the most famous, Thor’s Hammer. Finally, the troop will make a return visit to Checkerboard Mesa. In between, there will be much camping, driving, and opportunities for advancement.

Please take note that this trip is a day longer than recent spring break trips and runs Saturday through Thursday. Currently the best estimate for cost is in the neighborhood of $190, but we will have a better idea of the true cost as we get a bit closer. If anything, we hope that the cost will go down.

As always, we encourage parent-drivers to share in this adventure and take the opportunity to enjoy observing your scout in his “natural” environment. If you have any questions, please contact either Mr. Pinner, or Mr. Stewart.

Sign-up’s will start at the next meeting February 5th and will close at the end of the month February 26th, at which time a deposit of $100 will be required. The balance will be due by March 12th

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

As the days and weeks tick by, it continues to get closer to summer and summer camp and that sweet week when your house will get a lot quieter. I am pleased to say that we currently have 21 scouts signed up to go to camp. But, between now and then, there is much to do:

First, please remember that the second summer camp payment or $200 is due at the next meeting, Tuesday, Feb 5th. This is “conveniently” the same night as the parent committee meeting. At that meeting, the troop will also have to write the check for the second payment for our reservation, so it’s important to keep as current as possible.

Second, just like every year, in order to attend summer camp, your scout will need a current medical form… including the dreaded ‘Part C’, which must be filled out and signed by your scout’s physician. Please note that BSA has yet another new version of the medical form (Rev 9/2012) and is available for download here.

Moreover, if your scout is planning on, or even considering participating in any SCUBA activities, he will also need to show Part D to your doctor AND have the doctor fill out and sign the PADI medical form. No PADI form, no diving, no exceptions! Your scout’s current medical form is, however, valid through the end of the month that it was filled out. If you are unsure when your scout’s medical form will expire, please check with me at any meeting.

Third, according to Emerald Bay, merit badge sign-ups will take place sometime in March. We’ll see if this actually happens, but in any event, your scouts should take a look at the offerings this year on page 28 of the 2013 Leader’s Guide and start thinking about what merit badges they’d like to take. Throughout each day there are five sessions, so this is a great opportunity to earn several badges.

Fourth, some time in April, we will have a meeting for all scout going to summer camp, where we’ll fill go over the troop’s expectations of each scout, make sure medical forms are done, and fill out needed permission forms specific to EB.

Finally, as always, we will need a small army of parents to drive these campers (and leaders!) to and from camp. Every year we seem to get this accomplished with a minimum of arm-twisting, and I anticipate this year being no different. That said, please do consider taking a load of scouts to the boat, or home, and let me know. The sooner I get transportation figured out, the better I’ll sleep. If you have any questions, plese don’t hesitate to contact me.

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

Signups for next summer’s older scout Sierra Trek from North Lake to South Lake (3-11 August 2013) will close by the end of January when we need to apply for our wilderness permit.  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.  The wilderness permit for this area will limit the troop to 15 hikers (scouts + adults) so make sure to signup early. 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 deposit non-refundable deposit is required to reserve a spot on this trek.

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

Food to Eat When You Get Cold

On a short trip or in mild conditions, poor food planning can be forgiven. Most people in reasonably good shape will survive through a little hunger, malnutrition, or weight loss.

During winter, however, it’s a different story. Strenuous exercise coupled with severe weather, can drain your stamina and leave you prone to frostbite, hypothermia, and other injuries. What you eat can make the difference. When it’s cold outside, think of food as fuel for heat, energy, and survival.

The effects of cold can hit unexpectedly. For instance, you might find yourself ravenously hungry shortly after eating a meal. Even if you haven’t exercised in that time, your body might have used up all that food just trying to keep warm.

Strenuous exercise only compounds the problem. A winter activity will burn 12 percent more calories and 32 percent fatter than the same exercise done in warmer conditions.

Keep two things in mind: nutrition and calories. Proteins and fats release energy over a long period of time, which makes them particularly important during long-term, strenuous activities. A piece of chocolate (carbohydrate) will give you a quick power boost for that last mountain of the day, but a hunk of cheese or a handful of jerky (fat and protein) will fuel you through a longer, less strenuous period.

Proteins and fats also take a lot of energy to digest, especially at high altitudes, so they should not be eaten in large amounts before or while you’re working hard. Spread them out throughout your day.

A liberal use of butter in hot cereal and at supper is a good way to boost your fat intake. Dump extra powered milk (try to get whole powdered milk instead of non-fat or low-fat) and cheese into meals to increase your protein.

Your stove is one of the most important pieces of equipment on a winter backpacking trip. Use 6” x 6 “ x 1/4” Plywood Square under the stove to insulate from snow or cold ground. When it comes down to it, aside from the peace and stark beauty of the winter landscape, cold-weather backpacking is one of the few times you can eat a lot, run clear off the caloric chart, and not gain weight or feel guilty. That, in itself, is a treat!

Recipe of the month – Turkey Jambalaya (serves 6)

  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, cut into small chunks
  • 1 Tbs olive oil

  • 2 cans (14.5 oz ea) stewed tomatoes, undrained

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups chopped cooked turkey
  • 1 Tbs. Cajun seasoning
  • 3 cups minute white rice, uncooked

  • Cook and stir celery, green pepper, onion and smoked sausage in hot oil

  • Add stewed tomatoes with their liquid, water turkey and seasoning; mix well. Bring to boil
  • Stir in rice. Reduce heat to low; cover. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Mix lightly and serve
  • Spice It Up! Season with your favorite hot sauce to taste

Parent Committee Meeting

The Parent Committee meeting this month is Tuesday February 5th 2013. The meeting starts at 7:15 after the troop announcements. Thank you to all who volunteered to coordinate this years major activities.

Following is a list of volunteers for those activities. As you can see, we still have some unfilled positions. If you can help please let me know.

  • APRIL 20th Camporee BBQ – Michael Ensign
  • APRIL 23rd Court of Honor, Potluck – unfilled
  • 4th of JULY chair setup for parade – Paul Johnson
  • SEPT. 17th Court of Honor sheet cakes – Gillian Swanson
  • SEPT. 21st Troop 26 Family BBQ – Jim Hirsch / Paul Johnson
  • DEC. Court of Honor, Dessert auction – unfilled
  • Popcorn Kernel – Gillian Swanson
  • Travel Czar – Andy Barrad
  • Troop 26 closet – Bonnie Rich
  • Website overseer – unfilled
  • Fundraiser Chair – unfilled
  • Scouting Journey to Excellence coordinator – Cynthia Stewart
  • Public Relations – unfilled
  • Newsletter – unfilled
  • E Script coordinator – Stephanie Acuna

Thank you to Mr. Pinner and the other Assistant Scout Masters for organizing the amazing snowshoe trek to Inyo Craters. Our scouts are truly fortunate to have these experiences. And thank you to all who volunteered to drive.

I look forward to seeing everyone at our next parents meeting Tues. February 5th

Jerry Ball
Committee Chair

Scoutmaster Minute

This month, one of the big events in the world of sport will have a large percentage of our country focused on New Orleans for this year’s NFL Superbowl game.  It is a time when the two best teams in the league play for a championship and the athletes will highlight their talent and dedication to their team and sport.

I think that we can all agree that these football players are well-prepared and have practiced a great deal.  Just like a NFL football player, becoming the best Boy Scout possible also takes practice and dedication.

Events like day hikes, skill sessions, and local overnight trips help to prepare each scout for the big events in the scouting year like our Snow Camp, Utah trip and this year’s Sierra treks. As I mentioned at the last meeting, during last month’s snow camp, everyone (scouts and adults) found out how well they actually knew and could use their camping skills under difficult circumstances, similar to playing in a championship game.

You must practice and be prepared to be successful in whatever you do, whether it is scouting, sports, school, or work.

Practice hard and Be Prepared.


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