Scoutmaster's Minute

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This past weekend was AWESOME!!!  The boys all did very well with each patrol earning the coveted White Buffalo aware.   That means some of the skills we are teaching are sticking!  Congratulations to all the boys!!  
The Pirate Patrol managed to be the overall winner for the Night Ops project a second year in a row!  
The next important winner was Catherine Del Valle who took the overall win in the Chili cook-off with some incredible Bison Chili!!  It was so delicious I went against my diet and had two bowls, but don't worry Peter, I have no intention of trying to become a "world class belly flop champion."  I prefer the greyhound class.  I figure if the boys every get really hungry I'll look too lean to eat when there are so many other "more meaty" scoutmasters!  
There were four people who were inducted into the Order of the Arrow this weekend, which is a great honor that is bestowed upon them by their peers.  You can only be elected from within your own Troop IF you meet the criteria.  Two of our boys, Kevin Lecours and Caleb Snider were blessed with that honor, as well as Gordon Walters and myself.  Personally I want to thank Gordon and call him out as a most extraordinary parent, as he went along this weekend helping everywhere he could even though his own son did not go.  Thanks Gordon!!
We had somewhere around 18 people who decided to "hang out" overnight in their hammocks (mostly new ones) and once they got to bed most of them managed to stay in their hammocks overnight.  There were a couple boys who didn't seem to get the memo about bringing along their ground pad and as a result got a little cold the first night.  However, all challenges create learning opportunities and with a little scrounging we turned what had been the new box for our easy up canopy into a nice (albeit a bit stiff and uncomfortable) insulating layer.  It worked like a charm and at least THAT boy who will remain nameless (you know who you are) will certainly remember his ground pad next time.  
Next up comes a shout out to the SUPER FANTASTIC PARENTS of Troop 339!!  I had a chance to hangout and get to know better a number of you this weekend and it was a real joy for me.  Everyone pitched in and helped phenomenally.  We had plenty of food and it was all delicious.  Beginning with the Prize Winning Chili, followed by Pancakes and Sausage for breakfast (Scott Weed), Pulled-Pork Sandwiches and salad for lunch (Gordon Walters), Build-your-own Burritos for dinner and a dutch oven Corn sweet bread (Dieter Kutz), and Egg and bacon burritos for Sunday Breakfast (Frank Quattrocchi), if anyone went away hungry, it's because they were in the wrong camp!  And a special thanks to Bobby Krips our Camporee Event Coordinator!!!
On a final note, while boys will be boys and we had a few incidents (nothing major) of that, if I were to look at our boys and compare to what I saw and or heard from some of the others, we have a very fine and well-behaved troop!  It's a pleasure scouting with you all!! 
Yours in Scouting!



What a great weekend for the Troop!  We took 19 boys out to the Barstow area and had a great time.  Special thanks to Angela Bermudez who organized the trip for the troop. The boys camped through two very chilly nights (below freezing Saturday night as evidenced by the water bottle that had frozen) and all seemed to have a great time.  With a good mix of work and play the boys prepared for Camporee.  Some of our newest members got their first chance to cook in a patrol (and to clean... ).  Of special note was the Polar Bear patrol who managed to actually bring AND EAT some vegetables.  They were rewarded for their healthy choices with some Dutch oven chocolate cake.  We also had a few parents come along for the ride for the first time and altogether the outing was a great success!  Be sure to check out these pictures (courtesy of Dieter Kutz 339 Eagle Scout!) - 

Preparing for Summer Camp!!  Arggggh you ready for Emerald Bay????

we've been doing a lot of prepartion for summer camp.  Patrols have been formed for the most part and we have 19 boys going to Catalina along with many adults.  It should be a great week and there should be many memories as well as photographs!

Spontaneous Sailing with the Sea Scouts

This past Sunday we had a great chance to go sailing at the Newport Sea Base!!  Special thanks to Susan Brodeur for helping coordinate the trip.  We had a nearly full crowd with 6 scouts and 5 parents!  We took a "three hour tour" and the weather was nearly perfect.  Pictures can be found here: 



Thanks to all the parents who went hiking, especially Ms. Brodeur!  We don't get many Mom's out on the trail for overnighters, though I do think Wes was the luckiest in that regard!!  Thanks also to Mr. Nomura for driving up early with the first group. 

The hike was a good challenge for these young boys (and for most of us OLD boys - except for Mr. Nguyen who I'm pretty sure packed about twice as much gear as anyone else, showed no signs of fatigue, and was still willing to take more!!  Do I hear rumors of him having bionic / cyborg powers?).  

We had 18 people on the hike 12  scouts and 6 adults!  We saw an owl, heard rumors of a black bear, saw the pack mule train, and enjoyed phenomenal weather!  ASM Harold Orlando brought his son ASM Mike Orlando to help (both eagle scouts if I'm not mistaken).  Mike serenaded us a bit with his Ukelele, which was awesome.  We're looking forward to hearing more at Summer Camp!!!  

While we did not have much planned aside from eating and enjoying the outing, or ASM in charge was very helpful in communicating various tasks to the troop (cleaning up after meals, organizing impromptu games, cleaning camp before departure, etc.)  Also, our two oldest scouts did a great job leading the younger scouts back down the hill from camp on Sunday.  It was good to see them upfront and leading the younger boys.  It was all we adults could do just to keep one of us close to the lead group of boys.  

I suspect we'll have many more adventures together and look forward to them all!!!  Here's a link to the album I created for the weekend's activities -



Thanks to the help of all the boys who volunteered this weekend at the Youth Expo at the OC Fair Grounds!  Your service helped raise much needed funds to operate the troop!!  Well done!!! (Special thanks as well to the parents and most importantly Bob!!!)

Had a blast with the special Skunk Cabbage Patrol this past Saturday!  

Seems like the boys are well aware of conventional wisdom (don't eat yellow snow).  I'm thinking next time we need to campout in the snow!

As you approach the rank of Eagle, you may find yourself more alone in your journey.  Many boys will drop from site and vanish from scouts.  The same thing happens in leadership of any type.  In the end, you'll have accomplished more than most, but you won't do it in a flock.  Chickens may flock, but Eagles never do.