Caroling has long been an annual Crew tradition, and there was no way we were about to disappoint this year. Just a few days before Christmas, a merry band of Ventures dressed up in their holiday best and armed with guitar, violin, and bells, descended upon Brookside Skilled Nursing Facility. As glad voices rang through the halls, residents sang and clapped along with us. It had most definitely begun to feel like Christmas by the time we left, and a wonderful night was had by all!.
Running, faster, closer, Jump, CATCH. It is getting less often that people go outside to do something fun, such as sports, exercise, or just walking around in general. People are hooked on technology, and if you're reading this, you're on some kind of technology right now! However, this article is not on technology. It is how a great way to get outside and have fun is the Frizbeeganza hosted by the Venture Crew. For experienced or non-experienced members, this event is a great way to go outside with some friends and have some good old fashion fun! Though I was late, I was definitely happy that I came for the event. As a more experienced member, it was still fun to play the game and help newer members. On top on this, the Venture Crew does many more fun things! Check out the other articles for more on what we do.
The crew went to Belmont to help set up our Council Christmas tree lot. This involved everything from moving trees to impromptu singing to climbing ladders and using power tools to hang signs. We helped turn a normal lot into an amazing scene of Christmas trees that would soon fill many happy homes. It was a great way to start the Christmas season.
At the First Aid training day we started early talking about scenarios. We discussed how to deal with injuries such as broken bones, concussions, gaping wounds, and more. After the group was comfortable with diagnosing patients we moved outside and practiced how to build and use simple stretchers. We also learned how to carry people without injuring ourselves. After a brief lunch break we drove to a nearby park and practiced scenarios with hypothermia, concussion, spinal injury, elevation sickness, dehydration, and burns. At the end of an educational day of hard work we received our Wilderness First Aid certification cards.
We met up in the morning as a crew. We were optimistic about the hike and really excited. We felt like adventurers because we went out in small teams to find certain markers by using compass and map. It was a long and beautiful hike At one point we met with lots of cows on the trail. At the end of the hike we had a picnic where we looked at the hill that we had just climbed. We were proud of ourselves and were eager to go again.
Spooks and haunts filled the house as little monster and ventures played about. With laughter from the attic and a scream from the den, the scouts enjoyed the night not knowing what laid ahead. Donuts were hung from strings so high as the girls and boys tried to make each other laugh while staring into each-other's eyes. Halloween night was fun while it lasted, just wait till next year where the screams will be blasted.
On Oct. 19 the Venture Crew went on an exciting outdoor rock climbing outing at Summit Rock. For some of us, outdoor rock climbing and rappelling were nothing new, and for others it was the first time setting foot on the vertical rock. A 70 foot high rock wall and 3 other climbing spots proved to be challenges that everyone, even those of us who are afraid of heights, faced bravely and overcame with pride and satisfaction. We unanimously agreed that outdoor rock climbing and rappelling were activities to be revisited in the near future.
The Venture Crew went to a small island in the delta. While we were there we played kube, went tubing on motorboat waves and had amazing food while with great friends. There was a lot of frisbee and very many laughs. It was an amazing weekend that ended with a deserved ice cream ending.
We had a great time! The day at Disneyland was like revisiting the best parts of childhood, whether the favorite ride was the Teacups, Indiana Jones, or Space Mountain. The next day durning surfing everyone fell down a few times but everyone stood at least once and we all found ourselves much closer by the time we came home.
Every year the crew goes up to a different mountain lake to help build the summer camp for our boy scout troop. This year we went to Summit Lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Bear Valley. For three days we dug, scraped, chopped and picked, turning this total wilderness into a mountain camp, complete with a waterfront, kitchen, first aid station and latrines. Progress was slow at first and, at times, nearly imperceptible. But eventually, everything began to take shape. The kitchen was suddenly more than a rough framework of bare wood and the latrines seemed useful for ridding ourselves of something other than the young scouts that annoyed us. It was hard work, but looking at our work at the end of the last day, the soreness of our muscles and the late nights and early mornings suddenly all seemed worth it.
After Grave Decoration, the Ventures drove up to the beautiful Clear Lake. We worked on canoe skills, include how to right your canoe if it tips over. It was a beautiful place, and we all had a lot of fun.
A yearly tradition, the Crew drove up to Skylawn Memorial Park to honor the brave souls who have served this country. Although the early morning weather was damp and gray, the crowd's spirits were high, eager to homage to the great men and women. After everybody shook the sleep from their eyes and fueled their body with hot cocoa and donuts, the participants gathered around a World War II memorial to discuss plans and strategy. Over the next few hours, hundreds of flags were planted into the ground, a bright splash of color rippling proudly in the wind.
After every single departed veteran's gravestone had a American flag fluttering at the head of the grave, the group headed to the parking lot to have well deserved meal provided by the cemetery.
The Venture Crew went to Stanford to fence. Our instructor's father was a professional fencer in the Olympics. When we arrived we were suited with fencing equipment including the breastplate, a glove, a leotard, a mask, and a sword. In order to teach us how to attack and lunge our teacher made up several fun games where we faced off against the adults. Overall the whole experience was an amazing adventure that truly taught us a lot of fencing knowledge. I hope we go back next year and do it again.
For our District Camporee the crew ran a water event where the troops lashed together a catamaran, canoed across Lake Gamlin, and then "rescued" a victim by throwing a heaving line to them. The victim was actually on the shore, but they had to get the line close enough to victim that they could reach it. Crew members taught or reminded many boys the knots and lashings needed. Everyone showed great teamwork getting the task accomplished.
Treasure Hunt was a great deal of fun. It began in the morning at the church and then ventured out to places like Huddart Park, Stanford and finally Boulder Creek campground. The events included first aid, compass work, archery and fencing. The Ventures had a lot of fun leading the events. We were so glad we were able to put this all on.
When we first arrived at the Venture Games we blew up swords and mini beach balls. Then found a spot to hold our games. As soon as the games had begun, there were swords and beach balls from deceased Ventures everywhere. Not far into the games there where zombies prowling around attempting to eat our brains. At this point some people where running around with all the beach balls in their jackets and swords in their hands so quite a few people were without weapons. Within minutes of the new game there were only five people left. We ended the morning with wonderful snacks and conversations.
Normally Klondike is a snow outing, but this year there was no snow. Since we couldn't build snow shelters, we decided to visit the Jelly Belly factory on the way up to the Sierras. The tour was interesting and the sheer number of jelly beans was impressive. Of course, we had to get some samples to take with us.
That night we experienced the truth that tent camping can be colder than sleeping in snow shelters. Everyone was up bright and early to try their hands at Klondike events such as jumbo skis and snow shoe relay race (on the dirt).