While ice skating two scouts helped another one out and taught her how to be brave. We turned in our skates and drove to Ghiradelli Square for a treat. While we were waiting for another scout to join we watched a family sing and they were and they were amazing. After we all had our fair share of ice cream we walked out to the water and explored the museum. We ate some fries and watched a man sing and dance. On our way back we stopped at a shop and looked around. Then we headed back home and saw many people dressed as Santa Claus.
During the Holiday Season, everyone seems to get together. Old friends, new couples and relatives who never see each other anymore. It's a time when everyone seems to connect and grow closer... With a few exceptions. The residents of Brookside Skilled Nursing Facility are often not surrounded by loved ones at this time of year. They are visited when schedules allow, but are otherwise alone. Every year we come to sing to these people, wish them a Wonderful Holiday, and, hopefully, share just a bit of our own Holiday Joy with them. As we sang a variety of Christmas tunes, from old classics like "O Come, All Ye Faithful" to newer pieces like "Jingle Bell Rock", we saw something far more profound than the polite interest displayed by most caroling audiences. We saw a genuine connection, quiet joy, and a renewed excitement for the Season. We had accomplished what caroling is all about.
We had a great day outside shooting with friends. The instructors did a great job helping us all.
On this saturday night the Ventures came all dressed up to my house for a Halloween party! There was a potluck dinner with smores around the fire for dessert, followed by games and jokes. Some of the games included; Doughnuts on a string, wrapping a mummy, whipped cream toss, and the try-not-to-laugh game. I especially enjoyed this event because there was lots of good food and happy people and I enjoyed getting to know the other members of the crew.
We hiked out to Goat Rock, and climbed, practiced belaying, and explored the fun of repelling, with Matt trying a face-first fireman's repell down the rock. We also hung upside down from the rope, and took some hilarious pictures, and repelled down between rocks and then crawled out. It was a great experience and a good basis for any climbing merit badge or advancement of climbing/belaying skills.
We drove down to a campsite the afternoon before (stopping at Chipotle for dinner) and pitched tents in the growing dark once we reached the site. Firewood was hunted down and a small fire was built before bed.
The next day, we drove to the American River after a breakfast of baggy eggs. We spent a few hours on the river going through smaller rapids, then stopped for lunch. After lunch, we continued along the river, making it through the famed class three rapids the river offered. Many a scout was forced off their perch into the middle of the boat by a particularly strong rapid, but no one fell out of the boat.
We took a bus back to the start and drawing on the walls of the bus was encouraged. Following returning to where we began, we all piled back into the van and made our way home. Along the way, we attempted to spot the red moon, but clouds mostly blocked our view. We returned to the church late, but we were greeted by the amazing sight of Holly with cookies, ending the trip on a high note.
The weather was fantastic for our tour of the batteries and the bridge, so we had spectacular views in every direction. The guides were very knowledgeable about the bridge, its history and ongoing maintenance.
During EVOC many of the Ventures learned to handle a car during an emergency. While driving Crowne Victorias we learned how to stop fishtailing, stop hydroplaning, and recover from a spin. Additionally we were taught new techniques to give us better control of our vehicles while backing up, avoiding obstacles, and stopping sharply. It is one thing to theoretically know how to deal with your car in an emergency, and it is another to know from experience. EVOC provided a spectacular opportunity to learn in a safe environment.
This trip was largely devoted to learning kayaking skills and refreshing canoeing skills, for those who couldn't make the Delta trip. We also had fun exploring in the boats. As usual, we had a great menu, including steak and Death By Chocolate.
Crew 27 joined Troop 27, friends, and family to remember those who died while serving in our military. We met at Skylawn Cememtary and, after a brief ceremony, fanned out to find the gravestones of service people and put a flag at the head of each.
We had a fantastic time at Cece's Island. The main purpose of the trip was to develop our kayaking skills. We learned how to effectively control, maneuver, and recover while in a kayak. We also refreshed our canoe recovery techniques. Afterwards we went tubing behind a motor boat and had a wonderful time enjoying the company of Crew 27.
Not many people have hiked in the Crystal Springs watershed, which is normally closed to the public, so this hike was extra special. We hiked a little over 8 miles on the Fifield-Cahill Ridge with a volunteer docent. Although there were occasional nice views, the best part was the tree lined trail and the many wild flowers. All had good time enjoying nature and each other's company.
The scouts were transported back to the Medieval Age as they made their way through a lazer maze to the music of Mission Impossible III. They each recieved a sword depending on their crew's placement after a sword fight with inflatable swords, the quality of which differed from foam swords to much more realistic swords. They then went on to Edgewood Park, where each crew put their orienteering skills to use in order to find their shields.
At the wall crossing, the task was to use two planks to get across a "broken wall." There was a very specific solution to the puzzle and many of the patrols succeeded with flying colors. It was wonderful seeing the varying levels of teamwork in the patrols.
At the sneak attack and semaphore event, the boys had to creep up on three unsuspecting knights and gather materials. From these materials, they created a tripod from which they could receive a coded message. Getting into the spirit of the event, knights and boys exchanged humorous banter.
And mnay more events, including a visit to a sword fighting school.
Jingle bells, Jingle bells,
Jingle all the way,
We went up early and we got back late,
But boy, we had a blast!
Dashing through the snow,
On a snow board and some skis,
We crashed in to the trees,
And then we bruised our knees,
But then we got back up,
And drank out of our cup,
Laughing back towards home, Aye!
Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle all the way,
We went up early and we got back late
But boooooooy, We haaaaaaaad
The Edgewood hike was a very exciting experience. As a group we ate a delicious potluck lunch. It was very filling and allowed us to prepare ourselves for the interesting hike ahead of us. On the hike we explored several trails which brought us to the top of a mountain that looked out on the city below. It was all very breath taking.
The weather was perfect for this outing and the scenery was beautiful. We barely missed seeing two bulls fighting over a pond, but by the time we got there the winner was just taking possesion. We saw bulls chasing each other and moms with their calves, mostly from a distance.
After the tour, we went down to a lovely beach, which was a highlight for many.