July was the month to get into the swing of summer. Weekly meetings for Boy Scout Troop 616 took on a different aspect as scouts biked around Miramar Lake and had a family barbecue and picnic at the Community Park.
The first of our troop's weeklong summer camps took place mid-July. Greg Golko, Jason Swalwell, Ronnie Lewis, Arthur Moreau, William Wood, Stephen Lewis, Andrew Frederickson, Sam Moreau, Brian Gurriell, Ryan Huffman, and Luke Ulrich spent a great week at Camp Cherry Valley on Catalina Island.
Assistant scoutmaster, George Ulrich, and assistant leader, Terri Moreau, led the scouts. The camp is located right on the water, and the boys took full advantage of the aquatics merit badges on offer. Lots of time was spent enjoying the clear Pacific Ocean by snorkeling-- lots of lobster, garibaldi, and octopus-- kayaking, and canoeing.
The campgrounds were beautiful and the weather could not have been better. A family of six deer live in the valley, in spite of rifle shooting and archery, and could be seen at all times of the day. The evenings were full of campfires and honor hikes that kept the scouting spirit alive throughout the week.
The Cherry Valley staff was one of the best the boys have ever come across. They participated in all the troop's activities. To top it all off, even the food was great! The location, people, and activities made this summer camp an experience the scouts will always remember.
On a more serious note, the Nicastro family would like to thank all the scouts from our troop for their work on an Eagle project in April. It was the rehabilitation of a hiking trail and the Fire Department's swift response that most likely saved the Nicastro's home from burning.
They were away on a family vacation when the June 28 fire burned in the canyon adjacent to their home. The work that the scouts did on the trail enabled the fire crews to get their equipment into the area quickly. The trail also served as a firebreak. The Nicastro family felt very grateful and happy to return home to see their house still standing. Thanks again to all the scouts, firefighters, friends, and neighbors who made this possible.
Summer has been good so far for Troop 663. Our vacation activities began with a campout at Silver Strand beach. Our troop camped just a short walk from the water. This campout was the first trip for many of our newer scouts and they all performed very well.
Patrols participated in various competitions including a way-too-difficult relay. Victory went to the supremely buff Roadrunner Patrol. Special thanks goes to Wes Mitchel for putting together a slightly more dangerous than necessary game of beach flags.
Our next activity was our first-class campout at William Heise Park. During this event, older scouts formed a staff patrol and passed on to new scouts all sorts of useful knowledge. Let it never be said that the scouts of Troop 663 cannot build a flagpole or cook a dessert. I am almost certain that they will all remember to drink lots of water.
Special congratulations go to the Rattlesnake Patrol for having a nice clean campsite. And, more congratulations to the Rattlesnakes for excellence in just about everything else. On a personal note, many thanks go to the Etcetera Patrol for giving me a ton of dessert.
Our next activity was the first of our three week-long summer camps at Mataguay Scout Reservation. Primarily made up of newer scouts, many of our troops' boys went up to the camp to earn merit badges, work on advancement, and just have fun.
Unfortunately, the Ramona fire led to the canceling of several activities and the evacuation of the camp two days before planned. Special thanks to John Henry and Wes Mitchel for being extremely helpful in the evacuation.
The boys of Pack 613 have been busy these past few months working towards a summertime award pin. They kicked off the summer by selling their much coveted "Country Living--Scripps Ranch" license plate holders at the new and old Vons in early July. This activity was quickly followed by participation in the 4th of July parade. The boys proudly wore their uniforms and showed unending enthusiasm while marching the parade route.
Also in July was Pack 613's annual family campout at Indian Hills Campgrounds. A record number 153 children and adults shared in the fun at Indian Hills. The boys enjoyed the BMX bike trail, archery, crafts, swimming, and camping out with family and friends.
In August, the pack families once again got together for a barbecue and pool party. Hamburgers and hot dogs, as well as summer vacation stories, were shared by all present. Rounding out the month was a baseball game and campout at Lake Elsinore.
Over 50 boys and their families enjoyed watching the Lake Elsinore Storm play the San Jose Giants, followed by a fireworks show. Lake Elsinore is the Class A affiliate to the San Diego Padres and the 2001 Minor League Team of the Year. After the game, the boys camped overnight on the outfield.
With a busy summer over, the boys are looking forward to the pack's first meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 24, to receive their summertime awards. This first meeting in September will also herald Andy Wisniewski as the new cubmaster and Bob Gibson as assistant cubmaster.
As a former Eagle Scout, Andy is anxious to fully share his love of scouting with the pack. He also would like to implement new ideas to make the scouting experience a positive and worthwhile one for all the boys and their families.
What is blue, gold, and fun all summer? Cub scouts! Pack 616--Dingeman and Ellen Browning Scripps elementary schools--has had a blast this summer! We started with the Pack Graduation, complete with a "time machine" that changed Tigers into Wolves, Wolves into Bears, and Bears into Webelos.
Next, we had fun marching in the Scripps Ranch parade and going to a high scoring Padres game--25 runs! The score was 15-10. I have been to lower scoring football games! Over 100 cubs, families, and friends of Pack 616 were there. Ice skating is up next.
Many of the cubs went to Cub Scout Day Camp, either in Poway or at Camp Balboa. Archery, swimming, B.B. gun marksmanship, Native American crafts, as well as volcano and rocket building were all part of the fun. We cannot wait to go back next summer!
Our pack's Fall Round-up for prospective new cub scouts is currently scheduled for Wednesday, Sept.18, for Dingeman Elementary School, and Wednesday, Sept. 25, for E.B. Scripps Elementary School. They both start at 7 pm. Posters will be placed at the schools confirming times and dates.
I have been involved in scouting for 18 years now. Scouting has enabled me to travel all over the world, taught me about service and leadership, given me some of my best friends, and been a ton of fun. Come on by and check out cub scouting at your local pack!
Girl Scout Troop 8385 provided a dinner for the firefighters at Fire Station 37 in July. The girls planned and prepared the meal. The dinner was complete with appetizers, entrée, salad, bread, and dessert.
The girls also enjoyed a short tour of the fire station. On their tour, they reviewed the tile artwork done by their families and friends. They even slid down the fire pole. The girls and I would like to thank Debbie Schilens who volunteered her kitchen and helped with all of the preparations.
The timing was great for Captain Warren Geiske and the members of the "A" shift. Reporting for duty that morning, they found that they could not leave the fire station because they were "on call" for the fire burning in Julian. Without being able to run to the grocery store, they were very excited to have dinner delivered to them. The girls plan to prepare dinner for the "B" and "C" shifts in the near future.