The New Guys–Troop 663

May and June brought many adventures for the boys in Troop 663. We took part in events around San Diego and held our own outings. In May, we had a fundraiser at Souplantation. We made a lot of money, and we enjoyed the great food. Thanks to Souplantation for hosting us!

The troop held it’s first family campout at William Heise Park near Julian. We got to show our parents what we could really do. We held a huge water fight that must have lasted forty-five minutes or more. There was not one of us that was not soaked by the end. We also took a hike to a natural pool at the bottom of a waterfall. It was really fun swimming and sliding down the wet rocks.

We held our third Court of Honor this month, where many boys were rewarded for their hard work. Congratulations to Chris Behr, David Buttermore, Brian Campbell, Adam Carver, Caleb Cato, Jason Chung, Kenneth Crooks, Andrew Danskin, Torrey Evatt, Scott Green, Tommy Halldorson, David Heilbrunn, Bobby James, Steven Markano, Alex Nunn, Logan Swartz, and Max Roitz for achieving the Scout rank.

Brian Kauffman, Seth Gold, and Bobby James received Tenderfoot. Sean Campbell, Greg Golembeski, Willy Christianson, Josh Gilman, Adam Kiezun, and Ruben Leal made Second Class. Sean Campbell, Bradley Markano, and Eric Thornton achieved the rank of First Class. Congratulations boys on your outstanding work!

A special congratulations to Wesley Mitchell and John-Henry Ainsworth for reaching Star Scout. These two boys also have joined the Order of the Arrow, a special organization for Scouts who want to go the limit to help their community and the world. John-Henry and Wes got to go to Mataguay Scout Reservation to set up summer camp tents. Both came back bruised, battered, and cut form the hard work.

As well as rank advancements, the Court of Honor awarded the boys their merit badges. Congratulations to Adam Kiezun, John-Henry Ainsworth, Wesley Mitchell, Josh Gilman, and Sean Campbell for all getting merit badges.

The scouts camped out at the Del Mar Racetrack for the scout fair. The next day we ran a game booth that had to do with shooting ping-pong balls across a table with squirt bottles. Everyone was a bit more wet at the end than at the beginning.

The real highlight of the month was the backpacking trip at San Gorgonio. With nearly thirty pounds of stuff each, we trudged up two extremely strenuous sets of switchbacks until we got to the campsite. The next day a group hiked up to the peak at a total elevation of eleven thousand, two hundred feet! The boys who made it o the peak were Dane, Markano, Wes, John-Henry, Eric Thornton, Seth, Deuce, Willy, Sean, Brian Campbell, Bobby, Adam, Max, Mr. Ainsworth, Mr. James, Mr. Thornton, and Mrs. Thornton. Good job!

Now, one might think that going down would be better than going up; think again. Going down hurt more than going up! My calves are still sore. A group of boys made a seven-mile extension to do twenty miles in one day! Congratulations on your outstanding effort.

The coming of June heralded the preparation for the Sierra Backpacking Trek. After many hours planning, packing, and buying, a small group of leaders and boys embarked for the Mammoth area. The group backpacked for five days and six nights out in the Sierra Nevada wilderness. This was the first backpacking trek the troop has held, and it was a huge success. Excellent job! Check out the Writer’ Corner section on page 53 to see what my dad wrote about it.

That same weekend, the new patrols held a campout at Louis Stelzer Park in Lakeside. The boys learned about lashing, went on a nature hike, and had two excellent campfires. Congratulations to the Wacky Wolves for winning the most ribbons.

The Boy Scouts in Scripps Ranch have been marching in the fourth of July parade for over twenty-five years, and although this is only 663’s second time marching, they put on a show at the parade that was worth watching.

The boys performed wacky skits, and tossed candy to the audience as their truck rolled down the parade route. Star Scout Wes Mitchell and Second Class Scout Dane Lighthart were chosen to march with the Marines bearing the colors.

After the parade, the troop put in two hours of community service, helping out at the concert in Hoyt Park. Congratulations to everyone who performed, marched, or put in time at the park. A thanks to the Christiansons for allowing the troop to use their truck in the parade.

Congratulations to Max Roitz, Steven Markano, Andrew Danskin, Alex Nunn, Scott Green, and Logan Swartz for advancing to Tenderfoot. Ryan Mulvey advanced to Second Class. Good Job!

Both Indoors and Outdoors

Cadette Troop 8140–Kelsey Jones, Morgan Berg, Sara Iravani, Stefanie Lewis, Lauren Rasmussen, Jessica Hrezo, Brittainy Bruno, Breanna Kavanaugh, Monica Gerber, Kristina James, and Christy Helvestine–started the new school year by earning the Cadette Challenge pin. In earning the pin, we learned a little about ourselves, how we relate to others, how our values affect these relationships, and how we can contribute to our community. We also learned about recognitions at the Cadette level in Girl Scouts.

Next we moved to the outdoors. We headed up to the mountains to begin work on the Wildlife interest project. We hosted 7 girls from third-grade Brownie Troop 8389 as they visited Whispering Oaks for the first time. We continued our investigation into wildlife learning about local animals on the computer, then looking for their tracks and signs in Penasquitos canyon. We especially enjoyed our night hike at Lake Poway and the s’mores around the campfire.

After the great outdoors, it was time to clean up. We started the Fitness to Fashion interest project by learning how to take care of our skin from a cosmetics representative. We tried new hairstyles and made our own skin-care products learning to follow a recipe. A little honey may be a good thing, but, as a couple of us learned, a lot of honey turns a face mask to cement. We also learned it’s not just the outside that counts, but what we put into our bodies and how we exercise that is far more important in determining our overall appearance.

Speaking of exercise seven of us participated in a Girl Sport 200 event when we visited the ARCO Olympic training Center. There we tried kickboxing, soccer, track and field, and met 2 Olympic athletes. They told us about training, working, and going to school–all at the same time.

We really enjoyed working doing community service at the Wild Animal Park. For 5 hours during the Festival of Lights, we did face painting. It was so much fun we’d like to do two nights next year.

Because we enjoy working with younger children, we voted to work on the Childcare interest project during the winter months. Most of us took a baby-sitting class, a CPR class, and a first aid class. We learned about age-appropriate toys at Learning Express, gathered ideas for games and activities for a variety of ages, then volunteered to baby-sit at Miramar Ranch’s Family Literacy nights. Ten girl scouts and three preschoolers presented a unique challenge: how to keep the Girl Scouts occupied!

Girl Scout basketball was great! Kelsey, Monica, Britainny, Breanna, and Kristina were awesome. The Teal Seals ruled the court. While learning about basketball we decided to earn the On the Court interest project. We learned about Title IX, and what it means to women today. Look for us again next year on the court.

As you know it wouldn’t be Girl Scouts without cookie sales. This year we got picked to participate in a promotional event with radio station KJOY. Since Cadettes offer the Cookie and Dough interest project (IP) we decided to complete that IP by setting cookie sale goals, tracking sales, promoting our booth sales, and following up with Thank-yous to our top cookie buyers.

Older Girl encampment this year found us once again in tents. There were two noticeable differences from previous years. For one, it didn’t rain this year. The second change was that the girls did all the shopping. Oh yum, applesauce and yogurt for breakfast with fruit punch. We had fun participating in team building games as part of the Conflict Resolution interest project at camp.

Starting in November, we have been working on the Dreams to Reality patch. From this we learned about different careers, and setting goals to get jobs. We learned how mothers juggle careers and families and some of the choices that they have had to make to achieve balance in their lives. We interviewed a store owner, a personnel chef, and a nurse anesitist. We wrote our own resumes for babysitting, developed a babysitting brochure, and held a mock trial to learn about different career activities. Last of all, we learned about fields where women are still a minority.

We ended the year with attending a Silver Award workshop. We found out that we have done most of the ground work this year. Now we need to identify the Silver projects that we would like to work on over the next year and a half. Some of us made it to Canoe Regatta at Fiesta Island and we are looking forward to earning our Red Cross canoe card next year (using our cookie money) so that at the next Canoe Regatta we can participate in the competitive races.

This year Kelsey joined the Cluster Girl Planning Board. While attending Cluster meeting once a month Kelsey earned two interest projects. The Women’s Health IP and Your Best Defense IP. Next year, more girls undoubtedly will want to attend at least one cluster meeting.

Last summer both Kristina and Kelsey did their Program Aide training and volunteered as an aide at one of the Girl Scout day camps here in Scripps Ranch. If you are interested in day camps this summer, I know that they still need aides at the camp in August at Miramar Ranch.

Challenging Ourselves

Troop 8449–Rachel Brown, Alison Crooks, Danita Otto, Sarah and Melissa Jones, Kristin Harkey, Courtny Judy, Melissa Morrel, Brooke McCawley, Kate Delap, Lauren Honeycutt, Lauren Miller, and Taylor Travillion–started off their first year of Junior Girl Scouting by getting together twice over the summer. Some of us finished our 1st Junior badge called Jeweler. We learned about jewelry in different cultures, about the symbolism of different kinds of jewelry, we made a jewelry box, claybeads, a friendship pin and hairclips. We also worked on our outdoor cooking skills.

The fall found us heading up to Whispering Oaks for our first weekend in the mountains. We finished up the Outdoor Fun badge that we had started as part of our Bridging activities by carrying out our third outing. We did the Outdoor Creativity badge by doing a watercolor, writing a haiku about nature, using leaf prints to create our troop T-shirts, cooking over a fire, and planning our evening program. We also started “Your Outdoor Surrounding” while we were at camp. We took a nature hike, made nature bracelets, learned about the meaning of minimal impact, talked about different materials for the outdoors, and finally in November, we finished by doing the artist and scientist activity.

Now that we had some experience with badge work we split into three patrols to plan badge work for the rest of the year. First up was Girl Scouting in the U.S.A. We learned some of our history, planned a celebration for Juilette Low’s birthday with a Daisy Troop, and watched Patrol 1 perform a skit about Juilette Low’s life.

We took a break from badge work in November and made a wreath for the Festival of Lights. Our wreath displayed the five worlds of Girl Scouting and completed one of the requirements for the Sign of the Rainbow.

January found our second patrol in action leading us in the Folk Arts badge. We learned about quilts, visited a quilt store, and made quilt squares for a 9-patch baby quilt. We read some folk tales, made puppets, and put on a play. Last of all we made valentines and heart pins for Valentines Day.

January also found 6 girls from our troop playing basketball in a Girl Scout League. The Slam-Dunk Squad was totally awesome as they ruled the court. Of course we also had the best coaches in the league. Way to go girls.

Girl Scouts would not be quite the same without cookie sales, so the end of January saw us kick off our cookie campaign by doing “The Cookie Connection.” We learned a little history about Girl Scout cookie sales, practiced safe cookie-selling techniques, tasted one of the new cookies, brainstormed how we use our cookie money, and set some goals.

With spring on the way the third patrol chose “Looking Your Best” as the next badge. We learned about what alcohol, drugs and smoking do to our bodies, and made posters. We created a “Looking your Best” booklet and learned about kickboxing.

We decided to work on our Junior Aide patch at the same time. We invited bridging Brownie Troop 8389 to our fashion show and health feast and created a food pyramid poster with them to finish the “Looking Your Best” badge. We finished our Junior Aide patch by going to the Brownie Troop meeting where we shared our handbooks, introduced the Brownies to badges, talked about patrols, and made Girl Scout keychains with them.

Now it was time to head back up to the mountains again; it was time for Scripps Ranch Junior encampment. We were glad to be in tents this time. The cabins were a bit rustic. Everyone has a great time trying different games, learning some more camping skills, and having our own campfire ring to cook s’mores over.

We are ending our year with our troop’s own badge “Challenge Yourself.” We started off this badge learning a little about ourselves, what we like to do, what we aren’t, and what we’d like to try. We learned about challenges, goals, and values, and we listened to two guest speakers talk to us about their challenges.

Our first guest speaker was Patty Gibberson who is graduating from UCSD with her degree in Mechanical Engineering and she is also a Charger cheerleader. Our second speaker told us all about parachute jumping. Over the summer each of us is going to try to think of our own challenge, set goals, and try to meet our challenge. When we get back together in the fall we will share our challenges and finish exploring our topic “Challenge Yourself.”

Pack 1216 Flying High

Pack 1216 capped off the scouting year with a fantastic kite-flying contest. We filled the sky at Spring Canyon Park with all sizes, shapes, and colors of creative kites. Prizes were awarded for the biggest, smallest, highest flying, longest flying, and least likely to fly–but did. Following the kite contest, we recognized our scouts as they advanced to their new ranks.

We closed the ceremony by thanking Larry Hinck for 3 great years of service as our Cubmaster. Many scouts and parents that had the opportunity to work with him will remember Larry’s dedication and spirit. Larry will continue to provide leadership to the Pack as a co-chair of outdoor activities with Steve Ranum, the new Wolf leader.

The Pack looks forward to the leadership and fun that our new Cubmasters, Ed Wimmer and Nevin Bailey will bring in the coming months. Ed comes to us with lots of previous scouting experience, including being an Eagle Scout. Nevin has been a great source of information to the boys in our Pack about the nature and history of San Diego.

This summer will bring a lot of activities for the boys, including participating in the 4th of July parade (photo below), a hike/scavenger hunt at Louis Stelzer County Park, swim parties, picnics, and bike rides. Thanks to all the Cubs, parents, and leaders who dedicated their time and energy to make this a successful and memorable year.