Archive for the ‘Boy Scouts’ Category

Mistletoe Scouts

A couple of days before Christmas, the boys were out selling mistletoe as part of a Boy Scout activity.

There were quite a number of generous individuals, with many donating additional amounts for the benefit of the troop.

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We just got back from a weekend of camping and hiking in Yosemite.  Nikhil, Vikram and 12 of their boy scout troop joined in the fun.  I had arranged the camp sites and pre-ordered the half dome hiking tickets last February.  This is a strenuous 21 mile hike (from Upper Pines Campground via John Muir Trail) with 4800 feet of elevation gain and took us over 12 hours.

We started our hike at 5:30 AM and started up the John Muir Trail.  Here we are at our first break about an hour into the hike.

Vikram and Shree at Nevada Falls

We were fortunate to see this rare sighting of a bear cub at about the 10 mile mark.  Vikram snapped this shot and we moved along quickly just in case the mother bear was near.

Here is a great shot of the approach to Half Dome.    If you look closely, you will see the trail of people.  The lower half is a rock scramble up the mountain, the upper half is the famous cable hike.

Half Dome Cables

Here we are at the hump right before the cable section.

Finally, we reach the top.   I had all the boys harnessed into the cable with an Alpine Bod harness,  runner and carabiner.

The hike back down the mountain was a bit quicker and had some glorious views of Nevada and Vernal Falls (below).  We had all carried up over 4L of water per person and yet nearly all of us were running out at the end! Once again, it amazes me how many unprepared people we saw along the way with a bottle or two of water in 90 degree heat!

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Yesterday, I took the boys and their Boys Scout buddies for a training hike up the San Juan Trail in San Juan Capistrano.   It was a 13 mile round trip with over 2200 feet of elevation gain.

Here are the boys at the beginning of the hike:

The first few miles are a series of switchbacks carved into the side of the mountain.

Here is Vikram taking full advantage of one of the few places with 4 bars of AT&T cell phone coverage.  We don’t get this kind of coverage at our house!

The boys conquering a rock halfway up the trail.

Here we are at the top of “Cocktail Rock”.  Appropriately named because after 6.5 miles of hiking I felt like having a couple of cocktails.

Finally, here is what we had to look forward to going back down to the trailhead.  It was almost 4 hours up and 2 1/2 back down.

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Boy Scout Hike

On Saturday, I took Vikram and a few of his Boy Scout buddies on a 10 mile hike into Santiago Oaks.

Here we are at the start of the hike.

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Scout-O-Rama 2010

Today the boys taught the Fingerprinting Merit Badge for their Boy Scout troop.

Here is Vikram the “teacher” directing the younger scouts.

The event was a huge success.

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This weekend, I took the boys camping at the plush new Outdoor Educational Center.  This is a new $30 million, 160 acre camping facility on Irvine Ranch land.   The weather was nice but a bit chilly in the 40’s and 50’s at night.

Here is Vikram in the morning.


Here is Nikhil with some of the other boys in his scouting troop.


The boys got to participate in a new high ropes course.  Here is Vikram on one of the ropes activities.

First the climb up the telephone pole.


Here he is up about 30 feet tethered by a belay line.


Here is a view of the ropes course from the campsite.



No fear whatsoever!


On the first night we made smores on a open firepit (which was powered by gas).  No logs to light, no mess to clean up and no danger to the environment.  All of the campsites are raised and groomed making it easy to pitch the tents.  The bathrooms are tiled and spotless.

This is the equivalent of the Ritz Carlton for camping!  Thanks to James Irvine for creating this wonderful facility.  We’ll be back soon.


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Cycle Merit

This summer, I have been taking a group of boy scouts on a series of road rides to enable them to earn their Cycling Merit Badge.  We started with a series of 10 mile, 15 mile and 25 mile rides – two of each.  Last weekend, we capped it off with a 50 mile ride thru Tustin, Irvine, Newport Beach and Huntington Beach – and back!  We rode along the beach for parts of it and also enjoyed the Back Bay on the way back.

Here we are at the half way point in Huntington Beach at the Dairy Queen.


This is a view of the Back Bay.


It made for a very long day, but we all did it in about 5 1/2 hours.  Pretty amazing!

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