One of the most enjoyable trips in my Scouting journey is Surf Camp. Surf Camp is an event only offered by Troop 506. We get to hang out with all of our friends in the sun all day long. It is a very leisurely experience that was designed to create a break for Scouts, somewhere Scouts could enjoy the environment and natural wonder around us, the coastline.
Although this trip is made easy for the Scouts, we still get many chances to get sign-offs and learn many new skills. Every year there is a new experience and even more enjoyment. It is so unique that this year a journalist from Scout Life Magazine visited us to write an article about our adventures. This made the Surf Camp experience even more satisfying.
There are many different activities to choose from including surfing, boogie boarding, swimming, and more. We also do many different activities on land such as friendship bracelets and hanging out at the campsite. The Surfrider Award is also offered and led by Mr. Catanzaro. This is a very special award, and there are not too many chances to get it. Surf Camp is a wonderful opportunity to earn this awesome award.
This was the first Scout trip that I went on when I joined the troop two years ago. I have made so many new friends at Surf Camp. This is also an event that a lot of alumni come to. This trip is perfect for a relaxing break. I personally love this trip and hope to go on it many more times in my Scouting journey.
Nearby Austria, in northern Italy, are some of the most beautiful and unique mountains in the world. From lush forests and greenery to sheer cliff and rock formations, the Dolomites are a one the most diverse mountain ranges ever. I was lucky enough to spend seven days in an old town in the Dolomites called Cortina. If you haven’t heard of it , Cortina hosted the Olympics in 1956 and will again in 2028. Scouting’s motto is “Prepared for Life” and hiking is a huge part of my life so Scouting has prepared me in many ways for the hikes I do. Some of the ways they prepare me is by hosting animals and nature meetings where we discuss different animals and plants, some that are dangerous and others that you can eat! Also Scouting hosts backpacking and hiking preparation meetings where they talk about what to pack depending on how long the hike will be. Scouting has a huge influence on how my family, fellow Scouters, and I hike!
The main hike I did was a two-day, two-part “trek”. The first day we hiked up the base through a forest and over a river. We ended at a little restaurant cottage along a road. The hike that day took 4 hours 22 mins with a total distance of 8.27 miles and 1,945 ft elevation gain. We walked home and enjoyed some Italian cuisine and rest, ready for a much harder hike tomorrow. The next day we woke up, bought fresh food at the local bakery, packed it all into our backpacks, and drove along the road to the restaurant we left the day before and started hiking. This hike was very different from the one the day before. In this one it was very steep and we had a lot more elevation gain faster. The time was 5 hours 27 minutes with a total distance of 10.17 miles with an elevation gain of 2,441ft. We hiked back down and enjoyed the day, watched the trail running race that was in town and ate some great food.
We continued doing many more hikes on the trip, including Tre Cime and hiking Mount Etna in Sicily. Hiking in nature has been a huge part of my life especially in Scouts. I first truly loved backpacking on a winter hike up San Jacinto with fellow scouters. Nature is such an amazing thing and that is why scouting has the outdoor code, to protect wildlife so that every person, Scout, and animal can enjoy it.
The girls troop went on a camping trip in Yuma, Arizona, with the purpose of doing what was essentially a lazy river trip. Monica Winters, an ASM, organized this trip after organizing white water rafting at Kern River for a few years now. It ended up being 3 hour float trip with numerous little adventures within. As a scout who attended, this trip was very fun and I hope it becomes an annual trip.
On March 18, 2023, the girls’ troop went to the San Diego Food Bank. There, they packaged bags of fruit to be distributed by the food bank at a later date. The people there that day ended up packaging roughly 6,000 pounds of fruit to help people in need. They packaged pears and oranges into mesh bags for two hours that day.
Audrey Weishaar, one of the volunteers, described the experience. “At the food bank, we started off by getting a safety talk. We were told we had to watch out for forklifts, wear gloves, and learn how much fruit to put in each bag. We then seperated into two groups, since there were too many of us to fit at only one crate of fruit. So one group filled bags with pears and the other with oranges. The adults helped too! It was a lot of fun. I’d never done something like that. With Girl Scouts I’d done food drives, but never something like this. It was really cool to see so much food get prepared. There was a very big sense of accomplishment with helping so many people.”
Recently, Troop 506B went on a trek in the Philmont Scout Ranch, which is located in New Mexico. The boys crew was made up of Gavin Stransky, Chance Rynearson, Colin Hayward, Max Busboom, Hunter George, Mr. Stransky, Mr. Schantz, and Mr. Busboom. Opened in 1938, Philmont Scout Ranch is a national High Adventure base, where tens of thousands of scouts visit every year.
At Little Costilla, one of Philmont’s peaks, Troop 506’s crew had a run-in with a lightning storm and several forest fires (however they were all put out quickly). Moving down from the peak during the lightning storm was also dangerous, as they were all possible lightning rods while on the top of the mountain. Instead of hiking the 11.8 miles the Philmont guide had said it took to summit Little Costilla, they had gone 16 miles, taking 10 hours to finish their hike.
Philmont requires visitors to perform a conservation project before leaving, in order to keep up the natural beauty of the Scout Ranch. On the morning of Troop 506’s conservation project, the crew woke up at 4am, and were ready to leave at 6am. They were 2 miles away from the project site, and had to be there by 7:30. At 7am, before they were at the project site, the crew came across a river. They tried to make many plans to get across the river without getting wet, but they were all too dangerous or unrealistic. Max Busboom eventually decided to run across the river, with not a single care about getting himself or his gear wet. After reaching the site on time, the crew went to the main office, but were not greeted by any staff members whatsoever. Looking inside, Hunter George saw a group sleeping in the mailroom, most likely from the Rayado program. The Rayado program is a twenty day backpacking trip at Philmont only for experienced backpackers. After a while, the Troop 506 crew was able to finish their conservation project after staff appeared to talk to them.
Thank you to Hunter George for all the stories about Philmont, they were the backbone of this article.
Jake Rasmussen is near the end of his path to Eagle with the completion of his project in San Diego’s Presidio Park. Located on on a heavily-trafficked trail, Jake’s project included replacing a section of retaining wall and constructing a cable railing to improve safety for hikers and bicyclists. Thank you scouts for your service and congratulations, Jake!
The girls of 506G headed over to Catalina Island with our Venture Crew June 20-26, and the boys of 506B followed June 27-July 3. Many thanks to the parents who volunteered and made it happen! Here’s the trip by the numbers:
30 = scouts (troop record!)
75 = merit badges completed
Report pending…please stand by….
Image: Sunrise over Catalina Island, photo by Adrienne Markworth, 2021.
UPDATE: Troops 506B and 506G 2021 summer camps have sold out. Please register early for 2022!
Troop 506 will be at Emerald Bay on Catalina Island for summer camp in 2021. The girls of 506G will be heading over with our Venture Crew June 20-26, and the boys of 506B will head over June 27-July 3.