What We are Doing

Service Project and Court of Honor

August 17th, 2019 – Scouts from Troop 234 and 1234 completed a troop service project at the Veteran’s Home of California – Ventura by preparing and cooking dessert for the residents and assisting in serving lunch. Following the service project, the Troop held a Court of Honor and celebrated the completion of numerous Merit Badges, as well as multiple rank advancements:

Troop 234 Advancements:

  • Gavin Hemphill – Scout
  • James Smith – Scout
  • Brandon Ayala – Scout and Tenderfoot
  • William Smith – Second Class
  • Wesley Conner – Second Class and First Class
  • Adan Linares – Second Class and First Class
  • Jay Somdhal – Star

Troop 1234 Advancements:

  • Sarah Tree – Scout
  • Violette Martinez – Scout
  • Alison Neptune-Smith – Scout and Tenderfoot
August 17th, 2019 Court of Honor for Troops 234 and 1234

September: Citizenship Month

This month the troop will focus on programs that emphasize our role as citizens in our community, in our nation, and in the world.  Given that the month begins with a national holiday – Labor Day – this is incredibly appropriate.

Part of being a good citizen is knowing and appreciating the rights of citizenship. Indeed, one of the great gifts of citizenship in the United States is the rights that such citizenship confers upon us.

(I know: I spent nearly twenty years living in a country that threw people in jail for no reason, kept them away from any contact with family and friends, and could take away anything you owned at any time and for no reason.)

But something that is not talked about as much is our responsibilities as citizens. In Scouts, more than anywhere else, we learn that being a good citizen is not only important, it is easier than we think and is deeply rewarding.

If you don’t believe me, ask a senior scout or the senior patrol leader. Each of these scouts have experienced many occasions when the service they give to their community and nation has changed their lives.

So enjoy this month – I would bet each of us is going to come out of this as better, happier citizens of the United States.

Camporee On the Beach!

Camporee is here! This annual event, where we get together with troops from all around the area, is all about fun, competition, skills, and awards.

We have two adults and five scouts set to go to Camporee April 20-22. This should be a great event, and we are all looking forward to a lot of fun at the clean and dry McGrath State Beach campground! This is the first time in as long as any of us can remember that the campout is being held on a beach, so this should be an event to remember.

All camporee participants must be at the prep meeting Thursday night at PCYC. There is lots to cover! Bring a jacket as we may be doing some prep outside by the pool.

Just in case your SPL forgets, make sure you have plenty of sunscreen and bug spray. You will be outdoors on the beach most of the day, and the weather looks really good. Also, the campground is next to a teeming coastal wetland, so bugs might be present.

Please let your SPL know of any dietary issues, and make sure the Scoutmaster (Mr. E) is aware of any and all medication requirements.

We have our fingers crossed for Jay to be called out for Order of the Arrow Saturday night, so make sure to give a big cheer for him when he stands up.

Mr. Wolf won’t be joining the troop (he has an emergency work trip to China on Friday morning), but he will be there with Mr. E, Mr. Smith, and the Scouts in spirit.

Have fun, and Go 234! Can do!

Please contact Mr. E or Mr. Wolf with any questions. Scouts, please reach out to Aaron.

Family Campout 2018

In Ventura County, we are spoiled by nature. Within an hour of our home base in Port Hueneme we have over a dozen outstanding places to camp. One of those great places is Point Mugu State Park.

Nestled up the wide – but, from PCH, nearly invisible – Sycamore Canyon is a well developed campground along Big Sycamore Creek. With the generous assistance of our campground hosts, we were able to secure two adjoining sites, allowing us plenty of room to spread out and to ensure that the scouts had their own patrol areas, and the adults and the families had an area for themselves.

After settling in late on Friday night we lit the campfire and enjoyed the sights, sounds, and hilarity of being in a public campground at night. There is nothing that makes a scout more proud than when other, often less experienced, campers come to our site asking for help, and the scouts are able to provide a service, teach a si

On Saturday we had a full day of activities led by the Senior Patrol Leader. A two hour hike up a moderate trail brought us to the ridgetop between Sycamore Canyon and the Giant Sand Dune along PCH. The view was incredible, a 360 degree panorama of mountains, beach, and sea.

One of our troop trademarks is that wherever we camp, we try to spend a few hours making the site better than we found it. Few campgrounds can keep up with all of the tasks that need doing to maintain them, much less improve them, and in the spirit of “doing a good turn daily” we like to be a part of improving the places we visit.

So after the hike and lunch, the scouts conducted a two-hour service project on behalf of the camp and at the direction of the camp hosts, clearing out concentrations of leaves and branches that had fallen from the canyon’s oak trees during the winter and that were beginning to block trails.

The scouts spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, playing ultimate frisbee, and practicing skills for advancement. A filling dinner and an incredible campfire ended the day.

After a good night’s sleep we had breakfast, struck camp, and shared our traditional closing with families. Scout achievements were recognized, and we started planning for our next activity.

For several of our families, this was their first time camping with Boy Scouts as we brought along two Webelos scouts from pack 3234.

Thomas Fire Recovery Service Project: Bird Habitat

In mid-December, scouts from Troop 234 and Webelos scouts from our affiliated Cub Scout pack, Pack 3234, engaged in a “Conservation Good Turn.” Under the guidance of local conservationists, scouts fanned out across the Upper Campus of the Ojai Valley School in the Upper Ojai Valley to construct feeding and watering stations for native birds whose habitat and feeding sources had been destroyed by the fire.

Even though the fire had moved west, smoke was still in the air. Scouts wore face masks and appropriate clothing, and helicopters and a hot-shot crew monitored the area to ensure safety.

The project the first in a series of restoration efforts aimed at helping the school recover from the Thomas Fire, which destroyed two of the school’s buildings and damaged a half-dozen others.

Sycamore Canyon: First Hike of the Year

On Saturday, Scouts from Troop 234, accompanied by Arrow of Light scouts from Pack 3234, began the year with a seven-mile hike up Sycamore Canyon in Point Mugu State Park. With a maximum elevation change of 120 feet, it was a comfortable way to start the year and include our incoming scouts as well. It also gave scout William Smith a opportunity to complete a key requirement for advancement.

(One of the unique aspects of Troop 234 is the way the entire troop will get behind each scout in their effort to advance and to capture the full scouting experience.)

The troop rarely takes part in outdoor activities in heavily-trafficked areas, but the location of the park – and the fact that many other trails in the region had been damaged or closed by the recent fire and flooding – meant that Sycamore Canyon was especially busy. The trail, used by hikers, mountain bikers, and runners alike, offered the troop a unique opportunity to learn and practice trail etiquette, how to properly share a trail with a range of other people.

The park is well-managed, the trail is patrolled by rangers on mountain bikes, and we agreed that the park would be an excellent site for a family campout at some point in the future. Point Mugu State Park is yet another example of the wealth of outdoor opportunities right in Troop 234’s own backyard.