What We are Doing

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.

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.

Thankful for our Neighbors

Troop 234 scouts spent the morning and mid-day of their Thanksgivings serving over 300 of our neighbors a hot Thanksgiving meal at Plaza Park in downtown Oxnard.

In cooperation with other groups in the community, the scouts contributed both their time and their resources to ensure that our most economically-challenged neighbors had an unforgettable meal. In addition to the service at the park, the scouts also brought food to a local assisted-living facility.

The experience was incredibly gratifying for all, and we look forward to participating again in 2018. Many thanks to Mrs. Michelle Morris, a steadfast supporter in the Troop 234 community, for making our participation in this event possible.