What We are Doing

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.

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.