Change of plans as Letts Lake is currently inaccessible due to storm damage! This Thomes Gorge trip was recommended by the Forest Service and appears to be an even better fit for our goals. This is an opportunity for all scouts to participate on a moderate level backpack trip (4 miles in, 4 miles out) in the Mendocino National Forest.
The focus of this trip will be on providing cooking opportunities for scouts including (1) those working on the Cooking Merit Badge and related backpacking cooking requirements, and (2) those needing other cooking and camping requirements. For those interested in fishing (and willing to carry the gear), there are fishing opportunities in Thomes Creek, our destination. Scouts will get an opportunity to experience back country camping (water filtration, backpacking stoves, etc.).
For those scouts new to backpacking, we would be glad to assist in ensuring that they have the minimum equipment needed to enjoy the trip. If a scout does not have a backpack, now is a good time to acquire one. The troop has some that can be borrowed, and high quality backpacks can be found on Craigslist. REI is the best place to find new backpacks. A good quality backpack is a prudent investment as an active scout will be using it nearly a dozen times a year for many years. Backpacking tents and stoves are provided by the troop. We recommend that participants have a lightweight and warm sleeping bag and pad for the trip.
Troop 111’s March outing is a camping trip to Salt Point State Park, March 17-19.
The park has some great hiking and stunning terrain and vistas amongst exotic sandstone features and bluffs. It’s right next to the Kruse Rhododendron State Reserve which might have beautiful rhododendron blooms by that point.
Down the road is Fort Ross State Historic Park which will give scouts a chance to take care of a Citizenship in the Nation requirement if we visit there.
Further south as we return home on Sunday is Jenner and the prospect of renting kayaks and spending some time paddling the Russian River. Also in the vicinity is Armstrong Redwoods State Park in Guernville, which is also beautiful.
[A “Scoutmaster’s Minute” is a short talk given at the end of a troop meeting. In a boy-led troop, it is the only time the scoutmaster addresses the troop as a whole.]
Tonight, I’d like to talk about inspiration. The word “inspiration” literally means “breathing in,” and it comes from the idea that a divine spirit enters you and motivates you to do something, especially something creative. People sometimes talk about being “inspired” to create things like books, songs, paintings, or inventions.
Sometimes, too, people make the mistake of thinking that inspiration is all it takes to achieve success; that all it takes to be successful is to have a good idea. But, as Thomas Edison once said, “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration.” What he meant was that even the best idea in the world won’t amount to much without work. It takes effort to make an idea reality.
But I would go even one step further than Edison, and say that the work itself—the perspiration—is where the inspiration comes from in the first place. The artist Pablo Picasso once said that “inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” He didn’t get ideas for painting by sitting around in cafes; instead, he rolled up his sleeves and painted. Sometimes what he painted wasn’t great, but sometimes it was. And when it was, he built on those ideas and used them as his inspiration.
This lesson applies to a lot of things. If you want to create something of lasting value, don’t sit around waiting to be inspired. As another artist, Chuck Close, put it, ”Inspiration is for amateurs—the rest of us just show up and get to work.“
Troop 111 has a full agenda of camping trips this fall.
First, in September, a backpacking trip up/down to Long Lake in the Soda Springs area. There, the troop will hike 10-miles around Devil’s Peak. It will be a great trip to pick up one of your required hikes for the hiking merit badge.
In October, we will be returning to Bothe-Napa Valley State Park for a car camping trip, leaving on a Friday afternoon. On Saturday, we will head over to Robert Louis Stevenson State Park and do a 10-mile round trip hike up Mt. St. Helena. Sunday, we will visit the Bale Grist Mill before heading home.
November completes our fall outings with a three-day trip to Pinnacles National Park. Pinnacles has a number of hiking trails as well as the Talus Caves. This is a frontcountry camping trip, with access to our vehicles and park facilities.
Every year, Troop 111 celebrates the end of the school year by spending some quality time in the outdoors. This year, we’re going to Lava Beds National Monument on Friday, June 10, and we’ll camp for three nights. While we’re there, we’ll explore the extensive (and very awesome) caves that criss-cross the whole area, and we’ll take a day trip up to Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. We will return to Davis on Monday, June 13.
Troop 111 is going on an overnight backpacking trip to Mount Tamalpais in May. This is a practice run for those scouts attending Philmont this Summer who have not backpacked before, but all scouts are welcome.
When: May 21-22
Where: Mount Tamalpais State Park
Troop 111 is returning to Big Basin this spring on March 12th. We will be driving down early Saturday morning and taking an afternoon hike through the redwoods. The next day, the troop will head out on a nature and wildlife viewing boat trip through the Elkhorn Slough.
When: March 12th – 13th
Where: Big Basin State Park
As Troop 111 has done for the last few years, our Winter Trilogy of cold weather camping trips starts this December with an overnight snowshoeing trip to Donner Summit. Then, in January the annual Klondike Derby will be held at the North Tahoe Regional Park with competitive events, sledge races and snowshoe races. Finally, in February, we will head out to Carson Pass for some backcountry camping before driving over to the Grover Hot Springs for another night of camping.
- Snowshoeing: December 19-20, 2015
- 2016 Klondike Derby: Jan 22-24, 2016
- Carson Pass Camping/Snowshoeing: February 2016 (dates TBD)
Troop 111 has a 2 night backpacking trip to Point Reyes planned for November 21, 22 and 23. This is the weekend before Thanksgiving. The plan is to leave early Saturday morning and return Monday afternoon.
This will be a great opportunity for new scouts to learn some backpacking skills, as well as perhaps work on some rank advancement requirements. The Point Reyes area has some great trails and is a pretty neat spot to backpack. Overall the level of difficulty will be easy to moderate. We will be carrying everything we need with us and will be camping out for 2 nights.
We’re going to Philmont Scout Ranch in 2016! Philmont is a national high adventure base focused on hiking and camping, and we were fortunate to get two crews approved for a 12-day trek leaving July 30, 2016.