Ahh, the island trip. It was my first time going to the Channel Islands with the troop, and I was excited. We traveled to Santa Rosa, one of the smaller, but main islands in the channel. After a long boat ride that eventually ended up with everything soggy from the sea spray, we were dropped off at a small dock and had to hike about a mile to get to our campsite. There were small wind shelters where everyone could put their stuff, and either small patrols shared one, or a larger patrol got their own. It was fairly windy on the island, but the views were beautiful. One of the scout leaders took a group on a 15 miler around the coast of the island, the hike was described as hot and buggy, but with spectacular views! One group was given the opportunity to go to the ocean. Lets just say this, it was COLD. Sunday morning, we packed up and got ready to head home. The boat ride was awesome, with plenty of rocking and splashing. I would say that the Santa Rosa trip was one of the greatest Troop 111 trips of the season. I can't wait for the next one!
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On the 20th of January, the patrols of Troop 111 embarked on their very first Patrol outing. They all went to different locations and participated in different activities, all within their patrols. The Mountain Men decided to go camping for a few nights at Leo Carrillo State beach. They worked on their cooking, cleaning and overall camping skills. The Scorpion patrol had a different incentive for the weekend, and ultimately decided to go golfing. They say it was a great time, even though the scores are unavailable. The Krakens went pier fishing, and Predators held a beach cleanup, located at Marin Park. Their focus was more community oriented. The Minotaurs were planning on camping at a USFS campground, until a mixture of obstacles, including snow, ice patches, and the email from the Forest Service about the government shutdown kept them from entering the wilderness. They made a quick call to a Ranger at Three Falls Scout Camp, and after an impromptu night in the corral, returned the favor by stacking firewood for the camp.
On Sunday, January 14, a crew of troop 111's High Adventure Candidates set off on a backpacking trip to find the small, secluded campground known as Pine Spring. Arriving at the trailhead at around 9:30 am, the group ventured into the wilderness. They followed the Grade Valley road for a few miles until finally arriving at camp. After having lunch and setting up camp, the scouts decided to do something with their free time. The main events for that evening were orienting maps, building fires, and also lounging is luxurious hammocks, but some Scouts decided to take advantage of the nearby leaders and got some sign offs. The night was clear and full of stars, with few clouds in sight. After a calm and rejuvenating nights sleep, the Scouts refiltered and refilled water bottles, then set off. In order to get some extra mileage, the crew followed the Piano Box Loop, adding an extra 2 miles. They arrived at the trailhead around 1:45 pm on Monday, then headed back home to Ventura.
On January 5th, a large portion of Troop 111 departed on the first Winter Camp of the season. This car camping trip was stationed in Camp Three Falls, a popular boy scout camp that many of the scouts had visitited before. The activities included skeet shooting (shotguns), hanging out in the fort, and an endless supply of board games and hot chocolate. There were other troops there, and some of Troop 111 participated in some high stakes Risk games.
Due to the recent attacks of the Thomas fire, several boys from Troop 111 helped clean up Mound school parking lot as well as several other areas. They swept dust, picked up leaves and sticks and disposed of them in trash bags, and overall, made the school look good as new. The reason we did this is because many students, including me, feel a clean school is normal, and without the help of Troop 111, Mound would leave those who were affected by the fire arriving at school constantly reminded of the Thomas Fire.
Also, Several groups of scouts took shifts at the Ventura Masonic Lodge and helped distribute clothes to fire victims. They folded and hung up clothes, sorted sizes and picked up trash.