Search and Rescue Training Weekend

Written by Gordon Tran

Search and Rescue camp was a fun and first experience for all the scouts in Chi Lang Troop 279 and 1279. Our troop has never experienced anything like this in the past. It was a combination of the hearty feeling of camping and the rigorous training of a merit badge camp. Many of the things we learned were not only helpful to have on a search and rescue trip, but also great to have on any camping trip. By the end of the camp, we were exhausted, but glad to have experienced it.

The Search and Rescue camp was held at Schoepe Scout Reservation at Lost Valley, a beautiful campsite that had everything you want in a campsite. We had a chance to hike to many popular sights, including the shooting range, the Rope COPE Course, and the rocky cliff.  The campsites were extremely clean, spacious, and the perfect distance from the mess hall; it’s far enough to not hear anything from each of the places, and close enough to be walking distance. The cabins were warm, cozy, and more comfortable other camps.

The merit badge itself was fun and rigorous. We learned necessary things, such as first aid, orienteering, and teamwork; we had to learn how to function like a real search and rescue team. At the end, there was a surprise search and rescue mission: we had to rescue a staff member who was lost. We were split up to four teams, and we learned how to communicate with each other, including giving and taking orders from someone you didn’t know. We had to trust each other in order to be successful.  While there were many setbacks, we located the missing staff and the rescue team brought him to safety. 

The staff members at Schoepe Scout Reservation were phenomenal. They were passionate, enthusiastic, and very energetic. They always lightened the mood and made everything more fun. They also rewarded us with ice cream, which was a huge bonus. The cooking team was great too. Their pancake and bacon was the type of whole-hearted meal you needed to start the day.

Overall, we’re very fortunate as a troop to experience this amazing Search and Rescue camp from April 28-30. Between the energetic staff members, beautiful scenery, fulfilling meals, and excellent teaching, we all had an unforgettable time.



Boy Scouts Honor Veterans This Memorial Day

Scouts from the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America (OCBSA) will attend and serve in Memorial Day remembrance celebrations throughout Orange County this coming weekend. It is a tradition for Scouts all around the nation to honor and remember the men and women who lost their lives during their service to our country.  

Pack 316 from Del Mar and Troop 1134 from Pacifica will be joining together for service projects this weekend. On Saturday, May 27th at Pacific View Memorial in Newport Beach at 8am the group of Scouts will be planting flag on the gravesites of those who have passed away while serving in the country’s armed forces. On Monday, May 29th  at 7pm, Pack 316 and Troop 1134 will have a flag retirement ceremony at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa.  

A flag retirement is a very meaningful ceremony. Scouts and those attending will reflect on the significance of the flag as a great symbol of our freedom. The Boy Scout Handbook explains, “As the symbol of America, it stands for the past, present, and future of our country. It represents our people, our land, and our many ways of life.”  

These special moments uphold the traditions of America and commemorate the freedoms to the veterans. It will be a weekend they will never forget.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Recognizes Scouting in Orange County

The Department of California Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) announced Troop Leader Jim Clements, Boy Scout Troop 727 and Eagle Scout Tyler Barnhoorn the recipients of prestigious Scouting awards in California.

The VFW Scout Leader of the Year award for California is measured against his/her peers performing the role of Cub Master, Scoutmaster, Venture and Explorer Advisors, Sea Scout Skippers, and Girl Scout Leaders and is selected by the VFW Department of California. Crew Advisor Jim Clements’ vision was to provide a Scouting experience beyond Boy Scouts. He provided an opportunity for older Scouts to participate in a program that is tailored to their personal maturing needs. The cornerstones of a Venture Crew is adventure, leadership, personal growth and service. Clements exhibited these cornerstones as well as the Scout Oath and Law ideals in all aspects of his life.

Boy Scout Troop 727 was awarded the Outstanding Scout Unit of the Year for the state of California. Founded by Jim Clements in 2012, the Troop supports 35 very enthusiastic, goal-driven Scouts. Each submission is judged on having an established and evolving Scouting program as outlined by Boy Scouts of America. By living according to Scout Oath, these Scouts not only put the “outing” in Scouting, but they demonstrated duty to God and Country with many service projects.

Eagle Scout Tyler Barnhoorn of Boy Scout Troop 727 ranked 2nd as VFW’s Scout of the Year for the state of California. Barnhoorn has demonstrated leadership in many roles including Senior Patrol Leader and current President of Crew 727. Besides his Eagle Scout rank, Tyler has earned NOVA awards, the NOA camping award, High Adventure awards, Angler award, and 52 merit badges, many earned even after he attained his Eagle Scout Rank. The VFW Scout of the Year program is designed to recognize youth achievement and leadership, contribution to the youth of the community in development of lifetime core values of honor, integrity, courage and commitment as evident by Scouting leadership, recognition, and participation; and selfless service to the citizens of the community.