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Mount Diablo Car Camp - May 19-20, 2007

The scouts and parents drove up the sickeningly winding hill leading to our campsite. They arrived and set up camp. Afterwards the camping part of the outing to Mt. Diablo began.

One major event during their trip was a orienteering course set up by some of the boys. The scouts completed the course using compasses and a set of directions which had to be adjusted depending on each boys stride.

Soon after, the scouts were driven up to the peak of Mt. Diablo, and were almost blown off the mountain! After the sightseeing, the scouts hung around, and waited for dinner (Dutch oven pizza) to be served.

After dinner, the scouts topped off the night with a game of Zorch up the hill on which they had done the orienteering course earlier that day. Then they had a quiet Thorns and Roses, and then went to sleep among the raccoons which inhabited the area, much to the scouts’ annoyance.

In the morning, the boys did as they usually did, packing up and having breakfast, and then returned home, back down the curving road. --- David M.


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Sunol Backpack - April 12-14, 2007

The scouts hit the trail for the annual Sunol Spring Hike at about noon. They hiked for 2.5 miles, then stopped for lunch. Afterwards they hiked another 1.5 miles (up) to the campsite. The boys had no trouble setting up...until the bear bag. The weight (a rock) got caught in a Y-shaped branch, which took half an hour to fix. Afterwards, the scouts played Go Fish, and had dinner. The 7 scouts who showed up actually got food for 15, as half of the boys who signed up didn’t show.

In the morning 1 scout had to go home because of a cold he caught overnight. The scouts got on the trail and had lunch at the spot where the previous year’s hikers had eaten. Afterwards, the scouts hiked to Maggie’s Half Acre campground and set up camp. They then hiked up Mt. Rose. Returning to camp, the scouts cooked up lasagna (for 15) and listened to a Philmont story. Finally they went to bed, having hiked 6 miles in total that day.

Up early, they broke camp and hiked out to the cars. The only down side was the rain. But the scouts hiked the 10 miles down to the parking lot. The trip was a long, but satisfying 20 miles total. ---David M.


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Pinnacles National Monument - March 9-11, 2007

Unlike most trips, the scout’s arrivals in the campground were very random, due to different starting times. When they did arrive, the scouts set up their tents, went exploring, and sat around the fire.

In the morning, the scouts had breakfast and got ready for the hike. While they waited to leave, the scouts played extreme Frisbee. Finally, it was time to hike. The boys then piled into the cars and headed for the caves. The scouts did a 7-mile hike around the Pinnacles "rim", observing the natural features, taking pictures, and walking through the caves. Afterwards, the boys all met at the camp general store and got ice cream.

Later, back at camp, the scouts celebrated a birthday with a piñata. Soon after, the boys had a chili and cornbread dinner, followed by a game of Zorch. After Zorch, the boys celebrated the birthday again with cake, and then went to bed, amongst the howling of the coyotes.

When the scouts woke up, it became very busy breaking camp, packing up, having breakfast, doing the camp sweep, and loading the cars. But eventually, it was time to return to civilization, which all the scouts longed for.-- David M.


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Marin Headlands - February 10-11, 2007

On a cold and damp day in February, scouts from Troop 202 “braved”, if you define braved as played pool and poker in a warm hostel, the “dangers” of the yearly Marin Headlands Hostel trip. The boys first played a few rounds of 3 Flies Up in the hostel’s parking lot. They then put their things down and went to the nearby military battery, where they played Capture The Flag in the rain and wind. They were almost ice-skating!

Returning to the hostel, the scouts retreated to the game room, where they played pool and table tennis. After dinner (scout-made pizza), the boys went back to the game room, but also played a poker tournament till about 11 at night. When they woke up, the scouts changed their bed sheets and went to the eggs, sausage, bacon, and fruit breakfast some of the boys cooked up. The scouts then cleaned up, packed up, and went home, sadly missing the pool table. --David M.


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Tall Ship in SF - January 19-20, 2007

The trip began late, an unusual occurrence in Troop 202. The scouts met at the Montclair teacher's parking lot at 5:00pm. The scouts then took off toward the piers of San Francisco.

Once there, the scouts had to wait until all the paperwork was completed. The scouts enjoyed some talk, and shopping. 3 scouts became pirates for the trip. Finally, the gates were opened, and the scouts were lead to the ship. Next, the scouts were given bunks, which conveniently were located next to the coils of chains that held an anchor, so if something went wrong, like a pirate commandeering the ship, the scouts would be prepared.

The activities had the scouts split into 3 groups, Port Watch, Midship, and Starboard Watch. Each of these groups had to assemble a piece of something that they had no idea was going to be. It turned out to be a wooden "chair" that would hoist a scout to the top of the mast. With combined efforts and teamwork, the scouts hoisted up 4 scouts, the ones brave enough to let their life depend on something that the scouts themselves put together. The scouts that were hoisted describe the view: "I could see Alcatraz, as well as the lit hills of Oakland, and this big neon sign that said 'Ghiradelli'. It made me hungry, because I could smell the good food for sale on shore"

Over all, this outing was unique. It gave scouts the experience of what a sailors life was like 120 years ago. This is an outing that many scouts will be remembering for a long time.

-- Jose R.


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Hawk Ridge - December 9-10, 2006

On a cloudy morning on December 9th a few, dedicated members of the troop showed up at the Montclair Teachers Parking Lot. From there, we embarked on the most awesome trip of the year. Plenty of time and a large, muddy field. A few shaded picnic tables to eat at. And camping in the mud? Not when you have a big gazebo with a fire pit. We ate lunch, and played the game. The Romans had gladiators, but even they didn't have Mud Football. The details of said game are only to be divulged by the participants to other participants. Suffice to say that you wish you could have been there, and if you were there, you still would wish you were there. Certain members members who had been judged unfit for The Game, showed up afterwards with excuses such as the SAT, but really came to kowtow to the players, etc.

We lined our packs up along the inside edge of the gazebo, and hung up the dining fly to keep out the rain. We had spaghetti, meat, and more spaghetti. We played cards and hung out around the fire, trading stories and jokes. Finally, after the ritual ceremony of the Roses and the Thorns, we went to bed.

The next day, we packed up, swept out the gazebo, and had a quick breakfast (entailing pastries, apples, bananas, and breakfast bars) before leaving, ....until next year.

---- JT. S.


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Garin Regional Park - November 11-12, 2006

This trip began after the Scouts finished their rain-filled Scouting for Food collection and their viewing of the film, “Flags of Our Fathers”. A group of about 20 boys and parents showed up at our campsite in Garin Regional Park. After emptying the cars, camp was setup. The scouts then split into groups of talking, playing football, and listening to guitar. Later, after the sun went down, the boys struck up a game of Zorch, a mixture of flashlight tag and kick-the-can, resulting in cheers of victory, moans of failure, and lots of dizziness and grass stains from tumbling down the hill.

Soon after the euphoria of Zorch, a dinner of Dutch Oven shepherds pie and dessert of Oreos left everyone patting their stomachs and licking their fingers. But then, it was time to be serious. Mr. Kelly had brought pictures of his father during WWII, since the scouts had seen a movie about the Battle of Iwo Jima earlier that day, and talked about what his father had done during the war. After Mr. Kelly was done, the younger scouts went to bed, soon followed by the older boys.

In the morning, after a quick meal of oatmeal and breakfast pastries, the scouts broke camp, filled the cars, and went home. --David M.


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Yosemite - October 6-8, 2006

This outing began late afternoon on a Friday. The scouts were scattered all over Oakland, all heading toward the same place. They met up at the campsite in Yosemite National Park.

Setting up camp in the dark was a difficult task, but despite this obstacle, it was done. Afterwards, a warm campfire was built, since it was extremely cold. The troop rested that night for the day and hike that was to come.

The scouts began the next day with an early breakfast before departing on a day hike. The scouts were divided into 4 crews, each leaving at a different time. Each crew hiked the same trail, going up mountains, crossing streams, and viewing the waterfalls and streams along the trail. The hike lasted all day. The scouts then returned to the camp site to have dinner.

That evening the campsite meal was well done, the chiefs made a good job in preparing the feast of the wild: Dutch Oven Tortilla Cassarole. After some quality time at the campfire the scouts went to bed. In the morning, the scouts woke to dissasemble camp. Then the scouts said farewell to the great Yosemite wilderness and headed for home.

-- Jose R.


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Russian River Trip - September 22 - 24, 2006

On the 23rd of September, the troop assembled in front of their campground on the Russian River. We were all wearing swim trunks or shorts, hats or bandannas, and excessive amounts of sunscreen. Then we trooped down to the bank, picked up paddles, lifejackets, and canoes (we didn't actually pick those up), and separated or were separated into groups of two or three. One person would sit up front and provide the power, one in the back to steer, and one person (if there was a third), would sit in the middle and be dead weight until the person up front needed a break.

This was about 9:00 in the morning, and, with the exception of one break to regroup, we didn't stop until lunch, which was (due to a small food shortage) half sandwiches and apples. The half sandwiches were a piece of bread, condiments, one of two types of meat, and some cheese.

Pressing on, the going got tough, as water fights got tough, and dissatisfied scouts began tipping canoes-adult or innocent. From lunch, we took two breaks to regroup, and a couple individual ones to empty our canoes of water (post-tipping). At about 4:00, we pulled out, beaching our canoes, and were brought back to the campground via bus. Dinner was hamburgers, potato salad, and a vegetable platter. Unfortunately, I slept through dessert (woe is me). After the ritual ceremony of thorns and roses, we went to bed.

We were up bright and early the next morning (˜8:00), and packed up our gear and tents. The cars that had dropped us off showed up again, and we all went home, tired (I mean, 8:00 in the morning), but happy.

-- JT. S.


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