Category: High Adventure
BSA Troop 486 Eagle Scout Candidate Tyler R. Martin is spearheading, planning, organizing and leading the effort to revitalize a community youth sports icon in the City of Glendora.
Centered in the City of Glendora sits Lobb Field at Finkbiner Park; a place many youth come to play sports and enjoy the park surroundings. Lobb Field was dedicated May 2nd, 1971 by the people of Glendora in memory of John F. Lobb. Since its dedication, Lobb Field has given happiness to many of the cities youth and adult residents, but time has taken its toll on the community icon and repairs are badly needed. Recognizing the state of disrepair Lobb Field is in, Tyler R. Martin has set out on an ambitious goal to give back to the community, and to bring back the visual aesthetics, safety and community pride Lobb Field deserves.
The project will focus on removing and replacing sagging and distorted chain-link fence, rotten deformed timber, and disintegrating rubber matting. Most of the funds and materials needed to complete this project have been secured through donations by generous sponsors, however an outstanding balance of $1,350 is required to purchase final materials. These funds MUST be obtained by June 24th, 2017 or the project will be cancelled.
Lobb Field at Finkbiner Park Backstop Renovation will occur in three (3) phases:
Phase 1:Replacement of Backstop Fencing/Installation of Backstop Supports
When: Saturday June 24th, 2017 from 7am – 4pm
Phase 2: Painting and Preparation of Lumber
When: Week of June 26th, 2017 from 10am – 3pm
Phase 3: Replacement of Lumber and Pad
When: Saturday July 15th, 2017 from 7am – 4pm
By now you are asking yourself “How can I help?”. A GoFundMe campaign has been established for direct financial contribution, and there are two (2) flyers that can be printed and passed around to family and friends you know who would be willing to contribute to Tyler’s success, and the continued safe use of a historical, center of the city icon.
Financial Contribution Flyer
Project Details Flyer
Lobb Field Dedication Plaque
Lobb Field Backstop
Strawberry Peak Day-hike (Saturday, March 5): The troop parked at Red Box and hiked up the trail to Strawberry Peak. Strawberry Peak has its name because it looks like an upside down strawberry. The last mile and a half seems straight up, as we climbed the ridge to Strawberry Peak. This definitely tested some of the Scouts on their hiking and boulder scrambling abilities as well as the parents.
We had a few of the younger scouts that were noticeably struggling with this hike. The older Scouts stepped up to encourage and take care of the younger scouts’ needs. This is what Scouting is all about. This was very impressive. Young Scouts are far more impressionable by the assistance of an older Scout than by an adult. It definitely showed on this hike.
The view on top of Strawberry Peak was incredible. One could see the front range of the San Gabriel Mountains to the south. To the west, you can see towards Ventura. The desert mountains and flat lands could be seen to the north, and the east shouldered Mt. Baldy peak in its snowy splendor.
We could also see Sunday’s storm coming in from the west and from the south. The clouds were split into a thick layer of clouds that pushed up against the front of the San Gabriel Mountains. The high layer of clouds left a sun halo the entire day. Every so often a wisp of a cloud would make it over one of the mountain passes and rush past us only to dissipate into the drier air. By the time we finished the hike, what little moisture was in the clouds started sprinkling on our vehicles on the home.
Chilao Base Camp (Saturday and Sunday, February 20-21): Chilao was named after Jose Gonzales, a notable bandido who killed a bear with some slick knife-work. The men were so impressed they called him “Chillia” hot stuff, and so the canyon got its name. The Chilao Base Camp consisted of a number of camp sites nestled in the Angeles National Forest near Highway 2. We got to the campsites early in the morning on Saturday. With the popularity of the site, it would be best to get there on Friday night. We lucked out with a couple of items that weekend:
1. On Friday, the air was damp and would have made for a cold early morning sleep on Saturday without tents. On Saturday evening, a light warm wind came up making for a dry, very comfortable night underneath the stars.
2. We lucked out with the campsites being near one another. That was just pure luck. Mr. Bowers and Mr. Washburn arrived on Friday night and tried to save campsites near one another. We will leave on Friday night from now on.
On Saturday, the Scouts day-hiked from Chilao Campground to Horse Flats. For those that ride horses, this would be a great spot to pack camp with your horse. For those of us with two legs, we continued to Mt. Hillyer. The trail is downhill through a narrow canyon and then starts climbing toward the peak of Mt. Hillyer. From Mt. Hillyer, one could see a fantastic view of the Angeles National Forest along with the devastation of the 2009 Station Fire. The Scouts also discovered the Poodle Dog Bush along the trail and near the campsites. Poodle Dog is one of the poisonous plants that appears after a fire and disappears around 10 years after a fire. We could also start to see the forest starting to recover from the fire in certain areas. Nature has an amazing healing force.
There were gigantic boulders along the trail where the Scouts and the older boys (adults) showed their bouldering abilities. Unfortunately, that downhill trail became an uphill trek on the way back to camp. Meanwhile, back at the camp, one of the patrols had me try their culinary work with tacos. It was pretty darn good. The patrols are definitely working hard on their culinary skills.
This past weekend 18 Scouts and 6 adults set out on a cold Friday night, making their way to the Mt. Lowe Trail Camp above Pasadena for a great weekend of backpacking. Nearly 3.5 miles into the moonlit wilderness they reached camp, the site of the old Alpine Tavern; the terminus of the Mt. Lowe Railway. Although the temperature was in the low 40’s the Scouts had no issues organizing their patrols and turning in for the night.
Morning brought with it one more adult who was unable to backpack in the night before. After a warm breakfast the Scouts ventured out for a 7 mile round trip day hike to Idlehour; along the way identifing local plants and animals. Making it back to camp with some extra time before dinner, some Scouts set about learning fire safety and demonstrating how to build a proper campfire. Although the clouds loomed overhead for most of the day, the rain never fell, and by nightfall the clouds disappeared and the temperature dropped. With the stars clearly visible the Scouts layered on the clothing and hunkered down for a long night in temperatures below freezing.
Sunday morning breakfast was a quick one, followed by a Scouts Own and some camp clean up. With backpacks on, the Scouts made their way back to the parking area, taking a 2.5 mile hike up and around the Mt. Lowe peak, all the while with their bellies rumbling and crying for In-N-Out; their meal of choice after a weekend of leadership, skills and friendship building.
Mr. Burnside will be holding the First Aid Merit Badge class on Tuesday, December 29 at 9:00am at his house (an email was sent with contact and address details). The class is free, will take about 6-7 hours to complete, and lunch will be provided.
If you would like to attend, you must CALL Mr. Burnside so he can speak to you (scout) directly. Additionally, you must bring the following with you to the class:
- A first aid kit that you (scout) assembles (think backpacking)
- Your scout book and pen
- Your water bottle
- A sweatshirt or jacket
- DO NOT BRING A MERIT BADGE WORKSHEET
Please come dressed in your Class B uniform and be ready to participate.
A merit badge counselor will be holding a Music Merit Badge class on Tuesday, January 12 at 6:30pm at the church before the regularly scheduled Troop meeting.
If you have already indicated your desire to attend, please print, read and complete the online music merit badge workbook (to the best of your abilities), and come to the class ready to participate.
What to bring
The Scouts will need their day packs with their 10+ essentials. 2 Nalgene bottles or a 3 liter water bladder are needed for the hike (There is no water along the trail). The Scout must also bring trail snacks and a lunch. There may be some poison oak along the trail so long pants are recommended. The weather looks like it will be sunny, so have your Scout bring a hat and sun screen. Hiking boots are a must for this hike.
When and Where
On Saturday morning at 6:00am we will be meeting at the West end of the parking lot at Grace Episcopal Church in Glendora. We will depart shortly after 6:00am and travel to Loma Alta Drive in Altadena. See below for additional directions.
The first half of the hike (up to Alpine Tavern (now Mt Lowe Camp) and Inspiration Point, follows the Sunset Ridge Fire road to the top):
We will start at the trailhead next to the parking lot and hike up to the Sunset Ridge Fire Road. We will then follow the Mt. Lowe railway above Echo Mountain and have lunch at the Alpine Tavern. These locations were the most popular in Southern California in the late 1800’s, before being destroyed by floods and fire. More than a dozen historical markers along the way tell the fascinating story of this railway. The hike includes stunning views, pine forests, deep canyons, and lots of hiking.
The return leg is a bit more convoluted, but quite fun. A quarter mile downhill from Inspiration point, we will take the Sam Merrill Trail to Echo Mountain and visit the ruins of the former Inn at this location. Next, we will head right on Echo Mountain Trail back to the Sunset Ridge Fire road. A hundred yards down the fire road on the right, we will take the unmarked trailhead for Sunset Ridge Trail, which parallels the fire road to get us back to the parking lot.
If you are a parent that will be joining us, or if you can help drive the Scouts to/from the hike, here are some directions to where we will park. From Loma Alta Drive in Altadena, turn north on Chaney Trail Drive and follow it to the ridge top junction. Sometimes the trail head parking is crowded. It may be easier to park in the parking area at the bottom of Millard Canyon. This will be to the left of the ridge top junction. If you will be parking your vehicle and joining us on the hike, you will need a $5 California Adventure Pass since you will be in the Angeles National Forest. An Adventure Pass can be purchased at any sporting goods retailer or US Forestry Office.
Troop 486 had an incredible trip to Death Valley on the weekend prior to Thanksgiving! A big thank you to all that attended as it was a great outing. The weather was phenomenal and the scenery was almost as breathtaking as the hiking. The Scouts climbed over 2500’ vertical height in less than 4 miles on the way to Wild Rose summit as they covered a total of 10 miles. The view on top included Mount Whitney (the highest point) and the Death Valley floor (the lowest point) in the continental United States. Luke, one of our newest Scouts really worked hard to complete the hike and left me with a desire to share some advice. First, I would offer this to Luke, you don’t have to stop every 100 feet and collect a rock to take home and show your parents. He must have weighed an extra 50 pounds but smiled the whole time. Good job Luke! Some of our High Adventure Scouts also slipped in a mountain bike ride of 25 miles which included a tough climb to Augerberry Peak and then a ride to the Wild Rose campground. Mr. Morrison donated some skin along the way and tested the bounds of friendship getting patched back up. I am happy to report he is doing great!
Our younger Scouts took advantage of the long outing and really got after the advancements on the Trail to First Class. Great job guys! As I am passing out compliments, I have to thank the Thompson’s and Mr. Martin for keeping the adults well fed. Overall, very good stuff!
The drive home was uneventful except for the meal break in Adelanto. A Scout who shall remain nameless, although Ralph would be appropriate, made a world record attempt on regurgitating his lunch! The sheer volume was very impressive and I am glad to report he is feeling much better, however, I may need therapy.
What I am most proud of is the growth that I saw in our newer Scouts. It was a pleasure to watch these boys step up and give it their all! The Scouts never cease to amaze me on how they take care of each other and how the older Scouts make the newer Scouts feel welcome and how they become friends. There is an incredible level of camaraderie and you can see many lifelong friendships developing. This is what makes our troop special.
I am pretty certain that almost every new Scout is a little intimidated as they walk in the door to their first meeting or head out to their first outing. I would venture a guess that most parents can see the apprehension in their son’s face. I would also confidently speculate that as your son marches down the trail to Eagle with Troop 486 that apprehension turns into anticipation as they look forward to challenges that lay ahead and spending time with their fellow Scouts. I know I do.
We are Troop 486!
Mr. Burnside will be holding the Fingerprinting Merit Badge class on Tuesday, December 8 at 6:15pm at the church before the regularly scheduled Troop meeting.
If you would like to attend, please read the online fingerprinting merit badge workbook (do not print and fill out), and come to the class ready to participate.
This past Sunday, Grace Episcopal Church, which is our chartering organization, held a special worship service for our troop. We have been blessed to call Grace our home for our entire sixty year history. It was open to all faiths, and helped all that attended to remember the last point of the Scout Law, which is not to say the least, that A Scout is Reverent. I know in the technology driven world that we live in it is easy to overlook faith, and many find this difficult to grasp, something that is intangible and not always easily defined. It is my belief that Reverend Scranton did a great job of reminding us that there is a higher power and something larger than man. On behalf of the entire troop I want to thank Reverend Scranton and the congregation for a wonderful celebration of faith, and for all the kindness and support the troop receives from Grace Episcopal Church.
A very bright and future Eagle Scout asked me several years ago what I thought was the most important word of the Scout Law. I was stymied by the question, and he eventually told me it was the word “Is”. Obviously the master became the student and I have taken this to heart. You can put on the uniform, you can walk the miles and climb the mountains, but ultimately you have to walk the real walk of integrity, demonstrate true compassion, humility and sacrifice which defines a real Scout on his way to becoming a man of substance. I am constantly impressed by the Scouts and their interactions with each other and the adults. There is a bond among these young men, and a willingness to have each other’s back that is forged in the challenges they face as a troop, a patrol and as an individual Scout in the incredible backyard that we call home. I believe there is a higher power that guides our Scouts and Scouters and a reverence for this power anchors the Scout Law. In closing, I ask that you take a moment and reflect on, A Scout is…
We are Troop 486!