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LJ Scout troop enjoys summer on land, sea

The Scouts of Troop 4 La Jolla had an adventurous summer and have still more exciting times ahead.

In July, the troop spent a week in the high Sierra at Camp Whitsett, a Boy Scout reserve nestled above the Kern River. Twenty-two Scouts and nine adults made the trip by bus, passing the hours on the road with movies and games.

When the Scouts got off and collected their gear, they found to their delight that the campsite assigned to them was right on a small creek with fresh running water. Of course, this became a favorite play and meeting spot for the boys during their free time.

Camp Whitsett is best known for its large lake, which is the center and heart of the camp. Here the Scouts swam and kayaked, while nearby there were other opportunities to sharpen skills or learn new ones, such as archery, a shotgun range, crafts, challenging hikes, cycling and even tomahawk-throwing. Altogether, the troop earned an astonishing 77 merit badges, while all the adult leaders completed their adult leader training.

One of the most interesting and unusual events of the week was the nightly appearance of flying beetles. Some of the insects were as large as half dollars and often flew directly into the Scouts, who found the experience weird and amazing. The boys and adults were also treated to the antics of “Mr. Bob,” the camp facilitator. Leader Jeff Chasan remembers that “he was the greeter every morning before breakfast and everyone really knew Mr. Bob by the end of camp.”

This month, the Scouts have the annual “Welcome Back” swim and barbecue at La Jolla Shores, and not long after that, a number of the boys will board the historic USS Midway for an overnighter on the huge floating museum.

Then, in October, the troop will be off on a tall ship cruise aboard the “Lyn” out of San Pedro/Long Beach, bound for a weekend voyage to Catalina and back, where they will learn the ancient skills of working the lines and gear aboard a sailing vessel.

The troop meets at La Jolla Presbyterian Church, 7715 Draper St., on Mondays, from 6:45 to 8 p.m. Contact Scoutmaster Serge Decorte at 452-1435 or Committee Chair Jim Rodisch at 488-7002 for details about the troop.

Mark Linsky is public relations coordinator for Troop 4.