Troop 15 30-miler late summer
On the first day of the campout, Troop 15 scouts Lach D, Tucker A, and Reed D. gathered for a three day hike in the Alpine Lakes region of the Cascade Mountain, near Snoqualmie Pass. With Valiant Troop Master Dave A., Intellectual Brad D, and Fantastic Outing Planner Wright D., we set off from the Ira Spring Trail, up a steep, winding slope, eventually reaching a flatter part of the trail, near Mason Lake. From there, we forged on until we reached the lake, where we had delicious hand crafted lunch. After lunch, we went another mile or so, then dropped our packs and set up a bear bag with our food. We did this to lighten our load for the monstrous climb up to Defiance Peak, to which we aimed to carry not much more than a water bottle. After our preparation was complete, we hiked (sometimes clambered) up the steep trail for 1,400’, to the peak altitude of 4,960’. We stopped at the summit for a few minutes to catch our breath and take some photos, before quickly heading carefully downward, back to our gear. From there we had a mostly uneventful and flat journey to the campsite at Island Lake.
We got a quick start on the second day, well prepared for the long day ahead. The morning was a long, steady downhill trawl, until we were within a mile of lunch. At that point the trail steepened at a large, hot, exposed rock face, then eventually flattened out into a swampy marshland. Lunch comprised cheese, crackers, salami, and a dip in Pratt Lake. After lunch, everything was going as expected, until we neared Lake Malakwa. The Malakwa name comes from the Chinook Jargon word for mosquito. Once we got near enough, we saw ahead of us a massive climb. Turns out the price for the nice downhills of the morning would have to be paid! We climbed for a long time, before eventually reaching the campsite, everybody tired to the bone. Once we set up camp and had some time to relax though, everyone was feeling good enough to take a swim in the freezing water.
The third day was much easier than the first and second. We packed up leisurely, then made our way down the steep descent of the Denny Creek Trail, cashing in for our hardships the day previous. After five miles of watching the pain of the hikers going the other direction, we reached the trailhead and made our way home.
Overall the overnight was good for scouts going on their third or fourth outing. It had its difficulties including climbing Mt. Defiance, but was a good training for more difficult hikes like the 30-Miler. An easier day hiking route could be taken by going up the Denny Creek Trail to Snowshoe Falls.
Troop 15 Snow Camping 2019
By Reed D.
On March 9th and 10th, 2019, we went snow camping at Snoqualmie Pass. While we were there, we cooked food, built igloos, and learned essential skills not only for snow camping, but for camping and hiking in general.
Once we were there, we unloaded our stuff and hauled it up to the campsite. Once at the campsite, we spent most of the day building our igloos to sleep in. The building process includes a few roles; block cutting, block placing, digging, and packing.
Block cutting includes using an aluminum saw to cut blocks out of the packed snow. Block placing entails placing the cut blocks onto the igloo. Digging requires digging the entrance and heat trap, and shoveling away debris. Finally, packing entails using powder and debris to fill cracks in the blocks and stabilize them.
One of the most important features of an igloo or snow cave is the heat trap. By digging the entrance below the interior platform, you can ensure that it is incredibly difficult for heat to escape, while not cutting off ventilation. This can keep the interior temperature at up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Overall, we built four snow caves, one cooking area, and pitched one tent. Eight scouts and six parents attended. Here is an online gallery of photos from the weekend
Troop 15 goes to Monte Cristo
By Reed D.
On October 6-7, 2018, a group of ten scouts and ten chaperones visited Monte Cristo. Monte Cristo is the site of an old Snohomish county mining town, in which there are many relics and ghost town remnants of the society that lived there ~100 years ago.
The group hiked four miles from the trailhead to the campsite. The water at Monte Cristo has been repeatedly proven to be contaminated with unfilterable toxins, such as arsenic and heavy metals. Due to this deeming, the scouts carried all the water they would use over the weekend, ~3 Liters each, for general drinking, dinner, and breakfast.
Once at the campsite, the scouts had to improvise when pitching tents because the ground was difficult to stake into, and the stakes would often slide out of the gravelly earth. Many used large rocks to hold the stakes in the ground. On Saturday the 6th, the scouts headed to the historic site after setting up camp. The historic site of Monte Cristo was about half a mile away, and we took a second trip to the site the next morning. There are maintained and abandoned buildings, the remnants of the concentrator, and a still functioning train car turn-around.
The trip was in total about nine miles, the weather cooperated for a cool and comfortable overnight, and the scouts and chaperones enjoyed a weekend overnight.
Troop 15 First Meeting of the Year
September 10, 2018 at 7PM at Epiphany Church in the Great Hall
Don’t miss the first meeting of the year! New and old Scouts, Parents and adult leaders are welcome to attend this first meeting. We’ll cover reports from various adventures and activities of the troop over the Summer, including a climb of Mount St Helens, Scouts at Camp Parsons and Camp Pigott, and a challenge hike on the southern Washington portion on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Troop 15 First Meeting of the Year
September 12, 2016 at 7PM at Epiphany Church in the Great Hall
Don’t miss the first meeting of the year! New and old Scouts, Parents and adult leaders will enjoy a slide show presentation of photos of the various adventures and activities of the troop over the Summer, including our participation at Camp Pigott, two crews at Northern Tier High Adventure Base, and 2 crews completing a 50-Miler on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Troop 15 Holds Winter Court of Honor
By Chris Schroeppel, Troop 15 Historian
On January 25th, Troop 15 held its half yearly Court of Honor to recognize the scouts for all their accomplishments in the last 6 months.
Six scouts advanced a rank including Alexander Knox receiving both Scout and Tenderfoot, Mark Brem achieving Second Class, George Lavigne and Henry Thomas advancing to First Class, and Winston Roberts and Chris Schroeppel receiving Life Scout rank. It was also announced that Richard Hill had completed his Eagle Scout, which he will be awarded in a special Eagle Scout ceremony later this year.
The majority of the awards were Merit Badges, and there were a lot of those! Altogether, the scouts in Troop 15 completed an amazing total of 138 Merit Badges since our last Court of Honor, back in June of 2015. And all those Merit Badges earned were in 31 different areas, including: Archery, Art, Basketry, Camping, Chess, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the World, Communication, Cooking, Dentistry, Dog Care, Electricity, Electronics, Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Science, Family Life, Fingerprinting, First Aid, Fish & Wildlife Management, Kayaking, Leatherwork, Motorboating, Personal Fitness, Personal Management, Radio, Railroading, Soil & Water Conservation, Sustainability, Swimming, Weather, and Wood Carving.
Congratulations to all of the Scouts for all their hard work and accomplishments! Special kudos to Richard Hill for achieving Eagle Scout – there are also a few other scouts in the troop who are right on the verge of completing their Eagle Scout requirements also, so we should expect to see more Eagle Scout award ceremonies in the next few months.
Great job everyone!
Troop 15 Completes Another Eagle Scout Service Project
by Christopher Schroeppel, Troop 15 Historian
On December 5th, Troop 15 scouts turned out in force for the troop’s fifth big service project of 2015. Other projects done by the troop in 2015 have included the Eagle Scout projects of Jack Sbragia at Woodland Park and Ollie Anderson at Colman Park, the troop’s yearly thank you project for Epiphany Parish, and Owen Fitzgerald’s sock and toy drives for families in need.
This time, the project was Eliot Roberts’ Eagle Scout project. The troop’s task was to restore one of the long pathways in Jefferson Park on Beacon Hill. Despite some truly awful weather, lots of scouts showed up on Saturday morning to help Eliot get his project done – including Eliot, his brother Winston Roberts, Richard Hill, Sam David, Ollie Anderson, Waverly Kenny, Jamie Cockburn, Chris Schroeppel, Matthew Hopkins, George Lavigne, Garret and Clyde Van Nimwegen, Austin Thompson, and Alexander Knox, along with dads Jonathon Roberts, Paul Roberts, Matt Cockburn, Brian Knox, Steven Schroeppel, and Scoutmaster Joe Kenny.
First, the overgrown pathway had to be cleared of the grass and weeds growing over it from both sides. So the troop cut and cleared away all of the growth on both sides, so that the pathway could be restored to its proper width. The rest of the project involved putting a new thick layer of gravel along the entire pathway to make a good, safe surface for people walking and jogging along the track in the park. The scouts and dads loaded gravel from big piles into many, many wheelbarrow loads, and distributed it all along the pathway. Then rakes were used to spread the gravel evenly, and it was manually tamped down so it would stay in place. In all, the troop spread 15 cubic yards of gravel along the 400+ feet of pathway. The troop did a fantastic job, and the end result was another great project done for the community.
Great job, everybody, and congratulations to Eliot for getting his Eagle project done!
Troop 15 Participates in Youth Leadership Training
by Christopher Schroeppel, Troop 15 Historian
On November 14, several Scouts from Troop 15 participated in an interesting workshop on youth leadership training. Originally, this event was supposed to include an overnight campout, but the weather was so stormy that weekend, that the property along the Snoqualmie River near North Bend where it was supposed to be held, was basically flooded. So, no camping that weekend!
So the event was moved to a hall at the Seattle Buddhist Church where Troop 252, the organizers and hosts for the workshop, have their scout meetings. The scouts who attended included Garret Van Nimwegen, Aidan Hayre, Mark Brem, Blake Piggott, Austin Thompson, George Lavigne, Jack Crisera, Waverly Kenny, Winston and Elliott Roberts, along with dads Tom Lavigne, Jonathon Roberts, and Derrik Van Nimwegen. The workshop also included scouts from two other troops.
This workshop was being held as a part of the National Youth Leadership Training program, which has the goal of developing and improving the leadership skills of scouts so they can learn how to run better scouting programs, and also just learn how to become good leaders in general. The program focuses on skills such as good communication, team building, achieving goals as a group, and teaching using the EDGE system.
Activities at the workshop started with some general classroom instructions and watching a video interview about leadership. Then all the 30 or so scouts who attended were broken into “patrols” for the day, to work on different sorts of leadership training activities. One activity involved setting up a tent, but it wasn’t all that simple — everyone participating was blindfolded first, except for two scouts in each patrol. The un-blindfolded boys had to lead and give verbal instructions to the others on how to set up the tent, where to put which objects, and so on. The fastest patrol took under ten minutes to build and finish their tent!
Towards the end of the workshop, the scouts watched an interview of a man who went on a trip to Mount Everest. While he was there, an earthquake hit. He explained all about how he stayed there during and after the earthquake, and how he had the opportunity to help others.
This was a fun and interesting day for the scouts, which included a lot of really good training and learning about important skills for scouting and life in general.
Troop 15 Goes to Summer Camp
by Christopher Schroeppel, Troop 15 Historian
If you ask any Scout what is the best part of summer, he will probably say “BSA summer camp!” And it’s easy to understand why — Scout camp is awesome!
This past summer, Troop 15 went to summer camp again, as it does pretty much every summer. This time, the troop went to Camp Parsons from August 9th to August 15th. The Scouts who attended included Luca Porcarelli, Blake Pigott, Aidan Hayre, Gus Ashcraft, Alex Knox, Mark Brem, Garret Van Nimwegen, Clyde Van Nimwegen, Matthew Hopkins, Rhys Fiebig, Van Senseney, Sean Johnson, and George Lavigne, along with dads Tom Pigott, Derek Van Nimwegen, Brian Knox, and Craig Fiebig. (Christopher Schroeppel (that’s me!) and Walter Topel had schedule conflicts that week, so we couldn’t be at camp with the Troop – but we got to go to Camp Parsons anyway, just earlier in the summer.)
During their week at Camp Parsons, the Troop 15 scouts earned 68 merit badges, along with 20 partials. The Troop was also one of the nine troops at camp (out of 24 troops total) to earn the Honor Troop award. That is a huge amount of accomplishments for just one week of camp – way to go, guys!
There are so many awesome things to do at Camp Parsons – actually, there are WAY more activities than anyone can possibly do in just one week! Along with all of the merit badges that can be earned (over 45!), you can do archery, play dodgeball on water rafts, swamp canoes, go through an obstacle course, make many crafts, scale the climbing wall, climb the climbing tower, shoot rifles, go swimming or canoeing or rowing or sailing. Plus, there were also interesting campfire programs with songs and funny skits, and the hullabaloo competition on the last day of camp, and the beach party, and the polar bear swim.
Troop 15 also made a stew for dinner on troop cookout night, which involved running around the campsite and discussing what ingredients to use that everyone happily ate and enjoyed. The troop also had a big service project to do that included cleaning the entire roof (in which ladder safety came in) and rebuilding a cabin, which everyone thought was a cool activity to do.
Camp Parsons is one of the oldest Scout camps in the entire country, opening way back in 1919, in fact it’s the oldest west of the Mississippi, and it’s easy to see why scouts have been going there for so many years!
Do you have news to share with Troop 15?
If you have news that you would like to share with the rest of the troop, please contact the news desk.