Monthly Archives: May 2014

Memorial Day Flag Placement

Flag placement header

Established in 1882, Fort Rosecrans is a federal military cemetery on Point Loma, a peninsula with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean on one side and San Diego Bay on the other.  Recently closed to new internments, which are now directed to Miramar Cemetery, the earliest burials at Fort Rosecrans date to the mid 1800’s.  The Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, local Boy Scout, Girl Scout and Cub Scout troops converge early in the morning to help place flags on all of the graves.  After an opening ceremony, the children and parents fan out across the cemetery, flags in hand, placing one before each stone and at the base of each row of the columbaria.  There are 101,ooo graves at the cemetery, of fallen troops, veterans of the armed forces, and their spouses and dependent children.

San Diego has a long history with the military, and many of our friends and neighbors are active members or veterans.  Military families give a great deal to our country, and it is an honor to give back when we can.

Our Morning at Fort Rosecrans

Double click on the ph0tos f0r a closer look.

Mr. F. always arrives extra early and hands out water, coffee, pastries to the scouts and parents in Troop 985 from the back of his truck. After a bit, we head up the road to gather for the opening ceremony.

Mr. F. always arrives extra early and hands out water, coffee, pastries to the scouts and parents of Troop 985 from the back of his truck.  After a bit, we join the crowd heading up the road, as we all gather for the opening ceremony.

The flag is raised, and a few speakers talk to the scouts about their purpose today.

The flag is raised, and a few speakers talk to the scouts about their purpose today.

The scouts a parents gather bunches of flags from bins.

We gather bunches of flags from bins, in preparation for placing them at the graves.

Putting flags near stones.

Putting flags near stones.

It is a day for sharing the past with the next generation.  Mrs. M. takes a photo for man near his father's columbarium.

It is a day for sharing the past with the next generation. Mrs. M. takes a photo for man near his father’s columbarium.

Eagle Scout Scotty at his grandfather's grave.

Eagle Scout Scotty at his grandparent’s grave.

Sam always likes to find our former neighbor, Helen Mackersie, who was a WAVE during WWII, to place her flag.

Sam always likes to find the grave of our former neighbor, Helen Mackersie, who was a WAVE during WWII, to place her flag.

Honoring our military families.

A morning well spent.

I am always proud of our boys, who take this honor very seriously.

I am always proud of our boys, who take this honor very seriously.

Some of our older scouts, flags in hand.

Older scouts, flags in hand.

Some of the members of Troop 985, at Fort Rosecrans for flag placement.

Some of the members of Troop 985 who participated in flag placement at Fort Rosecrans.

 

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Advancement Camp at Mount Palomar

Advancement.header

Most people have heard about Eagle Scout, but there 7 Boy Scout ranks in total, starting at Scout.  The ranks before Star Scout have a lot of requirements, in topics like cooking and nutrition, safely sharpening and using axes and knives, lashing things together with all sorts of knots, and learning about citizenship.  Sam’s Boy Scout troop puts together a camp out every spring where the boys can focus on fulfilling requirements for different ranks.  During Advancement Camp the newer scouts (anyone below 1st class) work on rank requirements, while the more experienced scouts teach them the skills.

Our troop had a great turn out for this year’s camp, it might have had something to do with it being held at the group campsites on beautiful Mt. Palomar!  51 people attended in total: 36 Scouts and 15 adults.  The scouts were able to rotate through several stations set up to teach outdoor skills, as well as an ax yard complete with two man logging saws.

When we arrived at the campground, we unloaded our gear and set up our tents.  The troop had all 3 group sites at Palomar, so the boys set up in the lower 2, and the adults in the upper site.  Tony brought one of the loves of his life, his big green tent.  Lori and I set up our little tents in its sublime shadow, so we could bask in its reflected glory.

Adult tents

Sam and J.D opted for something smaller, down in the scout area.

Sam + JD.tent

We raised the flag…

Flag raising

Then after lunch the troop started in on a super busy day.  One group of boys went off on a nature hike, with the goal of identifying 10 plants and finding evidence of 10 animals.  We hiked the beautiful Doane Creek nature trail.

Nature hike.1

We crossed the creek, and saw flowers, trees, and animal burrows, tracks, and trails.

Nature Hike

This tree was like a woodpecker hotel, they kept flying on and off of the top.

Woodpecker tree

I love bark.  The bottom left is actually an incense cedar from camp.  The woodpeckers peck holes looking for insects, and then the squirrels shove acorns and other nuts into the holes to store them.  There were acorns up the entire length of 50 to 60 foot tall trees.

Big tree's bark

Meanwhile back at camp, the boys worked on outdoor skills…

First aid

Lashing

Ax yard

Orientieering.1

Card playingWhile we were at camp, I made a sighting of a creature that is rarely seen at such high elevations, usually its range is confined to the suburbs of San Diego.  But I managed to document it.

A Yvette

After a hard day’s work, it was time to cook some dinner.  The scouts got a chance to work on patrol cooking requirements.

Scouts cooking

Lori and I were in charge of the adult food, planning 3 meals for 15.  We had lots of help when it came to the cooking, which was much appreciated.

Adult cooking

For the finale, Lori and I prepared a very special pineapple upside down cake cooked in a dutch oven.  We had left over bacon from breakfast, so we cooked it up, diced the bacon, and then Lori made a caramel with the left over bacon grease, brown sugar, butter, and cream.  We lined the bottom of the pan with the caramel and pineapple, putting extra bacon bits put into the pineapple rings instead of cherries.  We called it…

Pinapple cake

In the figure above Lori is making the bacon caramel (A), Mr. W. is preparing the dutch ovens (B), the right side up cake baked to perfection (C), the inverted, slightly disheveled, but still delicious cake ready to be eaten (D).  Which it was, down to the last bacon bit.

We made a dutch oven dessert because Dr. J. challenged the scout and parent patrols to a contest.  There was a chocolate lava cake, another pineapple upside down cake, and our inventive confection vying to be the champion dutch oven dessert.  Justin, who made his pineapple upside down cake with Sprite, “won” the contest, which was “judged” by Dr. J.  And his cake deserved to win over ours.  Totally.  Here is a photo of the winner with his proud dad.

Buck+Justin

JK.  Actually his cake was marvelous.  He graciously gave me a piece, which I devoured.  I am just trying to generate a little excitement and controversy for my blog, to get more people to follow it.  Along the lines of “Housewives of Tierrasanta Boy Scout Troops – Camping Edition.”  I’ve been doing my blog for almost two years, and I have 39 highly intelligent and discriminating followers, who became my followers by clicking the “Follow this Blog” button to the right up near the top of this post.

It looks like this.

Follow blogAnyway, I thought if I spiced things up a bit by getting into a cat fight with Justin over whose pineapple upside down cake was better, I might boost my ratings.  But I have seen the error of my ways.  Also, his dad is a really big guy.  So, IMHO, Justin, and his cake, and his little brother, and his whole family are all just peachy.  Or pineappley.

Anyway…

After lots of good food we had a lovely campfire with skits, songs, and the retirement of two American flags (after they become worn they are burned).

Campfire

US flag retirement

Then we tromped out to the meadow to stargaze and look for satellites with Mr. H.  When we returned the more energetic among us sat around the fire, I went straight to bed.

Sitting around campfire

In the morning we broke camp and headed home.  I sent Sam (see the grimy feet below) straight to the showers.  He did a great job at camp, and is almost finished with his first class requirements.  We had perfect weather and perfect company for a very successful advancement camp in Troop 985.

Sam's feet

 

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