2013 Family Camp Trip Report

May 25/26/27, 2013

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Troop 606 Family Camp 2013

This year, family camp almost didn’t happen…….

Once again, we were lucky enough to win the Point Mugu Group campsite, but as we were eagerly planning the annual campout, the Camarillo Springs Fire in early May charred all the vegetation in and around our prime camping spot.  Where do you find an available group campsite that can accommodate 50 people in less than 3 weeks, especially when it is for the premier camping weekend, a holiday no less?  Our charter organization, UUMC, came to the rescue and invited us to join them at their annual retreat, Ortega Oaks near Lake Elsinore.

Our troop had 13 families (45 people) attend family camp on Memorial Day weekend.  Families began arriving on Friday afternoon.  Exploration of the area began and tents were set up, with caution to avoid the poison oak patch in the shaded areas.  Each family had planned their own dinners, but they gathered around the fire for some good conversation and evening snacks.  The stars were bright and the full moon shined through the trees like a huge lightbulb.  Some time during the night, some coyotes even sounded off. 

One advantage of the campground’s close proximity to Irvine was that families were able to come and go at their convenience.  Saturday was simply a relaxing day.  Scouts enjoyed some of the amenities that Ortega Oaks offered.  They played basketball on the mini court.  They used their ingenuity to make 50 cents last for 2 hours of billiards play.  They ventured to the famous Candy Store for treats.  Dinnertime was the first of our group meals.  We enjoyed Hobo Stew and many yummy side dishes provided by the families. 

On Sunday morning, we had a sumptuous breakfast of blueberry and chocolate chip pancakes, veggie hash and bacon. We even pulled out the Dutch oven to prepare a special egg/bacon/potato casserole!  With tummies full, the group decided to take a hike.

A few steps away from the campground entrance, we found the trailhead for the Bear Canyon Loop Trail.  We proceeded to trek 1.5 miles up.  At this point, a few decided to return to the campground.  The more adventurous continued another 2 miles to “Four Corners”.  Along the way, we met up with “Brian and Ashley”, internet bloggers for Southern California hiking trails.   They were being sponsored by GrapeNuts and passing out sample boxes.  What perfect timing for our already hungry scouts and scouters, most of whom had forgotten to pack trail snacks!  With our group of 17, we certainly lightened their load.  Of course, our curious scouts just had to read the ingredients and note that there are no grapes and no nuts in GrapeNuts!  After “Four Corners”, we circled further around the Loop Trail and returned back along the same path we had started on.  In all, everyone hiked 6.8 miles, which included a 1000 ft elevation gain. 

Upon returning to the campsite, we were greeted with delicious sandwiches for a late lunch.  Afternoon activities included swimming, games of cards, chess, and more billiards.  Adults socialized and compared ailments from the day’s hike : )

Family camp is also all about good food.  The last group meal was a treat….authentic street tacos complete with warmed tortillas and all the fixins!  There were plenty of salads and desserts….pies and a special Dutch oven Cherry/Pineapple Dump Cake!  Following tradition, roasting marshmallows for s’mores and sipping some hot cocoa or tea topped off the final evening. 

The following scouts and their families attended.

Naman B                                                                     Caedon N       
James D                                                                      Kade N                                   
Hari G                                                                         Guillermo M                                      
Tim I                                                                           Santiago M                                                     
Russell L                                                                     Jeremy R
Andy L                                                                       Justin R
Davy L                                                                        Brendan S
Donald N                                                                    Jordan S
Brandon N