Signups Monday For Jan 23-24 Backpack of Boy Scout Trail at Joshua Tree

Good Afternoon: This is the follow-up email with details of the upcoming Backpack Outing at Joshua Tree and 29 Palms. Please share this information with your Scout.

It is very, very important that any Scout or Adult Scouter who plans on going on subsequent 2010 Troop 54 Backpack Outings attend this Outing.  In addition, anyone who only went on one of the previous backpack outings to Valley Forge (2008), or Hoegees and Bridge to Nowhere (2009), and who are interested in qualifying for future High Adventure patches needs to go on this outing since some future patches require participation on two previous training backpack outings such as this one.

PROPOSED ACTIVITY TYPE:  8-mile backpack of Boy Scout Trail at Joshua Tree National Park and overnight camp at 29 Palms.  Here is a link describing the Boy Scout Trail: http://www.protrails.com/trail.php?trailID=156

Please note that this site describes a 16.4 mile round trip.....we will only be doing the one way hike between Keys Junction and Indian Cove Campground.

Here is a link to Joshua Tree National Park that will provide you with other background info: http://www.nps.gov/jotr/index.htm

DATE:  Saturday and Sunday, January 23-24, 2010

WHY THIS ACTIVITY IS BEING PLANNED:  This outing will continue training Scouts to prepare for planned 15-mile round trip (7-8 miles per day) overnight backpack outings later this year.  Because of uncertainty over access to Little Jimmy and other hikes in Angeles Forest due to the Station Fire, we are shifting our shakedown backpack hikes to the desert before it heats up in late April and May.  The other positive is that we will get to see the wildflowers bloom in the desert.

WHO CAN ATTEND: Any Scout or Adult Scouter who has gone on a previous backpack outing of at least 5 miles or completed a 10 mile day hike.  Others should talk to Mr. Jenkins about their experience and desire.

ASSISTANT ADULT TOUR LEADER NEEDED:  As I mentioned in the previous email, I will be relocating to Sacramento.  I plan on leading and participating in this Outing but will need to coordinate with an Adult who can handle the local logistics at the Troop meetings and coordinate with the preparations for the Desert Wilderness Camp.  Please let me know if you are interested in working with me on this.  This will be a great learning opportunity.

COORDINATION WITH DESERT WILDERNESS CAMP OUTING:  Mr. Taylor and Mr. Born will begin signups on Monday for the Desert Camping outing at 29 Palms scheduled for January 23-24.  We will hike the Boy Scout Trail to Indian Cove Campground during the morning and early afternoon on Saturday Jan 23rd, and then drive to nearby 29 Palms and join the Desert Wilderness Camp in progress for the rest of Saturday and Sunday.

SIGN-UP's:  Sign-ups  will take place during the Troop meeting  this coming  Monday, Jan 4th.  There will not be a limit on the number of participants, and we will be hiking by Patrol.  Permission Slips and Medical Consent Forms will be distributed at the Troop meeting on January 11th to those who sign up.

CONCEPT and PRELIMINARY ITINERARY: This is planned as a day hike with overnight camping.  We will leave the Church around 5:30am on Saturday, January 23rd and return during the afternoon on Sunday, January 24th.

We will not follow the exact route of the Boy Scout Trail as shown in the above web link.  Instead, the Scouts will gain experience in map reading and orienteering as they start and end the hike by walking cross country through the desert.  This will be a new and exciting opportunity that will expand their abilities, teamwork and awareness of their surroundings.  This outing is mostly level during the first half and downhill during the second half.  It should be easier than the hikes of Baden Powell, and 3 T's last year, and probably about the same as the Bridge to Nowhere backpack.

TRAINING AND ADVANCEMENT OPPORTUNITIES:  Troop 54 Advancement Coaches are encouraged to participate and work with the Scouts in meeting advancement requirements during the outing.

COST:  Cost will cover food and transportation, and the exact amount will be determined in coordination with the Desert Wilderness Camp outing.  Those who sign up for the Boy Scout Trail back will be notified of the cost in the Permission Slip that is to be distributed at the Troop meeting on January 11th.

Let me know if you have questions.  See you at the Troop meeting.

Thank you.

Stephen L. Jenkins