2020 Stay Active Award

Troop 104 is hosting for the MDSC Council for the month of May.

All scouts and scouters are encouraged to participate.  While the challenge is vital for health while we are cooped up at home,
the patch that can be earned may be one of the coolest patch you may ever have! 

All details, background and link to register for the challenge is below. 
Challenge starts Saturday.

Download the flyer at: http://mdscbsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/StayActiveProgram.pdf

Troop 104 Open House

Scouts BSA Troop 104 Open House
Scouting in El Cerrito

Monday, September 30, 7:00pm at El Cerrito Veteran’s Hall

6401 Stockton Ave, El Cerrito, CA 94530

All youth — boys and girls alike — can join Scouts BSA and participate in the many outdoor, service, and leadership activities Boy Scouts is known for! 

Come to El Cerrito Troop 104’s open house to learn more about:

  • Joining Troop 104 boy scouts (ages 11-18)
  • Forming a new girl troop (ages 11-18)
  • Adventures for older youth in Venture Crew 104 — young women and men (ages 14-21) 
  • Joining cub scouts — boys and girls (ages 5-10)  (representatives from El Cerrito Pack 104 will be there)

Troop 104 boy scouts will answer questions from visiting boys and girls, and share info and photos of what they’ve done this year, such as trips to Alaska, McCloud River, Yosemite, summer camp at Wolfeboro, community service projects, Eagle projects, and more.  Troop adult leaders will answer any questions parents may have about the scouting programs. 

Troop 104 has existed in El Cerrito for 80 years and has a long tradition of fun, engaging activities for our youth. We schedule at least one outdoor activity each month, several overnight campouts each year, and additionally spend a week camping in the Sierras each summer. Older youth have attended high adventure camps nearly every year in recent memory (wilderness backpacking and canoeing throughout the country, ocean sailing).  Learning skills and leadership, and doing community service are key components of scouting as well: the troop has produced 105 Eagle scouts, many in recent years. 

We very much hope to add a girl troop to share the opportunities afforded to our boys. Although Scouts BSA is not affiliated with Girl Scouts, our troop believes that scouting offers tremendous opportunities for fun, service, and leadership development, and that all youth should have equal access to those opportunities. Already, several girl troops have formed in nearby communities. We hope to add one for El Cerrito!

Girls older than 14 can already participate via Venture Crew 104, a branch of Scouts focused on older youth who want more activities and fellowship opportunities in high school and beyond.

Please join us Monday, September 30, and we will do our best to give you a complete picture of how your son or daughter can join in the fun and adventure, whatever their age.

Learn more on our web site at https://troop104elcerrito.org/

Angel Island Kayak Outing Sep 21-22

t104scouts@googlegroups.com; on behalf of T Mumley

Our kayak overnight outing to Angel Island is on September 21-22.  The trip starts 9 am Saturday morning in Sausalito (Schoonmaker Point Marina) where the group will first learn the basics of kayaking, then paddle to Angel Island and spend the afternoon and evening exploring the Island. The group will stay in a Civil War era building in Camp Reynolds on the west side of the Island (which has camping mattresses) and then paddle back Sunday morning to Sausalito. The trip ends early afternoon (no later than 3 pm). Check out the attached document with trip details. 

This trip is great for novice to advanced paddlers of varying abilities and backgrounds. The minimum number of participants (scouts and adults) is 10 and the maximum is 24. The cost per participant is $158, plus the cost of food (maybe $20 or so). 

To confirm our reservation, we need to provide a head count by August 26. We also need to pay a deposit (1/2 the total cost) by August 26, which I will cover based on confirmed commitments by then. The remaining balance is due by September 13. Jennifer or I will post a signup sheet soon. 

This is our annual outing via Environmental Travel Companions (ETC), a non-profit organization that specializes in accessible outdoor adventures for people with disabilities and youth from under-resourced backgrounds, but they also work with youth groups including scouts. ETC Guides are experienced in facilitating sea kayak trips and working with people of all backgrounds and abilities, and they ensure the trip is safe, educational, and fun. We have done trips with ETC for several years; We have been rotating three trip opportunities: whitewater rafting on the American River, which we did two years ago, an overnight kayak trip on Tomales Bay, which we did last year, and this kayak to Angel Island outing, which we did in 2016. Scouts that went on that trip all raved about it! 

You can call me if you have questions.

Alaska High Adventure

“To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.”  John Muir.

It’s been almost a week now since we’ve returned from the Alaska High Adventure trip.  I wanted to share some pics of our intrepid crew and highlights from the trip.  This is just a small sample (click to view).  We have yet to pool our photos, may have a slideshow at a meeting in September, and expect there will be written stories about the trip’s adventures for the Troop’s newsletter this fall. 

The fabulous guides and staff from Midnight Sun Council in Fairbanks hosted 6 scouts and 4 scouters from Troop 104 and Crew 104.  The group earned the 50-Miler Award while backpacking and canoeing.  We were fortunate to have Lost Lake Scout Camp, the council’s own ‘Wolfeboro’ all to ourselves as a base for our wilderness excursions, complete with a lake teeming with fish.  We hiked above the treeline for the most part, surrounded by caribou, and climbed to the craggy top of Pinnell Mtn, with sweeping views in all directions of the White Mountains.  The subarctic alpine tundra surely is the most beautiful and varied flora one can ever see.  We spent two days paddling.  The Tanana River was wide and wild, and the Clearwater calm and crystal clear with grayling hugging the bottom (we caught some!).  We hiked to two glaciers, the Castner and Gulkana and camped in the Amphitheater Mtns, surrounded by snow-covered peaks.  The salmon and caribou in this area, the Tangle Lakes Archaeological District, has supported human occupation and hunting for the past 10,000 years.  We learned a lot about Alaska, its history and peoples as we visited three museums in Fairbanks, and also went on a sternwheeler riverboat cruise in Fairbanks, where we were able to get off and visit a recreated Athabascan fish camp and village and play with sled dogs.  Lots more pics and tales to share … !

Advance Camp

Jennifer S via Troop 104 Scouts t104scouts@googlegroups.com

Hope everyone is having a great summer.  Time got away from us and this email was not sent out earlier.  We need everyone to respond ASAP so that we can get the scouts signed up for Advance Camp.

Advance Camp is a Merit Badge and Rank Advancement fair.  It will be on Saturday September 27 at the Solono Country Fairgrounds (in Vallejo). 

–    Advance Camp is a day-long opportunity to work on rank advancement and merit badges, as well as adult scoutmaster and assistant scoutmaster training.  Much more detail can be found in the link below.  http://www.advancecamp.com/2980

–   Please do not reply all- feel free to email me directly with questions

–     Registration is as a troop, not individual, so I will be collecting your registration information on the google doc.  The troop will pay registration and we ask you to select your choices before Aug 27 so we can sign up at the discounted early registration rate (if you do not sign up by end of August, you can still attend, you will just have to pay the late fee).   

–     Please provide your/your scout’s first and second choices in order of preference for the morning and afternoon.  Most often scouts can enroll in their first choices but the popular merit badges do fill up.  I’ll be registering scouts once a week every week starting this Thursday August 10

–  Note that many merit badges require prerequisites prior to attending advance camp- see the attached PDF for the list of prerequisites.

 – There is also Trailhead for Scouts not yet First Class.  We need to register for this as well so just write trailhead on sheet.  Some scouts do Trailhead in am & Pm, others just do it one session and a MB the other.

The following Trailhead advancement is available:


  • Scout:               1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f, 4a, 4b, 5
  • Tenderfoot:       3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 4a, 4b, 4d, 5a, 5b, 5c, 7a, 8
  • Second Class:  1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2f, 2g, 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 4, 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d, 6a, 6b, 6c,6d,6e,8b,9a,9b
  • First Class:       3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 4a, 4b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 6e, 7a, 7b, 7c, 9a

–   There is also a booth with merit badge counselors who can help with completion of partial merit badges, if scouts bring documentation that they have completed all the required activities. The partial merit badge booth is very popular and there’s always a long line so scouts should plan for this instead of a MB class session. 

Sign up Sheet (for classes)

Advance Camp 2019

Camp Wolfeboro

Check the photo library for pictures of teh Troop at Wolfeboro! Look forward to tales and more pictures in the fall 2019 edition of the Trailmaker, and names of scouts who earned awards at the Court of Honor in October.

To summarize however, in addition to the Super Gold Cross award, Troop 104 accomplishments at Wolfeboro this year included:

  • Advancements: at least one first class, many other advancements almost complete
  • 40 merit badges completed, 34 partials
  • 7 STEM NOVA Awards and a Mile Swim BSA Award.
  • Rockers: Sourdough, Grizzly, Marksman, Patriot, Olympian, Trek and Wolf. 

And four Crew 104 venturers (3 are T104 scouts) participated in the ACE program (Adventures, Connections, Experiences), an all week adventure program that includes hiking multiple overnights and mountain biking back to camp.

T104 was well represented on staff:

Mountaineer Counselors-in-Training: Nicholas and Riley

Staff Counselors: Senan (Shooting Sports), Rota (Maintenance), Finn (past scout)

Adults took training too: ASM Outdoor Leader skills (Paul) and Leave No Trace (Damian)

Ever Upward!!

East Bay holiday display bridges cultures, generations.


How a Sikh from India created an El Cerrito treasure 69 years ago that continues long after his death.

Read more …

Volunteers Gordon White, Rota Maynard, 11, of Boy Scout Troop 104, and assistant troop scoutmaster Len Bjeldanes, left to right, move a camel as they help set up the annual Sundar Shadi Christmas display on Moeser Lane near Seaview Drive in El Cerrito, Calif. on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group Archives)

Community Garden for El Cerrito Schools

Ashby Lumber

Scout Troop 104 in El Cerrito volunteered to help build raised beds for the local community garden in El Cerrito. The garden is on the site of an old school that was torn down and removed. The garden group invites local schools to visit, and this project provides a seating area, potting/demonstration area, and raised beds which will be used as a butterfly garden and demonstration planting area for school groups.

Read more …

A Rank and a Journey

Kensington Outlook. May 18 2019. Vol 76 No 5.

Kensington residents Thomas Franaszek, Evan Garrison and Charlie Meacham were recently awarded the Boy Scouts of America rank of Eagle Scout. All three attended Kensington Hilltop Elementary School; Meacham and Garrison are juniors at El Cerrito High School and Franaszek is a senior at St. Mary’s College High School in Berkeley. All three achieved Eagle Scout rank while in El Cerrito’s Troop 104, which was originally chartered in 1939. Franaszek aged out of the troop when he turned 18 in February. Meacham and Garrison will remain in the troop through their senior year.

Read more …