News Posts

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/

Paddle Up! Free Kayak Clinic for Youth

Free Kayak Clinic for Youth at Marina Bay Richmond, May 22, 2022.

BSA Scout Troop 104 is hosting a free 1 1/2 hour kayak clinic for youth ages 9-13 at Marina Bay Richmond on Sunday, May 22, 2002.

Scout membership NOT required. Other fun games and activities will be offered adjacent to the kayak launch area before/after each session!

Participants will receive brief instruction on kayaking and water safety – and then will have an opportunity to practice and enjoy paddling a kayak under close supervision for up to 45 minutes around the sheltered waters of Marina Bay. Kayak, paddle, and life vest provided.

Sign up sessions offered 9:30-11, 10:30-12, 11:30-1, 12:30-2pm. Space is limited!

You MUST reserve a session in advance. To sign up for the Paddle Up! session and/or be notified about future Paddle Up! Clinics and other Troop events are open to the general public.

please fill out the form at this link:
https://forms.gle/RoMuLZfGRUBW3gUL6

Questions?
Please contact Shar Etebar at bsascouttroop104@gmail.com.

Camporee 2022 on 4/30!

On April 29th to May 1st, our troop attended Camporee 2022 at Lake Berryessa!

We merged the Hawks and Ravens patrol and competed in a bunch of activities like first aid, orienteering, obstacle course, and monkey bridge.

For the cord on blue cooking competition, we submitted grilled cheese and hot dogs! Admittedly, we didn’t prepare a lot for it, but there’s always next year.

We also saw a few rattlesnakes around our campground…

by Nickolas/Life Rank/Senior Patrol Leader

10/15 Mile hike along Wildcat Canyon Trail

Sunday on April 17th, we went on a 15 mile hike along Wildcat Canyon Trail!

We started off meeting at the trailhead parking lot and hiked 15 miles through various loops. After 5 miles, scouters doing the 10 mile hike turned back at a loop point.

We eventually made it to Inspiration point where we had our lunch, and then continued off a different trail to take a look at Lake Anza. It was covered with a fern at this time of year, and we were all surprised when we saw it. It looked like a flat meadow!

After that, we looped back and got to Little Farm, and hiked past Jewel Lake all the way back to our cars. Our legs were a bit sore, but we now have a (another, in same cases) 15 mile hike under our belts!

by Nickolas/Star Rank/Senior Patrol Leader

Mt Tam Hike

After weeks of being shut in because of COVID19 and poor air quality from fires, a small contingent of T104 scouts and scouters met at 8:30am on a very pleasant September Saturday for a 10-mile hike to the East Peak of Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County.

In lieu of our recent normal kayaking trip in the Fall, our scouts decided it would be good to do a number of hikes in our area. We are fortunate to have many good, medium-length hikes within easy driving distance. And the recent merger of three Bay Area councils — the San Francisco Bay Area Council, the Alameda Council, and our home council the Mt Diable Silverado Council — in the Golden Gate Area Council has created new excitement for doing hikes that were previously out-of-council, such as the Mt. Tam hike.

So we met at Pantoll Ranger Station, said “hi!” to another troop with the same idea, got a brief orientation from one our scouts on where we’d be heading, and off we went! Our first leg led us up the Old Mine Trail to the Mountain Play amphitheatre. The skies were fairly clear and it the temperature was just right. We lingered briefly at the amphitheatre, several folks saying they hadn’t yet seen a play there before and others reminiscing about the summer crowds that swarm over the area in normal years. We walked across the top of the theater to continue on Rock Spring Trail, which leads to the West Point Inn. A short break there let the snails catch up with the rabbits, gave us a few minutes looking at the view of San Francisco, and provided a break for some water as the sun was heating things up.

Our trip to the peak took us up the northern stretch of the Old Railroad Grade, past the Visitor’s Center and up to the Fire Lookout at 2,471 ft, where we lingered a while to have water and lunch. Although there were others hiking to the peak, the trail was pretty empty, spoiling us all, and giving us room to spread out. A couple of planes flew by at or below our altitude, native bees buzzed avidly in the chaparral, and we chatted idly while looking over San Rafael and the Richmond Bridge.

The way home was mostly a return on the same trails except that we cut down Fern Trail to the southern part of Old Railroad Grade, giving us a little bit longer hike so that those scouts who wanted it could get a 10-miler for their Hiking merit badge. The detour took us past the natural spring waterfall on that trail and a few people dipped into the pleasantly cold water. The walk was just a tiny bit shy of 10 miles, so the outing ended with a few scouts walking down to the end of the Pantoll parking lot before returning to the group to say thanks and goodbyes.

Thanks to everyone who participated and helped organize the outing. We’re looking forward to the next one coming soon!

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

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:

NEW REQUIREMENTS (2017):

  • 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