Summer Camp – Emerald Bay (Catalina Island)
June 26 – July 3, 2004
Troop 103’s adventure to Camp Emerald Bay proved to be unlike anything that we had experienced before. We departed on our troops first domestic flight on June 26 to Long Beach airport. We transferred to the Hostel at San Pedro to sleep and prepare for the next day. During our time at the hostel we found fascinating things to occupy our time. There was a bike rally down the cliff from where we were staying with some cool looking motorcycles. The huge Korean Peace Bell on the cliff surrounded with gun turret ruins created a perfect Kodak moment . After a great pizza dinner we took a hike and played at the beach in the dark.
The following morning we left on a catamaran and cruised to Catalina Island. On the way over we saw dolphins swimming along the side of the ship. When we arrived …..WOW….what a cool water-based camp! We soon froze as we dove into the Pacific ocean to take our swimming test. While being tested we quickly learned a new word (ARRRRRGH!). Once thawed, we selected our merit badge and free time activities. Some of the offerings were: sailing, canoeing, kayaking, rowing, motor boating, oceanography, rifles, archery, and skeet shooting. One of the unique offerings at this camp was the opportunity to spend all week scuba diving. Seven of our older scouts achieved scuba certification by weeks end. Even five of our adults ventured into the deep. And what characters habitated on this remote Island? Who could forget Thomas, Tex, and Joe. Let alone the awesome and inspiring leadership given to us by our very o! wn Brandon. Troop 116 from San Jose teamed up with us for most of the week as we learned important nature facts, including those about Fennel.
One of the highlights of the week was WAR CANOES! After packing and waterproofing our supplies we boarded canoes and paddled to a distant beach called Smugglers Cove. On the way we saw whales, turtles, flying fish, and seals. After snorkeling we prepared a great Dutch oven beef stew and the best cobbler anyone has ever tasted. That night we all slept on the beach, under the stars, with the relaxing sound of the waves surrounding us. Before the week was out a few leaders took a bike ride across the island to spy on another Boy Scout camp called Cherry Valley. Nice, but we had already been spoiled with the best that any camp has to offer. Another highlight was when Mr. Fahl won the swan dive contest (or was that a belly flop?). It was hard to board the boat back to the mainland on July 3 after so much fun and adventure. But at the end we celebrated a week that we will always remember with pizza in the airport.
Jared R., Troop Historian