October 20th (today) was another Cubmaster Hike. It was slated for Powell Butte in Portland, Oregon. These hikes are geared to get people out of the house, on the trail and in a place they have never been. All of that was accomplished. We had one Wolf, two Bears and two Webelos II. Along with a total of six parents.
I had promised the Scouts that we would hike on a Volcano and see many others. Of which, I did. The only bad part was it rained and was very cloudy. As we got to the park, the entrance was closed due to construction, so that delayed people. But we enjoyed about a 5-7 minute downpour as we did. If it’s not raining on a Scout outing, then it’s not an Outing.
This hike was geared to satisfy the Hike Beltloop, parts of Leave No Trace and rank requirements. All of which we did. we talked about being ready as one Scout didn’t bring a jacket. I lent him one that I had in my backpack. I talked about what to bring on a hike and the basic’s of Leave No Trace as it pertains to the Cubscout Front Country LNT.
While we did not promptly got lost, we took a wrong turn that took us into the construction site. After a 10 min backtracking, we got on the right trail and made our way up the volcano. We talked about erosion a lot because of the construction, but also the small river of water on the trail. Also about why they are planting so many trees around the area. I talked about how we do a Tree Plant in the spring and what it does. During the hike, I kept asking why the river of water is doing this, why we plant trees, what would happen if, and so on. The Scouts were very responsive and had good comments and ideas.
It had been awhile since I had last been to the top, but when we did, I realized the area we were going to had been vandalized. There was supposed to be a set of logs in the ground that pointed to all the peaks and Mts. Most were there, but many signs were not. So we had to point the Mountains out. (I am thinking of an Eagle Project for this site is in order!)
With most of the Hiking complete and the basic’s of LNT done as well, I turned to Jamboree on the Air. This weekend is the 55th JOTA. I had started out on the hike talking about it and showed one of my Ham Radio’s to the Scouts. I explained what it was and that this was way before any iPhone/Android or any smartphone. We talked about communication and how you would use it.
So, I pulled out my Yeasu 817 HF Rig and tuned it to the 20m Frequency and started to listen. I did explain the ins and outs of what it takes to be a Ham Radio Operator, my radio name (K7RUB) and how to talk. We listened and heard Scouts from Morro Bay, CA , Utah and also somewhere in Oregon. We were not able to make a connection since no one heard us. But, we listened for 20 minutes to everyone talk.
The Scouts had a good time in trying to communicate, and did find it fun to hear Scouts trying to talk to others. It was their first time with Ham Radio. Which, for me is a great accomplishment since I have tried to incorporate Ham Radio into the Pack and do JOTA. I have used my Ham Radio a couple of time within the Tigers Den. But that was using 2m/70cm and Repeaters. This was the first time on HF on 20m.
So, five Scouts got out for a hike on a volcano, earned the Hiking Beltloop, worked on requirements for rank and Leave No Trace and got introduced to Ham Radio. Plus, as part of going on the Cubmaster’s Hike, got a segment that I picked up at the Seattle Scout Shop. Which means, no one in the Pack has it! Bonus!