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WELCOME TO BOY SCOUT TROOP 695 (& VENTURE CREW 695)!

Troop 695 is a high-adventure scouting unit based in Irvine, California which has consistently earned BSA's Gold "Journey to Excellence" Award. Within the structure of our Troop, we offer the option for boys & girls (aged 14-20) to join our Venture Crew and attend all outings & events. We boast award-winning, trained leaders in such areas of expertise as rock-climbing, mountian biking, shooting sports, and aquatics. In fact, our own Scoutmaster Jason Perkins is the only Level 2 Lead Rock Climbing Instructor for the Rancho San Joaquin District, and both he and his wife have received the prestigious Silver Beaver Award & Distict Award of Merit for their outstanding leadership! Additionally, Scoutmaster Fukuda has completed the lengthy Woodbadge Leadership Training.  Our Troop & Crew regularly sends scouts to BSA's High-Adventure Bases such as the Philmont Scout Ranch in the Rocky Mountains of New Mexico. We have monthly Troop/Crew meetings at Turtle Rock Park Community Center, and offer monthly outdoor outings, community service events, and rank advancement opportunities.  We are a Troop of approximately 80+ scouts, and have produced over 100 Eagle Scouts since the year 2000!

 

Samuel W. is Venture Crew 695's Newest Eagle Scout!

Posted on Oct 3 2021 - 1:19am

Last Thursday, September 23, 2021, Samuel W. became Crew 695’s latest Eagle Scout!

For his project, Samuel led his volunteers to build four sets of shelving units for the Children’s Ministry rooms of his own church.  He chose this particular beneficiary because Samuel himself volunteers his time with the youth on Sundays, so knew first-hand of the need for new shelving that the families and children could enjoy.  Samuel’s Eagle project got approved in March of 2020, just mere days before the pandemic shut down nearly all activity as we knew it.  So Samuel had to put everything on hold, and it took him a year and a half to see his Eagle through to his Board of Review.  Samuel had to be patient when many factors beyond his control delayed his progress, but he was determined to finish his project and see the process through.  Samuel says he is the kind of person who makes sure that when he starts a project, that he sees it through to completion.  Samuel was especially grateful for the assistance of his woodworking mentor, Mr. Von Aronson, and the use of his workshop.

Samuel recounted some of his most memorable scouting experiences, like going to Joshua Tree National Park among good friends to hang out, hike, and camp.  He remembered Scoutmaster Perkins pointing out constellations at night and how he treasures that memory and is reminded of it time he searches the evening sky now, even sparking an interest in astronomy.  One of his other favorite memories was the Kings River Rafting Trip. He admitted to being young and very nervous around the water, and as he sat on the bus looking down on the raging waters below the windows, he became increasingly anxious.  He described sitting next to Mrs. Perkins who both understood his nervousness, but also encouraged him by telling him how safe, fun, and exciting the adventure would be!  After climbing into the front of the raft and surviving the first rapid, Samuel was hooked, and end up counting this trip as his favorite overall adventure…learning that when he pushed through some of his anxiety and faced his fears, he would be rewarded with more self-confidence, skills, and ability to embrace new challenges!  He named both Scoutmaster & Mrs. Perkins as the most inspirational and biggest influence on his scouting journey, along with the support of his loving parents.

Samuel’s favorite (and also most challenging) merit badge was Cooking because not only did it teach a skill he would use for the rest of his life (notably how to manage coordinating the timing of cooking each portion of an entire meal), but he also loved the Cooking Merit Badge Campout with friends and getting to eat the food that was the fruit of their labors! 

Samuel defined the most positive part of his Scouting journey as full of “high-adventure”.  Scouting has given him the opportunity to experience different high-adventure activities that he wouldn’t have otherwise had a chance to partake in such as overnight camping, backpacking, river rafting, rock climbing, and visiting National Parks. This adventure has helped him develop into a more well-rounded individual.

When asked which of the 12 points of Scout Law Samuel embodies the best, Samuel settled on “Cheerful” after some self-reflection.  Never were truer words spoken…Samuel ALWAYS brings a cheerful attitude to events and activities!  He believes bringing a good attitude lightens things up for himself as well as for all the people around him.  Samuel admitted that “Clean” is possibly the most difficult virtue to always follow, but as an Eagle Scout, he felt it is his responsibility not only to be clean physically, but also mentally (and spiritually). He felt it was especially important not to let other people dissuade him from practicing good values and to keep his words, thoughts, and actions “clean” as well as his physical self. What an impressive and thoughtful response!  It’s no wonder Samuel (and his ever-present smile) is a Troop and Crew 695 favorite, beloved by the scouts and adults alike! 

Samuel felt he learned how to be a seasoned leader from his Eagle Scout journey, including how to be better organized, and how to direct others when needed.  Mrs. Raidis Smet & Mrs. Marianne Perkins were both honored to sit in on his Eagle Board of Review, and were impressed with how poised and well-spoken Samuel has become.  It was especially touching since both had watched Samuel grow up from elementary school and Cub Scout with Pack 612, through the Troop, and now Crew. Truly, Samuel has grown into a polite, articulate, and well-rounded young man, one that exemplifies all the best qualities of an Eagle Scout!  Congratulations Samuel W. on becoming Venture Crew 695’s newest Eagle Scout.  We are so proud of you, and please NEVER lose that cheerful smile!

Evan M. is a 695 Eagle Scout!

Posted on Sep 29 2021 - 12:13am

On June 10, 2021,  Evan M. fulfilled the last step towards earning his Eagle Scout rank by passing his Eagle Board of Review and becoming Troop 695’s newest Eagle Scout! 

Evan has thoroughly enjoyed his scouting journey touting the leadership and service elements being amongst the most important.  He functioned in multiple roles in the Troop including scribe, assistant patrol leader and troop guide.  Evan enjoyed his time as troop guide helping younger scouts, becoming a better teacher and leader as a result.  Evan also learned a great deal about community service during his time in scouting.  While some projects may have been difficult, tedious, and challenging, they ultimately benefited the community for which he gained much personal satisfaction.

Evan’s desire to help the community was reflected in his choice for his Eagle project.  His initial desire was to help out the local animal shelter where he adopted his dog, Tommy.  Though this shelter did not respond to his Eagle request, Evan persevered and successfully found a need at OC Animal Care who became his beneficiary.  His project involved raising more than $980 to assist in the purchasing of supplies to make 30+ dragline leashes which gives dogs some freedom to play and allow shelter workers to care for the dogs. These dragline leases are very specialized leashes which take considerable time to make. Because of his successful fundraising efforts, Evan had extra funds to purchase pet food for the shelter’s food pantry to feed the shelter dogs and assist struggling families to feed and nourish their rescue pets. In total, Evan’s Eagle project incorporated 22 different volunteers working more than 147 hours.

Evan noted that some of his fondest memories in scouting include learning archery, playing gaga ball, and going on camp-outs playing Mafia or Werewolf.  He also had a great time building friendships and making those warm memories during his time in scouting.  Evan currently attends University High school as a sophomore with big plans to attend college upon graduation. Some of his current high school  activities  include  JV Baseball and the Latin Club where he plans to get involved in various leadership roles (he credits scouting for this).  Additionally, Evan plans to get involved in his school’s ‘Paws for a Cause’ Club which works with the community to help rescue animals.  Evan states that no matter what his future holds, he knows that scouting will help him plan effectively in achieving his goals. We are so proud to have Evan amongst our scouts who have achieved the illustrious rank of Eagle Scout!

Thank you to adult leaders Ryan Ellis (his Eagle Coach), and Charlet Chiou for participating in Evan’s EBoR. Please join us in congratulating Evan M. on his amazing accomplishment! 

Crystal Cove Beach Clean Up Conservation Service

Posted on Sep 19 2021 - 8:16pm

On Saturday, September 18, 2021, a group of 18 scouts and parents met at the Reef Point parking lot at Crystal Cove State Park to participate in the annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. Scouts equipped themselves with protective gloves and trash bags or buckets. Many of the items found were tiny bits of plastic, broken down from food wrappers or other packaging. Even though they were small, it was still important to keep as much as possible out of the ocean. The scouts and parents hiked back up the steep walkway to the meeting point where the park ranger weighed each trash bag and added it to the tally. It was a beautiful sunny day doing good conservation work to keep our beaches pristine. A big thank you to all the parents who helped the day of the event and to Jenny Graham for planning it.   

Eli W. is Crew 695's Newest Eagle!

Posted on Sep 2 2021 - 3:48pm

On August 26, 2021, Eli W. became Venture Crew 695’s newest Eagle Scout! Although he recently graduated from high school (University High with academic honors) this spring, he worked hard to complete his service project prior to his eighteenth birthday deadline.  He did not want to look back in the future and regret not accomplishing one of his life goals. His advice to younger scouts would be to not cut it so close to the deadline – start your Eagle project before you get too busy with high school activities and academics.

For his Eagle project, Eli worked with the Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee to deliver “Welcome Home Bags” to Marines returning to Camp Pendleton from overseas deployment. This project had special meaning for Eli since he has a cousin who was also returning from a tour of duty. The bags consisted of basic items we take for granted but are much appreciated by soldiers returning from foreign deployment: toiletry kits, snacks, hand & bath towels, pillow & pillowcase, and handwritten “welcome back” notes. At the beneficiary’s request, Eli led his team of volunteers to assemble 120 kits (from the originally planned 50 bags), which involved a substantial increase in fundraising, purchasing, assembly and delivery efforts. COVID safety precautions also added to the project’s complexity, but in the end the beneficiary was very happy with Eli’s team’s effort and, most importantly, the returning Marines’ homecoming was made a little more special.

Looking back, Eli remembers fondly his time as a cub scout in Pack 675 and his career with Troop & Crew 695. Making lifelong friends and learning outdoor skills are two things he will most cherish. His favorite merit badge was cooking and the most challenging one was wilderness survival. Eli will also remember his high-adventure trek at Philmont Scout Ranch. He was apprehensive from the beginning, but embraced the challenges during the two-week hike, conquering the highs (summiting Mt. Baldy) and savoring the joys (sipping cold root beer at one of the camps). It was a great way to cap off his scouting career!

Eagle board of review participants Mr. Frank Do and Mrs. Marianne Perkins were impressed with Eli’s poise, maturity and commitment to scouting’s principles.  Eli has followed in his brother’s footsteps and has become the second 695 Eagle in his family, and thanks his mother in particular for her active support as a scouting volunteer.  He has an exciting future ahead of him, most immediately as a student athlete playing water polo for UCLA and while majoring in business and finance. Congratulations Eli on earning scouting’s highest honor!  We are proud to call you a 695 Eagle Scout!

Philmont Crew Completes 7-day Trek at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico!

Posted on Aug 24 2021 - 8:11pm

In early August, Philmont crew scouts Nathan C., Anderson C., Sean E., Chase G., Gunnar H., and Jett L, and adults Joe Gozdieski and Sorrel Hanson completed their long-planned trek in the southern portion of the Rocky Mountains in northern New Mexico. They were well-prepared and easily completed the most strenuous 7-day itinerary available which included 52 miles of hiking, over 10,000 ft. elevation gain, numerous peaks, and in one day 55 stream crossings in 7.5 miles!

Each day they carried all of their gear (tent, sleeping bag, clothes, food, water and other supplies) in their packs, weighing 40+ pounds each, and hiked to a new area on the ranch where they set up camp and challenged themselves with various activities including a COPE course, spar-pole climbing, railroad tie making, cross-cut sawing, blacksmithing, panning for gold, and rock climbing and rappelling. They assisted the Philmont Conservation Department with a trail construction project, met other crews from across the country, and enjoyed several group campfires, a chuck wagon dinner, and staff skits. 

While every day was filled with amazing sites and experiences, the last day was especially memorable as the crew traversed 13.15 miles along Tooth Ridge - summiting Schaefer’s Peak (el. 9,414 ft.) and the Tooth of Time (el. 9,003 ft. - the iconic symbol of Philmont Scout Ranch) before hiking down to base camp. This final challenge netted over 2,100 ft. of elevation gain and 3,500 ft. of elevation loss and took this fast-moving crew over 8 hours to complete.

Not only was this trek an adventure, but the travel to and from also included a stop at the Petrified Forest National Park with a hike among petrified logs from over 200 million years ago, views of the Painted Desert (buttes and mesas of colorful rock layers), and camping in teepees.

Tree Planting at Newport Beach Arroyo Park

Posted on Aug 23 2021 - 4:15pm
 
On Saturday, August 21st, scouts and adults from Troop 695 joined with the Newport-Irvine Rotary Club, the Orange County Digital Rotary Club, Troop 675, and the Interact Club from Corona Del Mar High School to plant trees at Arroyo Park in Newport Beach. We planted 10 trees, both Hybrid Oak and Pink Trumpet trees, both native to California. We look forward to enjoying the trees for years to come. 

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