Monthly Archives: May 2012

Aug. 7-9: CFB Comox – Base Tour & Change of Command Parade

407 Long Range Squadron “Change of Command” Ceremony, CFB Comox, 2010.
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Incoming Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel David Robinson, on the right.

A very special event for our group has just been approved by the Commander of Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Comox.

On the morning of August 9 there will be a “Change of Command” parade for the Commanding Officer of the 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron (Canada’s top anti-submarine warfare squadron during the cold war – now tasked with coastal monitoring).

We have been invited to attend this ceremony on the base (full dress uniform guys).

The current Commanding Officer of the 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron, Lieutenant-Colonel David Robinson, has also just obtained authorization for us to enter the base on the morning of August 8 for a private tour!

The Squadron Commander described the following as being possible during this tour:

“Depending on how much time you have available the scouts could look at my sqn, the Search and Rescue Sqn, the SAR Tech School, the Sea Survival School and maybe the Sea Cadet Camp. The parachute simulator may be back in operation by the end of the month so that is something else they could try.”

This could take all day to do. This is a functioning search and rescue facility and our ability to have access to all parts will be dependent on circumstances (they may get “call outs” while we are there just like North Shore Rescue) but our group has been given authorization to access pretty much the whole base!

I have booked a double campsite at the nearby Miracle Beach Provincial Park campground for our group for the nights of August 7th and 8th.  We can take the ferry over to the Island on the 7th; camp that night and tour the base the next day on the 8th; camp the second night and attend the Change of Command parade the following morning on the 9th; and return home that afternoon or evening. There will almost certainly be time for some swimming and relaxing around the camp and wandering through the town.

Scouts Simon and Finn and Scouter Alan and I will be attending.

So……..who else is in?

Please RSVP at your earliest opportunity.

Blast from the Past

Alan Dudley (right) and our Venturer Leader and mountaineer, Gerry Butler (left), getting hammered by 60+ mph winds on Mount Baker (Washington State, USA).

I’m the one at the other end of the rope taking the picture.  Never let a little wind stop you from snapping a great picture, right?

Alan and I were both Venturers and about 16 or 17 years old when I took this photo back in 1976 or ’77 (we had been in Scouts together since we were Cubs).

After all these years, Alan and I are now back “sharing a rope” as Scouters with the 5th West Van “Mountaineer Scouts” leading a new generation of Scouts up into the mountains for all new adventures.

We could use an extra leader or two….anyone want to join us?

I can pretty much guarantee that it’s going to be a blast!

Introduction to Rock Climbing

Scouts Need to Sharpen Their Skillz!

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After explaining how to set up our top rope anchor, the boys are taught how to clip into a belay/rappel device (ATC Guide) for rappelling.

Ready to go!

Scout Simon gets his first try at rappelling. This shorty beginner wall is perfect for teaching the scouts the basics before we move on to anything more challenging.

Learning to trust the rope and yourself.  This is going to take a while but, hey, we’re in no hurry.  Plus the view of Vancouver from this bluff in Lighthouse Park is really spectacular.

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Update – June 19, 2012:  The boys have moved on to a slightly higher wall to learn top rope climbing.

Scout Max easily scrambles up his first real rock wall.

Apparently Max thinks rock climbing is A-Okay!

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2012 North Shore Area Camporee

May 4-6, 2012

Every so often the Mountaineer Scouts have to leave their familiar surroundings and venture into unknown territory.

Here we attend the North Shore Area Troop Camporee at Camp Byng.

A strange and unfamiliar environment for us: the camp is at sea level and there is no snow or ice anywhere to be seen.

Well, let’s not let all this green scare us away…let’s give this a try!

Time to meet our Scouting brothers and sisters that live below the tree-line.

North Shore Area (North & West Vancouver) Troop Camporee held at Camp Byng on the Sunshine Coast.

How do you spell “camping”?
B.A.C.O.N.

The 31st Capilano Scouts host me for “invite a leader to lunch” on Saturday. Guess who won first prize for this event?  Hint: the 31st served chocolate fondue with strawberries for dessert!

Saturday night campfire.

Closing ceremony on Sunday.

The boys from the 5th proudly displaying their official camp badges.

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