By Ernie Schmidt, Presidio of MontereyMarch 11, 2010
PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. - Summer vacation is always a period when students look forward to and even make plans for. Last year at this time, the excitement reached a peak for 10 boys from Boy Scout Troop 135 of Ord Military Community and Seaside as they planned for summer camp at Pico Blanco Scout Reservation in Big Sur, Calif.
Last year Troop 135 traveled to Pico after attending summer camp the year before at Camp Rancho Allegra Scout Camp near Santa Barbara.
Through a week of games, songs and competition the boys earned 32 merit badges. Known for its flag displays, the troop also returned triumphantly with the coveted Spirit Stick, a symbol of troop unity and scout spirit. They also conducted many service projects, including a water irrigation project.
After a week of detailed inspections Troop 135 left summer camp without one "hit" in their campsite. According to Scoutmaster Ernie Schmidt, only Troop 135 achieved that distinction.
Troop 135 has a long connection to the Ord Military Community, according to Ambrose Dawson, Assistant Scoutmaster and Troop Outdoor Chairman. It is the last Boy Scout troop that was chartered in 1959 to an Army unit from Fort Ord. Troop 135's current sponsor is American Legion Post 591 in Seaside.
According to Assistant Scoutmaster Kenneth McKowen-Tavas, Troop 135 is coming off a great camping season, having scored a 100 percent rating at the Monterey Bay Area Council Camporee.
Representing the Monterey Bay Area Council at the California State American Legion Camporee in Santa Barbara, Troop 135 brought back the third-place trophy.
Troop 135 is accepting applications for new scouts ages 10 to 17. Residents of Ord Military Community, Seaside, Del Ray Oaks, Sand City and the campus of California State University Monterey Bay are invited to join one of the oldest Boy Scout troops in the Monterey Bay Area Council.
Contact the troop by e-mail at Troop135_ordmilcom@yahoo.com or attend a troop meeting. The meetings are held every Tuesday starting at 6:30 p.m. at Ord Military Community's Building 4243 on Gigling Road (near the Burger King restaurant). Also anyone who would like to volunteer can inquire about becoming an adult leader.