Along the Scouting Trail: JPL-sponsored Scouts take camping trips

Camping in the Rocky Mountains, scaling Mt. Whitney and enjoying swimming and sailing activities on Catalina Island have occupied members of Boy Scout Troop 509 this summer. The troop is sponsored by Jet Propulsion Laboratory and is known for its outdoor activities.

In June the troop sent two crews — named Opportunity and Spirit after JPL’s famed Mars rovers — to Philmont, N.M., where they back-packed in the Rocky Mountains for two weeks. Each scout carried a 40-pound pack for the 80-mile trip, according to Scout leaders. They also participated in activities such as rock and pole climbing, rifle and shotgun shooting, and horseback riding, and they experienced heavy storms including hail and lightning.

In July the troop went to Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous 48 states, where all 16 hikers achieved the summit.

Younger troop members attended two one-week camps on Catalina Island where they earned merit badges while swimming, kayaking, sailing and hiking.

To learn more about Troop 509 visit

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