Scouter Spotlight: Getting the most out of your Scouting experience!
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Lost Valley’s Ship Has Come In
By John Hovanesian, M.D.

Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America, Dr. John Hovanesian, is a seasoned Scouter and blogger who shares tips and tricks to help your family get the most out of your Scouting experience. Follow him @DrHovanesian.

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For several years, Scouts and leaders visiting Schoepe Scout Reservation at Lost Valley have lamented the loss of Lake Virginia, our beloved 3.5 acre boating wonderland. Season after season of drought had reduced the beautiful lake setting to first a grassy field and then, after a solar powered pump system was installed to pump 200 gallons per minute in from the water table, a small pond suitable only for the ducks of the scenic Anza Borrego wilderness, where our camp sits. 

But this year everything is different. The same rains that have made our Orange County hills lush and green have also refilled Lake Virginia to peak levels. Extensive testing has shown that the lake level should remain stable at least through the summer, and the forlorn-looking boats that have waited so patiently on the hillside will soon be joyously put to use again by Scouts and Scouters wanting a dose of cool on a summer day.

Feb 12, 2017 view of Lake Virginia at Schoepe Scout Reservation at Lost Valley.  Testing of the lake's stability confirm that Lost Valley should have a full lake this summer.

Yes, this summer the boating program will return to Lost Valley, including kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and even paddle boards. 

For my son’s troop, which will be at Lost Valley this summer in early August, this is a huge bonus.  Last year, the youth leaders had already chosen Lost Valley for summer camp because of some of its programs that just don’t exist at other camps:

  • Getting around camp on mountain bikes
  • Full C.O.P.E. low and high ropes courses
  • A horsemanship program
  • Eagle University, a unique program for older boys aiming for Scouting’s top rank
  • ATVs.  Yes, ATVs!
  • Extensive shooting sports program including use of .22 pistols (for boys over 14), with nationally-certified instructors

For boys who can’t attend summer camp with their own troop, Lost Valley also offers its Maverick program “provisional troop”, where trained leaders will supervise solo boys for a week at camp. The Maverick program is a terrific way for Scouts to attend summer camp who either couldn’t attend with their own troop or just want a second summer camp experience. The Maverick program also includes transportation to and from Lost Valley from Santa Ana!

So every Scout now has one more good reason to spend time at Lost Valley this summer. I look forward to seeing you there!

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