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Some of the caves at Lava Beds are pretty large in size and allow for easy access for even a larger group of explorers to gather together. Photo by Andrew Edwards

Troop 36 explores prehistoric monument

By Gregg Scott

Staff Writer

The weekend of June 2 -4 turned out to be quite the adventure as Chester BSA Troop 36 joined Susanville Troop 159 on a trip to explore the Lave Beds National Monument in Modoc County.  The Monument has so many unique offerings for those looking for wildlife, prehistoric as well as early American history, and miles of caves and lava tubes to go spelunking in.

The campout itself is always an opportunity for the Scouts to hone their outdoor skills; including good camp site selection, safe fire building, cooking and Leave No Trace conservation skills. The area in and around this National Monument, however, also offers the remnants of the 1915 eruption of Mt. Lassen including the aforementioned lava tubes and caves, the historical “Captain Jack’s Stronghold” of the Modoc Tribe, ancient petroglyphs in the monument and at Petroglyph Point near Tule Lake and an abundance of bird and mammal wildlife due to its close proximity to Tule Lake and Klamath National Wildlife Refuges. There have also been 16 species of bats that have been observed or recorded within the national monument. Some are relatively common year-round, while others are only observed with specialized scientific equipment and during their seasonal migration.

No matter where the Troop goes on its monthly outings, they always seem to have fun and come home with a few more skills and more knowledge than when they left. The weekly meetings are where they learn about personal management, citizenship, the rules of outdoorsmanship and the 12 points of the Scout Law. Yes, they do learn on their trips, but mostly they are just FUN. Even though scouting is a program to help youth develop academic skills, self-confidence, ethics, leadership skills, and citizenship skills that influence their adult lives, having fun in the process is a maxim used by almost every scout leader.

A shaded, flat, yet well drained campsite is very important if you want to be comfortable in the outdoors. This Juniper wooded area at Lave Beds National Monument worked out very well for Chester Troop 36 and Susanville Troop 159 on their latest adventure. Photo by Andrew Edwards
Lava Tubes are usually a little smaller and more smooth on the interior, but still easy to navigate. One thing that they have in common is they are all black as can be. Photo by Aidan Marro
It should definitely be pointed out that some of the passageways are much smaller than others. Emerging from this cave is Tro0p 36 Scout Seth Linn who was one of the smaller scouts on the trip. ‘No fear’ must be his byword. Photo by Aidan Marro
Unique fossils and petroglyphs and their meanings can be a whole night’s conversation around the campfire. Well, maybe not, s’mores have to fit in there somewhere. Photo by Andrew Edwards
This photo has been dubbed “Where’s Waldo.” Of course, nobody really knows if that is this hare’s real name but he is obviously making an effort to stay concealed. Photo by Aidan Marro

One thought on “Troop 36 explores prehistoric monument

  • The tent photo and sky are magnificent!! Great shot Andrew Edwards

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