You are hereSeptember 2013

September 2013


Thank you! 2014 by the Numbers

Thank you for supporting Boy Scout Camping this summer, by attending a camp in our council or in another council, you are allowing the Boy Scouts to continue to offer an essential part of the adventure and immersive leadership training. The Western Los Angeles County Council served a total 22,157 youth and adults at three Camp facilities in 2013: Camp Emerald Bay, on the West End of Catalina Island, Camp Whitsett, in the Sequoia National Forest, and Camp Josepho, in the Pacific Palisades. 8,161 of those were Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts attending Summer Camp over the 2013 summer. They came from 418 units from as far as Texas, Washington, all parts of California, and even Beijing. 13,996 of those guests came with YMCA weekends, church groups, outdoor education classes, retreats, or off-season Boy Scout events in the Fall and Spring. The camping department extended $66,222 in financial aid, in camperships, to help 457 Scouts attend one of our summer camp programs. The Western Los Angeles County Council was able to successfully serve so many youth through the support of all of the adult leaders, scouts, volunteers and staff that came out to camp this summer. Thank you!

Emerald Bay Ambassadors

Emerald Bay could use your help to reach the masses! If you love camp and want to help us grow and continue to success, you can become an Emerald Bay Ambassador. The Emerald Bay Ambassadors is an effort to get current staff, alumni, loyal scoutmasters and other people that love camp to commit to helping us keep camp full in the future. Ambassadors will make presentations to Troops in their region (especially in places like the Bay, Central California, San Diego, Arizona, Texas, etc) that demonstrate why Camp Emerald Bay is an exceptional place to learn new skills and develop into a leader. To become an Ambassador, register and keep us up to date on your progress at

Camp Whitsett Off-Season

Camp Whitsett has closed its gates to Scouts for the summer, but the off-season is getting into full-swing right now as church groups, family reunions, and Scouting Units come up to camp for camping or weekend events. Groups can design their own adventure or select packages that range from basic campground rental to cabin camping with food service and activity staffing for things like shooting sports, C.O.P.E., waterfront, and fishing. If you are interested in using Camp Whitsett for your group event, check out what we have to offer. Find out more...

October Unprocessed

Have you looked at the ingredients list of your favorite snack or dinner recipe and found yourself baffled by the polysyllabic, grotesquely unpronounced-able chemical ingredients that make up your food? Andrew Wilder, a longtime supporter and former staff member of Camp Emerald Bay, could not stand the mystery of mass-produced food products any longer when he started his blog “Eating Rules” in 2010. Each year, Andrew hosts the October Unprocessed Challenge—a month of avoiding the processed foods that sometimes seem to be the only thing available at restaurants, cafeterias, grocery stores, and our own pantries. Andrew describes his first time avoiding unprocessed foods as revelatory. “My expectations and sense of taste were re-calibrated. I started to identify individual ingredients in the foods I ate. I didn’t crave those salty snacks. I found myself often in the kitchen, excited to see what I could cook next. Above all, I simply felt better.” Andrew’s litmus test for “unprocessed” is whether or not an item could be made in a home kitchen (not a factory or laboratory), so the challenge does not limit your menu and might even widen your palette. Read more...

Recipe: Chocolate-Maple Popcorn Bunches

This recipe, by Laura Bashar, comes from the Eating Rules website. It makes a fantastic snack or Scouting activity, and comes just in time for Popcorn selling-season. If you want to get fancy, you can add a dash of cayenne pepper, lemon zest, cinnamon or vanilla extract to the maple syrup as you cook it. I’ve intentionally left this recipe is basic so feel free to experiment!


  • 1 Tbs. Avocado Oil (or oil of your choice)
  • ½ tsp. Sea Salt
  • ⅓ cup Popping Corn
  • 1¼ cup Grade A Maple Syrup, divided
  • 1½ tsp. Butter


  1. Place the oil and the salt in a large pot and swirl the oil around to distribute the salt. Place three or four popcorn kernels in the pot and turn the heat to high. Cover the pot with a splatter guard screen or a lid, slightly ajar to keep the kernels from popping out, but allowing for the steam to escape.
  2. Once the popcorn kernels have popped, turn off the heat and add the remaining ⅓ cup of popcorn. Shake the popcorn to coat with the oil. Wait 30 seconds for the popcorn to warm up (this allows for the popcorn to evenly heat – meaning less unpopped kernels) then turn the heat back on to medium high.
  3. Wait until the popcorn starts to pop, shaking the pot occasionally to make sure the popcorn doesn’t burn as you make it. Once the popcorn has slowed to popping every 2 seconds or so, turn off the heat. Shake it one or two more times to make sure no more popcorn is going to pop, and then empty it into a large heatproof bowl, placed on a trivet or oven pad.
  4. Lightly oil a baking sheet or line it with a silpat. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour ¾ cup of the maple syrup and butter into a small saucepan. Cook the syrup on medium high, stirring frequently, until it reaches 250 degrees, the firm ball stage (when a little bit of syrup is dropped into cold water, it will form a firm ball that will flatten when you squeeze it) – about 8 to 10 minutes. Watch the pan carefully as the maple syrup may boil over. Drizzle the syrup over the popcorn and toss with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon.
  5. Keep tossing the popcorn with the maple syrup until the popcorn is evenly coated. Spread the popcorn on the prepared baking sheet, and pick out any uncooked kernels. Place in the oven for 15 minutes.
  6. About 10 minutes after you put the popcorn in the oven, pour the reserve ½ cup of maple syrup in the same saucepan and heat until it reaches 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Since there is less maple syrup it should reach the firm ball stage about the same time you take the popcorn out of the oven. If it doesn’t, that’s okay, you can leave the popcorn in the oven for a few more minutes.
  7. Once the popcorn has baked and the maple syrup has reached 250 degrees, take the popcorn out of the oven. The popcorn should have browned a bit and crisped up. Pour it back in the same large heatproof bowl and drizzle the maple syrup over the popcorn. Working fast, toss the popcorn with the maple syrup and quickly form the popcorn into balls. Place them back on the baking sheet. Let cool and store in an airtight container.