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Saahil Manekar Cleans up Trails at Wagner Ranch Conservation Area

Saahil Manekar led a group of scouts to clear and clean up trails at Wagner Ranch Conservation Area in Orinda, CA. Many trails and pathways at the site were obstructed by branches and were not easy to walk through. To fix this issue, scouts cut overhanging branches from trees to clear up the paths. Paths all around the area were covered by overhanging bushes as well, which were also trimmed. Many different tools including saws and shears were used to trim plants. The week before the project, there was a lot of rain all over the bay area. This led to water carrying the material a path was made with and depositing it in a different location. This trail was damaged, and things like strollers and wheelchairs could no longer use it. Luckily, this conversation project was right in time, and added an extra thing to fix. With the hard work of the scouts at the conservation project, they were able to restore parts of the pathway. Overall, this conservation project was a huge success. Even with more work than expected, the scouts were able to restore multiple paths. The project was fun and engaging for all scouts that attended.

Shreyas Kukanur builds outdoor tables for Shore Acres Elementary School

Shreyas wanted to give back to the community area in need and found out about Shore Acres Elementary School in Bay Point, CA. After visiting the school, Shreyas noticed the outdoor blacktop had no equipment for students to use. There was nowhere for students to set down their snacks, lunches or classroom materials. He decided to design and build four tables for the preschool and kindergarten classes. The tables would allow students to take their food outside to eat, and allow teachers to extend classroom learning and activities outside. Each table would be 3′ x 6′ allowing up to four students to stand on each side,to accommodate up to 32 students. His project was executed in three days. With the help of scouts, volunteers and use of clear instruction materials helped to sand, stain and build the tables smoothly with some bumps. The beneficiary is happy to have the tables ready and delivered during the summer. They are excited to have the new tables available for use during in-person learning this school year.

Vrushank Prakash Builds Cabinets for Bella Vista Elementary School

Vrushank Prakash decided to help the Bella Vista Elementary School music program, which is a relatively new school in the SRVUSD district. The BVES music program did not get adequate funds to manage the storage of equipment. There were instruments lying all over the floor. There was barely enough space for students to freely practice their music, which decreased effective collaboration. To solve this problem, Vrushank and a group of scouts built 2 instrument cabinets: one to store violins, trumpets, saxophones, etc., and one to store xylophones. This project lasted over the course of 2 days. On 8/28/21, they sanded the wood pieces and assembled the cabinets. On 8/29/21, they painted the cabinets and made the final touches. The cabinet that held the string and wind instruments was 5 feet tall, 1 1/2 feet deep, and 4 feet wide. The cabinet that held percussion equipment was 3 feet tall, 1 1/2 feet deep, and 5 feet wide. The panels were joined together using pocket holes, which required a special pocket hole jig. Corner clamps helped secure the joints so that workers could easily drill holes and place screws. Overall, the cabinets turned out great and the BVES music director is thankful for them. The cabinets were sturdy enough to hold all the instruments.

Adarsh Sheth Builds Greenhouse Bench for Fertile Groundworks

Adarsh Sheth wanted to give back to a life-changing, gardening non-profit that he had already worked with during his scouting journey. He built a 14′ (length) x 4′ (width) x 3′ (height) greenhouse bench for the Little Greenhouse at Fertile Groundworks. The beneficiary uses this bench to grow seedlings, which will grow into full plants, harvested for fresh fruits and vegetables, and donated to local food pantries to provide homeless and low-income families with free food. Day 1 of his project (7/24/2021) consisted of sanding and the start of construction, while Day 2 (8/7/2021) finished assembly and added a coat of polyurethane (for waterproofing and sun protection). The main problem with the previous bench was its old age and non-resistance to rodents, especially mice. The Redwood Lumber (donated by Golden State Lumber) used in his project had a denser characteristic, which allowed for longer preservation of the wood from exposure to the sun, water, and rodents. The polyurethane strengthened its immunity against UV rays and water. In terms of construction, the several hundred-pound bench had to be able to carry a tremendous amount of weight, which was why the 2×4’s and 4×4’s had to have a sufficient number of screws strategically placed to provide the best structural integrity. Several modifications of the frame and legs were made to allow for a structurally sound bench. The beneficiary loved the end product of the successful project, and will plan on using the CAD plans to replicate the project around their property!

Vignesh Senthilkumar Builds Cabinets for the Hayward Senior Center

Vignesh Senthilkumar wanted to improve safety for seniors as the previous cabinets in the Hayward Senior Center were worn out and not functional. Though he did not have any personal connections with the Hayward Senior Center, he knew that they did not have sufficient funds to provide for non-essential items. One of their cabinets, which stored bingo boards, had issues while moving it as boards would fall out. To replace this, he built a cabinet without metal rods and a well thought of design to ensure boards would not fall out. In addition, he built another cabinet to store gifts and goods for the Senior Center’s boutique shop. Vignesh wanted to make sure that his bingo board cabinet had the most efficient and effective design possible as it was made to stop the boards from falling out. With his team of Scouts, he managed to fulfill this goal and make sure that no boards would fall out of the cubbies. They also added a sturdy door, so the door would not swing open. In conclusion, it was a very successful project to help the Hayward Senior Center and it went smoothly even with some bumps!

Vikram Ravi leads Scouts to Package Plants at Fertile Groundworks

On April 2nd, Vikram Ravi led a group of Scouts to perform a service project at Fertile Groundworks, a non-profit organization focused on sustainable and organic methods of gardening and food production. Initially, they were supposed to insert rainwater collection pipes on a greenhouse. The water collected would then be used for crop irrigation in the vicinity. According to Vikram, this project would be difficult and tough work, but ultimately rewarding and fun. Unfortunately, these plans had to be scrapped, as a group of volunteers that was supposed to bring in the materials for the pipes did not show up. Instead, they observed that Ms. Brenda Kusler, the Executive Director of Fertile Groundworks, had been very busy all week with planning a process for future vegetable deliveries, so they decided to help her with that. The Scouts recieved a list of plants that they would have to locate. They packaged those plants to be sent out. According to Vikram, “This took a learning curve as we had no idea what a lot of the plants were, but we ended up getting into the flow of things and had a pretty successful outing.” All in all it seems like the service project was not only a success but also rewarding and fun!

Shiven Aggarwal and the Hydra Patrol Plant Alyssum Seeds at Fertile Groundworks

Patrol Leader Shiven Aggarwal led the Hydra Patrol on a conservation outing at Fertile Groundworks, a non-profit organization focused on sustainable and organic methods of gardening and food production. Ms. Brenda Kusler, the Executive Director there, had planned their conservation project, which involved putting Alyssum seeds, mixed with soil, onto a dirt bed. These seeds were selected as they attract beneficial insects, such as syrphid flies, which kill a pest called aphids. The seeds were laid out in the middle column with a one foot distance on both sides, as they needed space to germinate and grow. Next, the mulch (an assortment of decaying leaves and bark) was laid as a thick layer on these seeds to keep the moisture in for them to germinate and also to keep any birds away from the seeds because they could eat them. Overall, the outing went great and, according to Shiven, the Hydra scouts participated with lots of energy!

Sarim Mundres Builds Outdoor Library for the Ilm Tree School

Sarim Mundres wanted to give back to Ilm Tree, a non-profit charter school that his family was associated with for years. He reached out to them and realized that there was a need for an outdoor library where children can read books during recess. The library would also enable teachers to have outdoor reading time with their students. The first day (2/8/20) of the project was focused on the construction of the library itself. Scouts built the library from plywood, and then painted the exterior of it. The following day was dedicated to installing the library at the school itself. Sarim consulted multiple individuals about possible modifications to the design to ensure the library was sturdy – because a poor foundation could risk the structure falling when children were nearby. He and his team of Scouts rested the library on top of two posts, and then cemented the library posts 18 inches into the ground. In addition, to protect the books inside from bad weather, waterproof weather stripping was added to the interior of the library. Overall, there weren’t any major issues, and the project was a success!

Scouting Experience

At Troop 888, we strive to provide a scouting experience filled with variety and diversity. We love scouts that are engaged in the scouting program and journey, not the end result, and we are looking for parents that are engaged with the Troop and help the scouts have a great scouting experience

Sponsoring Organization

The American Legion is the largest and oldest veteran organization in the world with over 3,000,000 members. The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization.

Focusing on service to veterans, servicemembers and communities, the Legion evolved from a group of war-weary veterans of World War I into one of the most influential nonprofit groups in the United States.

Over the years, the Legion has influenced considerable social change in America, won hundreds of benefits for veterans and produced many important programs for children and youth.

Where we meet

Troop 888 meets every Monday 7:00PM at Gale Ranch Middle School 6400 Main Branch Road San Ramon, Ca. 94582 in the Multi-Purpose Room where we plan outings, work on merit badges and work together toward the advancement of the young men in our troop.

Parent Meetings are held every two months on the 2nd Monday of the month at Gale Ranch Middle School Multi-Purpose Room