Author Archives: shawntescout

Pioneer Woman: Sequoia Edition

A few months back, I plucked the Pioneer Badge from the Hat O’ Scouty Joy, which gave me incentive to plan a multi-day backpacking trip with some fellow Wilderness Travel Course grads. In several weeks of planning, plus three days and two nights on the trail in the Sequoia National Park backcountry, I knocked out all ten of my requirements! […]


Did you know that a Joshua Tree is not a tree at all? Turns out it’s an angiosperm (that’s “flowering plant” for the fancy-word-averse) that belongs to the yucca family, so considering this was the first “tree” I considered when starting to work on the Tree badge so long ago, I was about two seconds into the […]

A Mayan By Any Other Name

My friend Christy used to live in Monrovia, a quaint foothill community about twenty traffic-free or sixty traffic-full minutes east of Los Angeles (yes, in my land we measure distance in time, not miles). The reason I bring this up is that every year on Mother’s Day, the Monrovia Historic Preservation Group hosts a home tour. During her first year […]

An Explorer’s Notes From The Field

Dearest blog readers, friends, family – I do apologize for the lack of verbiage lately, but it seems that working on the Explorer, Trees, Winter Sports, and Pioneer badges requires me to actually be outside doing stuff, rather than inside hunched over a warm laptop. In fact, I’ve been so busy doing stuff that I just wrapped up […]

Getting Cold Feet

Let’s be real – this winter, most of the United States has been absolutely hammered with foul, freezing weather while here in California, we shuffle around in our flip-flops, drinking margaritas and throwing frisbees. Sorry but not sorry, rest of the country. However, this warm, droughty situation also means that it’s been nearly impossible for […]

Trip Log: Faux Backpacking in Joshua Tree

Trip: Faux Backpacking in Joshua Tree Mileage: 6.0  // Time: 5 hours with lots of driving and breaks Hiking Party: Shawnté and The Pilgrim At the end of a long week, there’s nothing I love more than throwing an unnecessarily heavy pack over my shoulders and hustling my buns off to the desert. This may sound […]

Trip Log: Malibu Creek Death March

Welcome to a brand new feature on Year Of The Scout that you may come to know as Shawnté’s Ridiculous Trip Reports Written In Pursuit Of Earning The Explorer Badge: #1. Go on five all-day exploration trips under proper leadership, using three or more different types of transportation. #7. Help keep a log of at […]

Blades of Gory

In pursuit of the ever-elusive Winter Sports badge, I went ice skating today at the imposingly named Valencia Ice Station with my high school bestie / ice princess extraordinaire Christy and her adorable 5-year-old Oliver. Would you like to know my favorite part of ice skating today? When we stopped ice skating. An ice rink […]

The Winter Of Our Discontent: A Fashion Show

This is a scene from a visit to my mom’s house in exceptionally freezing Milwaukee over the holidays, where after I left, it became even more horrifyingly cold in the never-ending Polar Vortex of Doom. Do you know what I wore on the day this was taken? Jeans, a sweatshirt, and slippers, because there was […]

Mariposa Dreamery

“Happy cheese comes from happy cows, and happy cows come from California.” No doubt you’ve heard that slogan if you’re a Californian…and resent that slogan if you’re a Wisconsinite. Being an open-minded Milwaukee girl myself, I was excited to dig into the world of California dairy for our Foods Badge because all dairy dominance discussions aside, […]