Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council, Polaris District
Boy Scout Troop 476 is 60 years old this year and has been in existence since 1957. It has a strong emphasis on instilling self-sufficiency, leadership skills, and moral values into young boys. The troop is a team that partners with parents to help their sons develop into men of character -- active parent participation is key to the success of the troop operation and each parent is expected to have a role in the support of the troop. The troop has monthly camping activities all year round. There are beginner campouts and backpacking trips designed to teach basic Boy Scout skills to the newer, younger boys. For the older boys, there are 50-mile backpack treks in the Sierras, and canoe, whitewater raft, and bike trips. Week-long highlight trips include summer camp at Hi Sierra (near Sonora) and an additional summer camp at Emerald Bay on Catalina Island or other out-of-council locations. The troop is very active with high adventure treks for boys 14 and older and has a regular rotation between all of the national high adventure camps, including Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico (most recently in 2014 and 2017), Northern Tier High Adventure Canoe Base in Minnesota and Canada (most recently in 2012 and 2015), Florida Sea Base located in the Florida Keys (most recently in 2013 and 2017) and the Summit, BSA's newest high adventure camp located in West Virginia (most recently in 2016).
The foundation of the troop's outdoor program was developed by early Scoutmasters, notably Dick Trevisan, and refined by subsequent Scoutmasters and other troop leaders. Dick's love of the outdoors and his ten-year tenure combined to formulate an exciting year-round camping program with themes appealing to both the novice and older boys. The hallmark of the troop's outdoor program is preparing Scouts to lead high adventure treks (backpacking, canoeing, climbing, rafting…) by teaching them the full range of skills needed and by giving them steadily increasing leadership experience. The troop uses the 'trek' concept to teach life, leadership and social interaction skills. Scouts choose the troop's calendar, and each trek is a project, with a Scout trek leader being the project manager. Scouts either enjoy the fruits of being prepared or they suffer the consequences of being unprepared, in an unthreatening and protected environment. As the boys progress through the program, they take on more and more demanding treks, culminating in high adventure trips, which require a very significant amount of skills, planning and preparation.