Archive for ‘community’

October 29, 2013

Figure Skating: 11th Annual ISI Open Skating Competition 2013

DSC00064Figure Skating: 11th Annual ISI Open Skating Competition 2013

Feature Article: by Lily Adeline Rockwood

Saturday was my first ISI figure skating competition. It was exciting, and also a little scary at the same time. I competed against three other girls. I only knew one of them, her name is Kelly. She is a really good skater.  As we were getting ready for our performances, Kelly was a really great encouragement to me. She kept telling me that I looked really pretty, or that she knew that I would do well. I really appreciated that, because I was pretty nervous. We both did well I think.

While I was waiting for it to be my turn to skate, my friend Ella and I went up-stairs, and did my makeup. It was fun! She is talented at doing costume makeup. We always have to wear a lot of makeup during performances so our faces can be seen by the judges under the lights from far away.  It looked really good when she was done, and I got lots of compliments on it.

When it was about twenty minutes until I had to get on the ice for warm up, I ran down stairs, grabbed my skates, put them on, and found Ellen, my instructor. She helped me stretch and warm up off the ice. Warming up is important so when you get on the ice, your jumps and spins are at their best.  Also, the ice is really cold, so it helps to have everything already moving by the time you get there.

When I got on the ice to perform, it kind of felt like the world was revolving around me. It was a good feeling. The music I chose was “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban.  They played it louder than I expected them to, but I felt like my jumps were higher than they usually are.  Over all, this performance was the best I have ever done, so far!  I got fourth place!

You can see Lily’s routine here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0hGGDxHKYM

Making progress!

Advertisements
November 30, 2012

Nature’s Waterway Project: Clearing The Creek With a Tractor

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Nature’s Waterway Project: Clearing The Creek With a Tractor

Feature Article: by Gabrien D. Rockwood

This Thanksgiving, I spent the week at my grandparents house in rural Northern California.  While we were there, I got the opportunity to help clear out the creek bed of my grandpa’s house.  It was pretty exciting.

First I had to learn how to operate a tractor safely, and drive it. I learned on my grandpa’s tractor. You have to put the key in, and plug in a red plug that is for safety measures. The next thing I learned was to always drive it in low gear. That is the safest gear for people under 18 to drive in, since I don’t have a lot of practice driving yet. Also, low gear is the strongest gear, and the gear that makes the most sense for pulling big stuff.

Next we looked at the project. There was a barbed wire fence and about 15 trees that needed to be cleared from the creek bottom to allow flood waters to flow this winter without getting clogged up.

To clear the fence, we had to dig around the base of each metal post, clip the barbed wire from it, and get it ready to pull with the tractor. After the post was ready, I tied the tow rope around the post and positioned the tractor scoop right above the post so the rope was tied to the tractor and the post. Then I could get in the tractor and lift the tractor scoop to pull out the post. If the post was loose from digging, it came right up, otherwise, we had to dig it out some more. We dug out about 15 fence posts. Some were old and just snapped off, but others were half buried with old floodwater debris.

After the fence was cleared, we could reach the trees that needed to be pulled. We backed the tractor up and hooked the tow rope to the back end of the tractor and also to the dead trees. This part was tricky because the ground near the creek bed was soft from previous rains, and the tractor kept slipping. I learned that if a tire was spinning, you would have to back the tractor up, and try a different angle. It was a lot of work. One time we got stuck in a hole because the tire spun and dug into the earth. I had my dad sit on the back end of the tractor to help us get traction. Then the tires could contact the earth, it balanced out and we could go back up the bank.

One of the things we had to be careful of was to make sure that the tractor didn’t get too close to the creek edge. My grandpa would not have been happy if the tractor fell into the creek. We did have my mom’s van to pull it out just in case, but we were careful, and I didn’t drive close to the edge.

Another of the dangers we had to watch out for was poison oak. Luckily, nobody ran into any during our project, but we were always on the lookout.

The biggest log was the hardest to pull up. We had to cut it into two pieces because the stump of the tree was digging into the earth while we were trying to pull it and the tractor didn’t have the strength to pull the tree, and the dirt. We didn’t have a chainsaw, so we had to saw it in half by hand. It was an oak tree, so it took a long time to saw through. After we sawed through the trunk though, it came out pretty easily. That was a big tree! It went from one side of the creek, all the way to the other side, and had been there for many years. My mother remembered it from when she was a little girl.

After we were done, I could see that the waterway was clear and my grandpa was happy because now his property wouldn’t flood. I learned how to cut a tree, drive a tractor, make a three point turn, tow stuff, and all kinds of good things about the creek behind my grandpa’s house.

July 3, 2012

The Vanishing Oatmeal Cookie Project

The Vanishing Oatmeal Cookie Project

Feature Article by Angela Rockwood

Scout Camp funds are nearly always difficult to acquire, but in this economy, ingenuity requires drastic measures, so scout Daylin Rockwood did the unthinkable– he called in the sisters.

It’s well known that patrons of the yearly 4th of July Pancake Breakfast put on by the scout troops each year are suckers for their sweet tooth.  A bake sale full of delicious delights was just what the piggy bank ordered.  “I knew my sisters were always cooking things anyway, so I figured they wouldn’t mind making some extra.” says Daylin.  “I’m one of their favorite brothers after all.”

Four batches and 130 cookies later, Daylin looks pleased, and his prospects for going to Scout Camp have never been better.

“I didn’t know it was going to be such a big project.” says Daylin’s main cookie baker, Ava Rockwood.  “Well, it’s hard to admit, at first I was like, ‘Aw Man!  I want to eat them!’ but then, I thought, well, it IS service!  So then I felt better.”

But things didn’t always look so smooth.  “Half way through the cookie project, we discovered someone kept eating them!” confides insider Anna Rockwood.  “We had to make two more batches just to compensate!”

Wiping crumbs from his shirt, brother Ethan Rockwood admits, “It’s a lot of work guarding the cookie stash, they probably have enough already.”

Don’t forget to come to the Boy Scout Pancake Breakfast, and on your way out, indulge your sweet tooth!

If you have a scout who needs great fundraising ideas, pass it along~!

Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies

2 sticks butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 and 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon  cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups oats

1 cup raisins or chocolate chips or both!

–contributed by investigative reporters Lily Adeline and Angela Rockwood