Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
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Patch from Aborted Boy Scout Camporee
Piru, California

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"Pioneering" indeed. The rain clouds are apropos on this embroidered patch (cloth and thread, 3¾x2 inches), issued in the aftermath of the aborted 1969 Boy Scout Camporee in Piru (Ventura County-Sespe District BSA). It was a washout, and the troops are said to have lost a lot of gear in the flooding.

It could have been worse. We don't know when the Camporee was scheduled, but it was probably in January or February. Both months saw major downpours. January's 10-day onslaught began Saturday, January 18. Several groups of hikers (not Boy Scouts) went missing, two groups with disastrous effect.

One party of six boys from Canoga Park and their leader were reported missing January 20. They were found safe in the Sespe wilderness, but they never made it out. Three of their would-be rescuers drowned with them in the raging, 8-foot-deep creek as they tried to get back to civilization.

Another errant hiking party of seven teenage boys in Santa Barbara County resulted in the drowning deaths of one boy and two of their rescuers from the Los Padres Search and Rescue Team.

More heavy rain came late the next month. On February 25, a Santa Clara River levee broke, changing the river's course and diverting the water out through the Ventura Marina where 300 boats were damaged or destroyed.

Sources: (1) Santa Barbara News-Press, January 11, 2016; (2) "Hell in High Water" by Tim Zimmermann, Outside­On­line.com, January 25, 2008.


LW3544: 9600 dpi jpeg from original patch purchased 2019 by Leon Worden.
1969 FLOODING

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Film: Canyon Country 1969?

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Boy Scout Camporee Washout, Piru 1969

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