American Canyon Scouts attend OKPIK Winter Camping Program

Nine scouts and leaders from American Canyon’s local Scouts BSA troop just returned from participating in the Okpik winter camping program at Northern Tier High Adventure Base Camp, located 22 miles northeast of Ely, MN.

At this high adventure camp, the group skied, showshoed, tracked animals, ice fished and participated in winter games. The crew pulled their supplies by sled to a campsite at Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to camp overnight. Once there, they began building their own quinzee, which is a Native American shelter used by the Athapaskan Indians, by piling snow, packing it, then hollowing out the pile. A highly trained staff member, called an Interpreter, accompanies the crew on their trek.

Northern Tier is Boy Scouts of America’s oldest national high adventure program, outfitting scouting groups for canoe trips since the summer of 1923. Northern Tier is the site of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Cold Weather Camping Development Center. Okpik Cold Weather Camping, Northern Tier’s winter offering, is the BSA’s premier winter camping program. At Okpik, Scouts experience a true northwoods winter; learning how to thrive in subzero temperatures.

Lead adult adviser Kavitha Sankar said, “We had a great time despite subzero temperatures. There were so many different aspects that were firsts for all of us — building and sleeping in our snow shelter, ice-fishing (though we did not catch anything), playing broomball and competing against other crews from all over the country. The trek was truly a wonderful, learning experience that the scouts will remember for a long time.”

Troop 62 meets Tuesday evenings at the American Canyon Boys & Girls Club, 60 Benton Way from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Anyone interested in Scouting is welcome to attend. With Boy Scouts of America opening the program for girls in 2019, Troop 62 also has a Girl troop along with the existing Boy troop.

News from Napa County students

Napan Jacob Floyd achieved Provost’s Honor Roll status for the Fall 2019 semester at Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash.

Napa student Margaret Carpenter, School of Human Ecology, was named to the Dean’s Honor List University of Wisconsin-Madison for the fall semester of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Austin Peay State University of Clarksville, Tenn., recognized Carlos Ochoa from Napa as one of more than 2,300 students named to the Dean’s List for academic achievement during the Fall 2019 semester.

Jack Goller, a undeclared management major in the class of 2023, from Napa, was named to the dean’s list at Bucknell University during the fall semester of the 2019-20 academic year. The school is located in Lewisburg, Penn.

Calistoga student Malia Kim Epps, Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, was named to the Dean’s Academic Honor Roll for the 2019 fall semester at Baylor University.

Mary Tibbits of Napa was named to the Saint Mary’s College Dean’s List for the 2019 fall semester. The college is located in in Notre Dame, Indiana.

Napa Valley Community Foundation accepting scholarship applications from local students and teachers

Napa Valley Community Foundation (NVCF) is encouraging students and teachers to apply for the scholarships it makes available each year thanks to the generosity of local donors. The deadline to apply for scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year is March 5, and awards range in size from $300 to more than $5,000 per year. Scholarships are available for: local military veterans, or the dependents of military veterans who died while in active service; graduating seniors from local public high schools, and transfer students from Napa Valley College; teachers throughout the Valley who are pursuing further education; and Calistoga youth studying music. NVCF’s newest scholarship opportunity is the Daisy Cavalli Scholarship Fund, which benefits graduating seniors who attend a Napa Valley Unified School District high school and will be enrolling in a trade/vocational school, community college, or four-year college/university. Preference is given to applicants who are the first in their family to attend college. Recipients will receive funding for each year that they are enrolled as a full-time student.

In 2019, NVCF awarded 76 scholarships totaling $259,060 to local students for the current academic year. Approximately 30 percent of last year’s scholarship recipients are enrolled at University of California campuses; another 30 percent are attending schools in the California State University system; nearly 20 percent have matriculated to private universities; and 20 percent are beginning their studies at Napa Valley College. Two of NVCF’s Scholarship Funds are renewable for each year of the student’s educational journey; all Scholarship Funds allow students to reapply in subsequent years. In 2019, six students also received more than one award from the Foundation’s scholarship portfolio for this academic year.

The George and Gwendolyn Goodin Scholarship Fund, a permanent endowment that was established at NVCF with a gift from the estate of Mr. and Mrs. Goodin, longtime residents of Yountville, has so far supported 25 local veterans in their educational pursuits. Six Goodin scholars received funding that supported them every year, from their first classes at Napa Valley College through their transfer to, and graduation from, a four-year university. In one case, a recipient received Scholarship Funds for every year of his educational journey – from Napa Valley College through completion of law school.

Xavier Bianchi is a George and Gwendolyn Goodin Scholarship recipient who transferred last fall from Napa Valley College to the University of San Francisco, where he is working toward his bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and serving on the Bay Area Student Veteran Leaders Council. “This scholarship has made it possible for me to accept admission to an institution like the University of San Francisco,” said Bianchi.

“Even with financial aid and the GI Bill, I’ve had to take out federal loans to pay tuition each semester. This scholarship will enable me pursue my education without taking out more loans, so I am not placing myself in serious debt long after I complete undergraduate, law and business school.”

The Fruit of the Vine Scholarship Fund was established by an anonymous Napa Valley winegrower and is focused on students who are first in their families to pursue a college education. Jan Eric De Castro is a 2015 graduate of American Canyon High School and a 2019 graduate of the University of California San Diego who received The Fruit of the Vine Scholarship all four years of his college education. “During my Senior year in high school, I was skeptical that I would be able to afford going to a university,” said De Castro. “My mom is a single working parent and even though I received some grants, it wasn’t enough. Thanks to Napa Valley Community Foundation and the Fruit of the Vine Scholarship, I was able to fill the gaps and pay for college without having to worry about expenses. I graduated Cum Laude with a major in Human Computer Interaction and a minor in Design, and I’m now starting my first full-time job as a Designer.”

The Lenore Hirsch-Jay Falk Scholarship Fund was established by Lenore Hirsch in memory of her husband, Jay Falk, who immigrated to the U.S. and worked hard at overcoming educational challenges to earn a bachelor’s degree in economics from Golden Gate University. Lenore Hirsch had a long career in education, where she taught many students who were very bright but faced challenges to learning. It was her hope, in establishing this Scholarship Fund, that the scholarship would give a boost in confidence to Napa County students who have worked hard to overcome barriers, and will attend a two or four-year college program in general education. “The scholarship I was awarded helped me to earn my bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management and Tourism and start my first job at a winery, working with the winemaker to learn the business from the ground up,” said Tara Beltrami of St. Helena, a 2013 recipient of the Lenore Lenore Hirsch-Jay Falk Scholarship. “As a deaf individual, I am proud of my accomplishments and this scholarship helped me to reach my dreams,” Beltrami said.

For more information, and to apply, visit, or contact Napa Valley Community Foundation at 707 254-9565 or

If you’d like to learn more about setting up, or contributing to, a Scholarship Fund at NVCF, please contact Sarah Lehman, Vice President of Development, at 707 254-9565 x 13.

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