BSA Girls’ Troop Wins Top Honors


The Laguna Beach girls’ Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Troop 35, sister troop to Laguna Presbyterian’s BSA Troop 35, won first place at the Orange County Boy Scout Council’s first “All-Girl Camporee” this past weekend at Oso Lake Campground in Rancho Santa Margarita.

(Top): Isabella Powell, Alexandra Keyser, Elizabeth Keyser, Sophia Arata, and Anneka Neukom. (Below): Ani Hovanesian, Alexandra Nottage, May Chapman, and Chloe Duong.

About 100 girls from 10 Scouts BSA troops from all over Orange County competed in traditional scouting events such as orienteering, blind-folded tent making, first aid obstacle course, pioneering, camp cooking and more, all related to the theme of “Explore and Create.”

The Laguna Beach girls earned a perfect score on their pioneering project, building a boat out of wood logs and rope to commemorate the age of exploration. Anneka Neukomm, an eighth-grader at Thurston Middle School, said, “My favorite part about the camporee was that I got to make our giant ship with the other girls and belt out songs while doing it!”

Ani Hovanesian, Alexandra Keyser, May Chapman, Anneka Neukomm, Elizabeth Keyser, Sophia Arata, Alexandra Nottage, and Isabella Powell. (Flag designed by Chloe Duong).

The girls also won first place in the obstacle course and first place for their flag designed by Chloe Duong, a freshman at Laguna Beach High School, to achieve first place overall. Duong said, “All the challenges were so much fun, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to participate in the camporee.” Alexandra Nottage, a sixth-grader at Thurston, credited the troop’s success to their seamless teamwork. “It was great that we got to work as a team using lashings to create our own campsite.” Ani Hovanesian, a freshman at LBHS, was so thrilled, but not surprised to win first place. “We Scouts were so determined to win. There was nothing holding us back!”

The Boy Scouts of America invited girls to join their Scouting program this past February, and Laguna Presbyterian, which has chartered Boy Scout Troop 35 since 1945, was among the first in the nation to create its own girl troop and chose long-time Lagunatic Jane Dorris Heath as its Scoutmaster. Girls are now able to participate in the traditional program, now renamed Scouts BSA, and earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

Families with girls aged 11 to 16 interested in joining Scouts BSA can find the troop website at Girls in kindergarten through fifth grades may join Cub Scout Pack 35 at


 Susi Q Community Needle Arts Guild Gives Back

As the holiday season approaches, Laguna Beach Seniors’ Community Needle Arts Guild is getting ready to package over a hundred gifts of blankets, scarves, gloves, hats, shawls and sweaters to local charitable organizations.

As the holiday season approaches, member “elves” at Laguna Beach Seniors’ Community Needle Arts Guild at the Susi Q Senior Center are getting ready to package over a hundred gifts of blankets, scarves, gloves, hats, shawls and sweaters to donate to local charitable organizations including Human Options, Glenwood House, Age Well Senior Services, Susi Q Care Management, Friendship Shelter and Wayfarers Youth Shelter.

The guild meets the last Friday of each month from 1-3:30 p.m. at the Susi Q Senior Center, 380 Third Street. New and experienced crafters are welcome to join. For more information, contact Maureen Buffington at [email protected] or call the center at 949-464-6645.


Over 90 Local Merchants to Participate in Small Business Saturday

Over 90 Laguna Beach merchants have signed up to offer deals, giveaways and attractions to customers who shop local on Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30. Offers range from 50 percent off, to gifts with purchase and open houses with free giveaways. The Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce supports the “Shop Small Movement,” and is encouraging shoppers to support their local businesses not only on Small Business Saturday, but all year long.

“The Chamber’s aim is to get residents to ‘Think Laguna First’ for things they need, and ultimately that’s a very healthy economic trend. Small Business Saturday is an increasingly important economic engine for independent businesses in Laguna Beach” said Paula Hornbuckle-Arnold, executive director of the Chamber. “Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday was created to promote shopping at small businesses in local neighborhoods. Unlike Black Friday, which belongs to malls and big box stores, Small Business Saturday is more in line with the friendly, family-oriented and independent nature of Laguna Beach.”

Look for the passport logo at participating merchants and at the Chamber booth at Main Beach. The “Citywide Sidewalk Sale” is designed to get residents walking around the town and taking advantage of Small Business Saturday specials. Visit nine participating merchants and get “stamped” in order to be entered to win a prize. Contest details are on the Think Laguna First website at

Residents and visitors are encouraged to take the trolley on Saturday. Neighborhood Trolleys will be running from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Coastal Trolleys from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. For trolley arrival times and schedules, download the Laguna Beach Trolley app, available in the Apple and Google app stores or visit For more information, call 949-497-0766.


Get Ready for Hospitality Night

Sing carols, mingle with neighbors, and watch Santa light the tree. The first Friday of each December, the City of Laguna Beach and the Chamber of Commerce jointly sponsor Hospitality Night. Hospitality Night 2019 will be held on Friday, Dec. 6, from approximately 5-10 p.m. The festivities will take place in the Peppertree Lot (Lot 2 between Ocean and Forest Avenues), where Santa Claus will arrive to greet holiday revelers before the tree lighting at 6:10 p.m. Lower Forest Avenue will be filled with entertainment and merchant open houses. Street closures in the downtown area will begin at 3:30 p.m. on Friday. Visit for a complete schedule of all Hospitality Night events.


‘Open for Construction’ Workshop Announced

Architects, designers, contractors, real estate professionals, residents, property and business owners are invited to attend the next “Open for Construction” workshop from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5, at Harley Restaurant, 370 Glenneyre Street.

The city’s Building Division will cover the 2019 Accessibility Standards updates that go into effect Jan. 1. Topics include accessibility requirements for leased spaces, CASp Reports, accessibility requirements for existing buildings, and more.

Visit and click on the events tab to register or contact Paula Hornbuckle-Arnold at 949-494-1018 or [email protected]. An optional lunch is available for $12 at the door. Reservations are required for food service.

For more information on the content of the workshop, please contact Maria Ring, Sr. permit technician, City of Laguna Beach Building Division, at 949-497-0798 or [email protected].


 Christmas Volleyball Tournament, Toy Drive Returns

The 11th annual four-person, blind draw volleyball tournament and toy drive is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 14, on Main Beach.

The 11th annual four-person, blind draw volleyball tournament and toy drive is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 14, on Main Beach. To play in the tournament, sign up individually for the open or social division. Organizer Kirk Morgan will draw teams. RSVP to him at: [email protected] and indicate if you’re rated and at what level you play. No beginners please.

Games will start at 9:30 a.m. A potluck lunch begins at 12:30 p.m., and the Laguna firefighters will arrive in the afternoon to pick up the toys and take pictures. Bring an unwrapped toy and a dish of food to share (think finger food). There will be electricity for those bringing crock-pots.


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