The twinkling lights of the cities. The soft warm air. The smell of sage. A full moon rising in the east. Griffith Observatory looking smaller than a few minutes ago.Cub Scouts Pack 311, based at St. Anthony Church in San Gabriel, had a lot to observe on their annual night hike which, for the past two years, has taken place near the anniversary of 9/11 in Griffith Park.This year, scouts, along with their families and scout leaders, commemorated the tenth anniversary of that tragic day in American history on their hike that, while stressing fun, fellowship and a chance to stay up late, also included time for personal reflection and group prayer.“Even though it was a traumatic day for the United State and so many lost lives, friends and family, we wanted to present this anniversary as a time we can turn to peace,” says den leader John Camarillo. “We wanted the boys to think about way that could make peace every day.”Traversing the switchbacks up to the summit of Mt. Hollywood, the 10 scouts (many who were accompanied by family members) said they were ready for the evening hike, with 8-year-old Matthew Camarillo explaining the contents of his backpack. “Flashlight, trail mix, extra socks and t-shirt,” he said in true Boy Scout prepared fashion.As the scouts scaled the 650 feet incline to the top¬∏ they were careful not to get too close to the cliff’s edge, and avoided stepping on big rocks which occasionally tripped up a scout or two. Once at the summit, scouts sat down to rest and pulled out snacks, all the while mesmerized by the glowing moon and the dance of street lights, car lights and more that stretched out into the blackness. Because a loud gathering of folks were taking up the picnic tables, scout leaders moved the group to a quieter spot where they began their ceremony. Forming a circle, they heard from Scoutmaster Mark Padilla who explained the significance of this date and pointed out that only one scout in this group had been born at the time of the attack. Adult den leaders read paragraphs from a program with the group responding; afterward, the entire group recited the Knights of Columbus’ World Day of Prayer of Peace September 11.Then Scoutmaster Padilla asked if everyone in the group would say what they could do each day to bring peace to the world. Some of their responses: “Don’t get into fights and don’t stay angry — just let it go,” “Be kind to everyone I meet,” “I will be willing to help anyone in need, no matter what,” “I will help friends and neighbors even when they are grouchy and mean.” Adults, too, were asked and many pledged to teach their children the benefits of patience and acceptance. “The kids were really reflective and thoughtful,” says Camarillo. “What was great was that, by this time, the loud partying people were gone, so it was very quiet up there. It was just us.”Finally, everyone was asked to turn off their flashlights and to reflect in the silence that surrounded them. Camarillo knew that the scouts were in the moment because, “I didn’t hear any laughter or giggles. They were very taking this very seriously.”“Seeing the lights of the city made me think about us now after 9/11,” says 10-year-old Gabriel Pena. “I thought about the mental damages and economic damages, but how the United States has grown stronger since that day. We lost so much that day, but as a people we have grown stronger.”Eight-year-old Aaron Hoang concurred: “A lot of people died that day and we are sorry for that and their families and friends.”As the scouts, leaders and families walked back down the peak in the darkness, illuminated with milky moonlight, den leader Camarillo noticed an unfamiliar sight: a lot of the boys were staying close to their family members. “Some were holding hands with their parents which didn’t happen on the way up,” he noted. “I think they were thinking about what they had heard up top and they needed to be near their loved ones at that moment.”{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2011/1014/sgscouts/{/gallery}