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Philmont Redux: A Returning Scouter’s Report
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Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Philmont Redux on 10/27/2010 09:03:37 MDT Print View

Ditto all the thanks for Tom's nice article.

I'm in the process of reviving a long-dormant Troop ...

Good for you! Thank you for your efforts on that.

It will be a few years yet before my son is old enough to go to Philmont

But it's not too soon to start talking like Philmont (or other suitably challenging trip) is the inevitable goal of any healthy troop. Our troop did not have that tradition while my son was a scout ... took me about a dozen years to get another leader to buy into the idea of an annual short backpacking trip. That grew into a strong expectation that we'd enter the Philmont lottery every year except the year following one where we got a slot.

Lance Pritchard
(qkh178) - MLife
Re: Re: Photon Micro Light Question on 10/27/2010 18:55:07 MDT Print View

Thanks to Anna and Kathleen for the info on Photonlight and available clips. Lance

Douglas Prosser
(daprosser) - MLife

Locale: Camarillo, California (SCAL)
Philmont on 10/30/2010 00:54:30 MDT Print View

Great article & pictures Tom. I'm so happy we are finally getting some others to write about scouting activities. You painted a very good picture of hiking Philmont. Even thou I was there in August I'm ready to go again after reading this.

Thanks Again.

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
Philmont - going light on 01/05/2012 15:16:25 MST Print View

Excellent article and photos. It's hard to believe it's been 3 1/2 years since I went with my oldest son. I'm fortunate to be able to go back this coming summer with my youngest son. I had a reasonably light base weight last time (17 lbs before food & water) but hope to improve on that for the next trip.

Thanks to all of you who take the time to report on your experiences and what works (and what doesn't). We are taking a lot of your ideas to the troop to try to ensure the boys have the best possible experience that they can have.

I don't have a problem with the Philmont rules, but I sure wish they allowed the advisors to use hammocks. I sleep so much better in a hammock. :)
Well, maybe someday.


Brian Sims
(MTBMaven) - F
Trail Crew Memories on 01/24/2012 22:09:57 MST Print View

Thank you for the wonderful article. As others have stated, and you lived, this was a trip down memory lane for many of us. I visited Philmont in August 1993, and was 16 I think. I did not do Philmont with my troop (Troop 660, Cypress CA) and my troop never did Philmont while I was active or before even though we were a big backpacking/high adventure troop. My father heard about the Philmon Trail Crew Program while taking his backpacking training course through the Boy Scouts. Another boy from my troop and I signed up for the trail crew program and went on our own. The two of us flew to Albuquerque then took a Greyhound to Cimmeron.

For those unfamiliar with the Trail Crew Program, it is a 26 day outing where for 14 days you perform trail maintenance for the ranch and then trek for 10 (the additional days are for ramp up/down and transition). The best part about it, it's free. All you have to do is get yourself there.

They broke the group of boys in the program, who were from all over the county, into two groups; sending the boy from my troop into the other group. Here I was a long way from home and I didn't know anyone. Our group was tasked with the continued building of a new trail in Bear Canyon, just north of Highway 64 and east of Ute Park. We hauled in by hand large metal bear cans to set up a dry camp about a mile off the road. Every day we had to hike in large Gatorade containers of water every day. Our food was real, very real like pork and chicken store in unrefrigerated boxes. As for trail building we basically built a quarter miles of brand new trail on a virgin mountain side. We did everything from rough cut using two person cross saws, to tread building, to creating rock walls. It was an amazingly rewarding experience! We visited in August and monsoon season was in full effect. The thunderstorms were intense to say the least. One day we go chased off the work site with lightning going off all around us. We ran down the mountain side at breakneck speed - a Boy Scouts dream.

After our 14 days of work we had a rest day at the village and worked with our two Philmont leaders to develop our own custom itinerary. We designed a route that crisscrossed the Ranch; I forget the distance but it was very close or just over 100 miles.

I loved the comment about the Crooked Creek homesteading camp. I vividly remember our visit to that camp (and that was 18.5 years ago). We arrived late in the afternoon and the weather was starting to turn. The camp was staffed by two ladies and one guy (all 20 somethings). At 16 we knew that was one of the luckiest dudes at the ranch. :) Many of the boys were honing their lady skills while we chatted. We ended up leaving just as the rain started and most of us were near hypothermic by the morning.

So many great memories and stories were developed at Philmont. I would hope that any parent involved in the Boy or Girl Scouts will be motivated to get their troop into planning a Philmont trip after reading this great article. I know for myself I departed for Philmont a boy and returned a young man. One week after returning from Philmont I left for a week long backpacking trip with my troop in Yosemite (a trip I planned from scratch). I could tell a marked difference between the boys in my troop and the two of us who went to Philmont. They actually seemed like kids to us. I went on to make Eagle within a year of returning and had a real sense of focus in my life from that experience. I very much hope to return to Philmont one day with my son(s) and/or daughter(s).

BiL Miller
(fellertraveler) - F
Land of Enchantment on 02/22/2012 17:08:21 MST Print View

in june of 1976 i led the 1st coed explorer post (6 boys & 4 girls) in history of the ranch. we also had the pleasure of rendezvous with the first international troop from Israel...all in all what a trip !!!! but for the granduer of philmont it opened my 22yr old eyes and heart to the enchantment of the great outdoors.
thanks for the memories

Edited by fellertraveler on 02/22/2012 17:15:15 MST.