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Choosing Itineraries: How did you guide your scouts in deciding on the camps and activities?
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Bill Rose
(BRnPA) - F

Locale: Philly suburbs
Choosing Itineraries: How did you guide your scouts in deciding on the camps and activities? on 03/05/2012 11:52:09 MST Print View

I had posted this to the "2012 Itineraries are Posted!" thread and got two great responses but I wanted to put it out to the rest of the forum for comments/suggestions:

So, were going in 2013 and have some time for the boys to decide on the itinerary, but never having been myself, I'd like to have some solid advice for the boys as they winnow down the choices. We'd like for them to do more activities than long hikes since the median age will be 15 and for them to experience things that they can't do in the east coast. I've gleaned from past discussions on the forum that kids have enjoyed the Sawmill (.308 shooting), Clear Creek (tomahawk throwing), Black Mtn. (black powder & black smithing) and camping at places like Crater Lake, Wild Horse meadow, and Mt. Phillips. What are the differences between the Northern, Central and Southern areas? There are so many choices... How do you begin to narrow down the possibilities? All help welcomed. Thanks!

William Davis

Locale: Southwest USA
Choosing Itineraries for Philmont on 03/05/2012 12:12:05 MST Print View

The easiest method we used in the past (and we'll use it again for this summer's trip) is to make a list of all the activities that are available. Give the list to each Scout and have them rank their top 10 activities that they want to experience (10 for the highest and 1 for the lowest). Then total up the rankings for each activity and you have what the "majority" of the Scout want to do. Then you can look at the trek descriptions and find the ones that have the most of these activities in them, and are within our distance limit. This will usually narrow it down to 3 or so. Then it's another vote on these to find your 1-2-3 choices. You submit your top choice and alternate when you send you your trek selection to Philmont.

I also agree on limiting the total trek distance for younger Scouts. For us Philmont was basically a hike each day to get to the activity. Spending less time on the trail means you can spend more time at your activity or chillin' out.

This summer will be my second trip but our troop goes every other year. This method has always worked for us.

Good Luck next year.

itineraries on 03/05/2012 17:50:53 MST Print View

I dont think age matters at all. 14-15 yr old boys are perfectly capable of going whatever distance needed, especially if you keep the packs light.

What is the point of going to Philmont to lay around and goof off? , you can do that on your sofa at home for a lot less $$.

Break camp EARLY, 6am, be on trail at 630, eat on trail even if it means pouring dry oatmeal in your mouth, and you can be at your activities at 1030-11am.

Bill Rose
(BRnPA) - F

Locale: Philly suburbs
Itineraries... on 03/06/2012 07:14:08 MST Print View

Great comments from everyone so far. After reading a number of posts and the replies from my question, I'm beginning to get a better picture of things. :)

Tony Ronco
(tr-browsing) - MLife
Have the boys try Sid Covington's Itinerary Selection Tools on 03/16/2012 12:33:47 MDT Print View

We had two crews that went to Philmont last year. There was a lot of discussion / debate among the boys on what program activities to do, and which itinerary to take.

We ended up utilizing Sid Covington's Itinerary Selection tools. It consists of two parts:
1.) The first part is a program survey that has all the camp program activities and allows the boys to do weighted voting on them.
2.) The second part racks & stacks the results of the survey and does a best fit to the itineraries.

This process was embraced by the boys, and its results were harmoniously accepted.

Here's the link:

It's a great tool.

Edited by tr-browsing on 03/18/2012 13:27:05 MDT.

Walter Underwood
(wunder) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Choosing Itineraries on 03/21/2012 22:31:30 MDT Print View

First, we chose long or short. Do you want more time hiking or more time for program? Our crew decided that if they wanted to hike a hundred miles, they'd be going to the Sierras. Philmont offered program, so they chose a shorter trek.

Next, it was make a list of all the features of every trek from the shorter two categories, not just program but including showers and peaks, then have everybody vote for a few favorites. Then an adult sorted out which treks satisfied a lot of the favorites, then brought those back for another round of discussion and voting.

Mostly, our guys wanted anything that involved a peak or shooting. I was a bit mystified about the shooting, I don't really understand a several mile hike to shoot two rounds of black powder. There are easier ways to do that. But I wasn't voting.

We had a great time. Everybody had favorite activities, mostly different than what they voted for. My favorite was the trail camp at Wild Horse -- lovely spot, no program, just the mountains.