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The Southwest Chief
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Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
The Southwest Chief on 07/22/2014 15:00:29 MDT Print View

I just had my first Philimont experience without planning it. I took my family on the Amtrak train the Southwest Chief. It's a train that goes from Los Angeles, CA to Chicago, IL over a two day period with a stop in Raton, NM. I noticed quite a few scouts on the train when we boarded in Los Angeles, but I didn't realize why until we pulled into Raton. There we traded our fresh smelling load of boy scouts for a bunch of sweaty, stinky ones.

I never knew where Philimont was until now... and guys: How about a shower before you reintegrate into the public?

David Barnes
Timelines and Philmont on 07/23/2014 13:28:22 MDT Print View

I am going to presume you have not recently been to Philmont. (I just returned 705-U03/Trek 16) In defense of the boys, a returning timeline can run something like this.

1.You get off the trail at 1700 ish, stinky as the only shower opportunity on the trail during the prior 11 days was a cold one and as you know you cannot use scented soap or any deodorant give the bear procedures.

2. You immediately have to start check issued gear back in, getting non trail gear out of security, getting assigned homebound tents etc.

3. You are then marched over to the mess hall to get dinner with the other homebound crews before it closes.

4. You then get your tent settled a bit only to have to make the closing campfire

5. You are then exausted and go to bed without showering.

6. You then get up, eat breakfast with the homebound breakfast crews and then get shuttled onto a school bus to make transportation connections such that getting a shower just doesnt happen. This reality is exsacerbated when AMTRAK personnel refuse to handle or load Scout backpacks and other gear such that the boys literally work up a sweat loading the train.


one recognizes that teenage boy hygine is often a developmental area and though a Scout is clean, a teenager can smell rather quickly even after a shower.

YMMV Greatly,

Jay Lash
(jjlash) - F

Locale: Eastern Iowa
True, but.... on 07/24/2014 07:25:03 MDT Print View

Naw, if you are departing Philmont by train there is no reason to not have had at least one shower. The westbound train is in Raton late morning and the eastbound train in late afternoon. I figure - drag it out of bed half an hour earlier if necessary, the trip isnt over till you get back home so "sleeping in" is not on the agenda ;-)

The part about the day's activities, the school bus ride, loading your own gear and the natural funk of teenage boys is right on though. Even with a shower, by the time they settle in on the train they may no longer be fresh as daisies.

And, by departure day even the adults in the group dont necessarily notice when they (or we) are beyond fresh. Personally, if someone tactfully told me that one of my Scouts could use some attention, I would do everything I could to address the issue.

As we say at our overnight training sessions - this is "group living", everyone needs to be extra considerate, and extra tolerant, of others.

Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: True, but.... on 07/30/2014 16:20:39 MDT Print View

While we were initially scheduled for a 4pm bus trip back to base, we were able to snag an earlier bus ride back - thank G_D. that gave us ample time to clean up and pack before dinner.


While us adults had left clean clothing at base camp, I noticed many of our kids (my son included), only had their their scout uniform shirt to wear. So even after a shower, their dirty pants, underpants, socks & shoes took over their clean scent. So much for a scent-free plane trip back to Maryland.

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
Scout showers on 08/03/2014 13:58:26 MDT Print View

We are able to drive to Philmont and back so we have a bit more travel flexibility.

The other driver and I just told the boys no one was getting in our cars after the trek until they had showered. :)

We also made sure they took a 'base camp' duffel bag with a set of clean clothes for the drive home. That's something that's easy to overlook when packing for Philmont. I don't remember seeing anything about that in the 'what to take' list.

showers on 08/06/2014 17:55:36 MDT Print View

We had no problem showering and doing laundry the day we arrived back in base camp. Its not really that hard. Possibly if you dally on on the trail or in camp and get a late start you could run short of time.

We were always hiking before sun-up, and usually to our destinations before noon.