Local Boy Scouts hike New Mexico wilderness
Boy Scouts trek through Philmont
Two crews of teenage Boy Scouts and their leaders recently went on a life changing summer trek through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico. Philmont covers 214 square miles of vast wilderness with trails that climb from 6,500 feet to as high as 12,441 feet. During their treks, two separate Boy Scout Troop 60 Crews hiked over 61 and 81 miles in 10 days.
The scouts and their advisors carried everything they needed to survive during the trek on their backs while hiking from camp to camp. They participated in backcountry programs along the way including rock climbing, black powder shooting, and gold prospecting. “The black powder shooting was really fun” according to Trek Leader Ethan Athey. “We learned how to safely load and shoot the 1830’s replica firearm”.
The trek also included a conservation project where the Scouts learned how to build ecologically sustainable trails. Along the trek, scouts endured tough challenges including backpacking in bear and mountain lion territory, steep climbs, and afternoon thunderstorms. “The thunderstorms were really neat, said Ethan, “we don’t often see or hear lighting and thunder in Paso Robles”.
“They may meet only one other group of scouts on the trail in an entire day of hiking,” according to Backpacker Magazine. “Even in the most crowded destinations, each Scout group camps in isolation, out of sight and sound of all other groups.” The crew made what amounts to a Scouting pilgrimage with their trip to Philmont. Philmont Scout Ranch is the Boy Scouts of America’s premier high adventure camp and the largest youth camp in the world serving nearly one million participants since 1938.