Local Wayne area Boy Scouts from Troop 174 and several other troops from Nebraska joined together to hike the third hardest trek at Philmont Scout Ranch in the San Christo mountain range located in New Mexico.
The basic trek was scheduled for 95 miles and covered five of the highest peaks in New Mexico. The scouts began at Base Camp and hiked through several historic camps that were part of the original Philturn Rocky Mountain Scout Ranch. They were treated to a taste of the lives and times of the mountain men, miners and settlers of the early Western United States.
As part of their trek, the scouts used burros for two days to simulate the use of burros by early settlers and miners. They developed a deeper appreciation what early frontiersmen had to work with and endure. The scouts also had two dry camps. Preparation for these dry camps included carrying in extra water and learning how to conserve water in the harsh New Mexico desert.
Along with many side adventures, they hiked up towards Mt. Baldy which has an elevation of 12,441 feet. The 12-day trek culminated with a hike along The Tooth of Time mountain range which allows people on certain days to touch the clouds as they hike.
The scouts also side hiked the Tooth of Time itself; a National Landmark which served as a guide to settlers on the Santa Fe trail. Along with the historical significance, the scouts were treated to a panoramic view of four different states and 100s of miles of beautiful western terrain.
The scouts learn much over the 12 day trek and had the opportunity to put their long hours of wilderness training to use.
As James Simpson, one of the Troop 174 scouts on the trek worded it, “Philmont gave me the chance to practice what we in the scouting movement state: Namely the habit of always being prepared and the ability to survive in the wilderness.”
Philmont has a number of difference camping experiences. These treks range from standard camping, similar to what is experienced in our local camps, to longer treks where scouts are challenged to extend their limits and grow beyond their normal experiences.
Adult Advisor, Jeff Simpson said, “It is good to see young men mature and be willing do things beyond their normal activities and prove to themselves that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to.”