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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Update On Local Boy Scouts Trek To Philmont Ranch



On Sunday, June 25, our Boy Scout trek made it to the top of Baldy Mountain 12,441 feet in elevation. Today's ascent began in total darkness at 3:30 am from our trail camp and have climbed nearly 3,000 feet. We have been challenged by many obstacles along the way so far including a heavy thunderstorm, some altitude sickness, spar pole climbing and leading uncooperative burros along rocky terrain. With 7 days and 5 peaks yet to come there is a lot we are looking forward to.

Ryan Geer.

A crew of teenage Scouts and their leaders will be embarking 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 trek, Boy Scouts from Mt Jewett, Kane, Bradford and Port Allegany PA and Olean, NY led by Scoutmaster Tom Geer and other adult advisors from Troop 410 Mt Jewett, PA will hike more than 89 miles over 11 days. This will be Tom Geer’s 13th trip to New Mexico starting back in 1982. Mr. Geer led 7 treks with his troop in Louisiana during the 1980’s and this will be his 6th with the Mt Jewett Troop.

The group of Scouts and their advisors will carry everything they need to survive during the trek on their backs while hiking from camp to camp. They will participate in backcountry programs along the way including historic Burro Packing, obstacle courses, spar pole climbing, rifle and muzzle loader shooting, mine tours, blacksmithing and gold prospecting. The trek includes a conservation project where the Scouts will learn and participate in the upkeep of Philmont’s ecosystem. Along the trek, Scouts will endure tough challenges including backpacking in bear and mountain lion territory, steep climbs, and often-inclement weather.

“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 will make 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. Interviews are available from the local contact upon request. More information about Philmont can be found at www.philmontscoutranch.org.

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