On June 27, seven Scouts and three adult advisors from Boy Scout Troop 319 embarked on a journey. Fifteen days later, with over 100 miles hiked for most of them, they returned, much changed by their unforgettable experience.
They had gone on a backpacking trip to the famous Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. For most of the crew, it would be the first time in the beautiful wilderness of Northern New Mexico. The weather proved to be inconsistent, as hot and dry mornings were replaced by rain swept afternoons that were always accompanied by thunderstorms. The Scouts braved these conditions while carrying everything necessary for this trek on their backs. On their expedition, they took part in many activities, ranging from tomahawk throwing to trail conservation to geocaching.
The hard work was made easier by the countless jokes that were shared. To successfully complete the journey, the Scouts had to call upon a variety of skills they possessed including orienteering (navigating with a map and compass) and teamwork. Two notable accomplishments along their hike were summiting Mt. Baldy (elevation 12,441 feet), the highest mountain in Philmont, and when they summited the Tooth of Time (elevation 9,003 feet), which is perhaps the best-known landmark of Philmont. For each of these challenges, the Scouts were aptly rewarded with incredible views of mesas and plains.
As their journey came to an end, the Scouts were in part glad to be able to return to the comforts of modern society, but a part also wanted to stay longer to explore and experience more of the natural wonder and mystery that Philmont possesses.
Submitted by Brett TYLER