Re: What is Philmont?
golden cliff (c60clg1@CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU)
Tue, 1 Apr 1997 21:03:02 -0600
I have been lucky enough to have experienced Philmont on 9 occasions, 6 were
backpacking and 3 were cavalcade treks.
Explaining Philmont in a short note is very difficult.
It is a high adventure base and training center operated by the national
council of the Boy Scouts of America located near Cimarron, New Mexico.
The two main Scout programs are backpacking expeditions and horseback
cavalcades. There are some other programs as well, but I'm not going to try
to cover everything.
The backpacking expeditions are 12 day programs where Scouts backpack
throughout a beautiful section of the Sangre de Christo mountains, of
which Philmont owns about 137,000 acres of Scouting heaven. There also
are tens of thousands of additional acres of Kit Carson National Forest
land under use as well (Valle Vidal).
The horseback cavalcades are 8 day programs where Scouts ride horseback
through the same New Mexico countryside. At the end of their trail ride
they compete with another cavalcade crew in an equestrian gymkhana, one of
many highlights of the cavalcade program.
Both cavalcades and expedition crews take part in exciting programs as
they overnight at staffed campsites along the trail. Off the top of my
head some of the programs include... adobe casa, rock climbing &
rapelling, burro racing, black powder, fur trade, western lore, C.O.P.E.,
gold panning & mining, environmental education, Jicarilla Apache life,
campfire programs, etc, etc.
There are also trail camps where the backpacking crews can just lay back
and enjoy their surroundings.
It is a great journey of adventure, personal growth, and teamwork, as
the crews make their way through the 50-100 mile itinerary they have
selected for themselves.
The 1998 reservations day for backpacking crews will be Monday April 7th
for telephone reservations, (I'm sorry I don't have the telephone number
handy -- that's next Monday folks)
For cavalcades it will be January 1998 for the 1999 camping season. There
are only 28 slots for cavalcade crews each year. It's tough to get one!
Backpacking crews range from 4-12 persons, while cavalcade crews range
from 10-15 persons. The 1995 fees were $300/backpacking and $350/cavalcade.
They are slightly higher for 1997.
For more information via the Internet check out the following website...
There are about 15-20 Philmont links listed on that page. You can also
visit Troop 24 Berkely for their Philmont links, and the US Scouting
I was invited again this year to the Philmont Training Center, but I
again had to decline the invitation (not enough time). Someday I hope to
attend a training session at Philmont. They have an excellent reputation
for the finest Scouting training classes in the nation. Hopefully
someday I'll make it. This summer I came close.
There is a dedication plaque at Philmont with words by Waite Phillips, the
Oklahoma oilman that donated most of Philmont. Among those words on the
plaque he said he wanted Philmont to instill in youth the virtues of the
pioneers, that of-- Faith, Self Reliance, Integrity, and Freedom.
At Philmont you can be inspired by the accomplishments of your boys by
day, and at night be inspired by the beauty of an expansive star filled
New Mexico sky.
That's a quick sketch of Philmont.
YIS, Cliff Golden
Scoutmaster Troop 33; DeKalb, Illinois
Three Fires Council BSA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City