Philmont Weight Limits
John E. Bush (jbush@OKWAY.OKSTATE.EDU)
Thu, 26 Jun 1997 11:00:53 -0500
On Saturday, June 21, there was some discussion on SCOUTS-L about the
Philmont weight limits and how strictly they are being applied. Can
anyone tell me if this is new this year? I know this is the year that
the minimum participant age moved up from 13 to 14, so I suspect that
they tightened this up also.
I am advisor for trek 722A. I also received one of the memos regarding
the weight limits and stressing that participants cannot be over the
maximum acceptable weight FOR THEIR HEIGHT. I had not interpreted the
medical form that way. I took it that the absolute prohibition was that
no one weighing over 295 pounds could go on the trail. I was under
that, so I heaved a sigh of relief. Evidently I am not the only one who
misunderstood, or they wouldn't be sending out the memo.
Now I have to either grow 4 inches taller or lose 25-30 pounds by July
22. What's worse is that I am the only over 21 adult on our trek and I
took the trouble to get recertified in CPR and First Aid to meet that
Folks, I have been on three backpacking trips in mountainous terrain
(the Ouachita mountains in SE Oklahoma and SW Arkansas) in the last few
years. It was a bit lower elevation, but plenty of steep ups and downs.
No physical problems--a little tired at the end of the day, but no
exhausted, and better off than a lot of the boys.
Last summer I went on an extremely strenuous canoe trip out of the BSA's
Charles Sommers Canoe Base. Our crew went on a route that was
significantly longer than average for the length of trip. Our
interpreter (guide) even admitted that it was more tiring than normal
for him. Again, I had no significant physical problem.
My own doctor did OK me for the trip. I have had a recent treadmill
test showing no heart problems.
I know several local Scouters who are at least as overweight as I am who
have taken multiple Philmont treks without problems.
The point? Isn't this new policy (if it is new) a bit of overkill? I
recognize what they are trying to accomplish, but it looks to me like
they are throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Anybody out there want to go on a Philmont trek next month with a neat
group of Scouts? I'm disappointed and angry that after working for 4-5
years to get a trek for our troop, I'm not going to be able to go on the
trail. But I'll be d*mned if I am going to let that keep my crew from
John Bush, Troop Committee Member, Troop 828, Stillwater, Oklahoma
plus other Scouting hats too numerous to mention.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City