[Fwd: Philmont weight limits]
Calvin H. Gray (405geezer@IGG-TX.NET)
Fri, 27 Jun 1997 16:46:51 -0400
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Rick has a very, valid point. And how many of the football players who
regularly play in the stadium in Denver, Colorado, would satisfy the
Philmont weight guidelines?
I've been on three previous Philmont adventures. I did what I could to
get in shape but there was nothing to really prepare for the altitude as
it takes a nine hour drive to reach the mountains. But I (and my wife)
had a great time during all three adventures and we didn't have any
major problems. Yes...we had trouble breathing. But one of our crew
members would always utter the majic word "stop" and we would rest.
I believe I understand what Philmont is trying to accomplish. But the
way they are doing it is very poor. With the exception of the Horse
Cavalcades, to my knowledge they have NEVER enforced the weight
guidelines in the past. The material sent to the coordinations (I am
one) for 1997 expeditions did not state that the weight guidelines would
be enforced. Except for the medical form, there is nothing about the
weight guidelines. Here is what the medical form states:
"Those who exceed these limits may not be permitted to backpack or
hike in the Philmont backcountry."
It also states, "The maximum weight for Expeditions if 295 lbs."
Notice...it says "may not be permitted" not "will not be permitted."
In the past, the medics have always used the complete health history on
the medical form to make a decision as to whether one would be allowed
on the trail. If necessary, they contacted the doctor who signed the
form. There was nothing in the 1997 information that idicated that 1997
would be different.
Are they really going to turn away expeditions who show up with two
adults, one of whom is overweight? I don't think so!!!
I know they didn't do this with our troop as we have an advisor
finishing up a trek today who is 22 lbs. over the weight limit.
Does anyone remember the problems with the "lottery" method that
Philmont used to book expeditions for 1993 (I believe)? There was an
out cry and they changed the method to the current phone reservation
bank method. Same thing when they changed the age limit to 14 for the
1996 season. There was so much flak that they revised this to age 14 OR
completed the 8th grade.
My point is that Philmont has a history of doing things which don't show
good common sense (I promise not to use that word "stupid" again). I
believe the same is true right now. I don't believe in "changing the
rules in the middle of the game" and this is exactly what Philmont has
done. This is not what the Scouting program teaches.
If Philmont wants to do enforce the weight limits, fine, but wait until
1998. Inform the advisors of this "up front", not two or three weeks
prior to the expediton.
When our group returns home, I'll speak with the adults and find out why
Philmont let our "over weight" leader go out on the trail. Then, I'll
post an update.
SM, Troop 405
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Date: Fri, 27 Jun 1997 14:21:35 -0600
Sender: Scouts-L Youth Group List <Scouts-L@tcu.edu>
From: Rick Weekley <jmar@IX.NETCOM.COM>
Subject: Philmont weight limits
To: Multiple recipients of list SCOUTS-L <SCOUTS-L@TCUBVM.IS.TCU.EDU>
I just thought I'd relate something that might have some bearing on the
weight issue. Warren Moon played many successfull seasons with the Houston
Oilers some years ago. He was built like a brick. I think that I can say
without too much fear of contradiction that he was WAY out of the
height/weight tables. However, I would also venture to suggest that he
could probably jog UP the trails at Philmonot with me AND my pack tied to
his back and not really feel it that much. I don't think that he had
hardly any excess fat on his body, it was all muscle.
The point I'm trying to make is that mindless reliance on height/weight
charts is kind of like universities relying solely on the SAT scores for
admissions. Yeah, it looks good for the potential lawsuit but it is
grossly unfair for a lot of people.
It would seem ludicrous, to me, for some medico at Philmont telling some
star athlete that he was too heavy and had to starve himself enough to burn
off muscle tissue in order to meet the chart. Thats right! More exercise
will not burn of fat he doesn't have! He would have to get to the point
that he was less healthy in order to qualify.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City