Re: Philmont Trek Length
golden cliff (c60clg1@CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU)
Tue, 7 Apr 1998 19:37:48 -0500
On Tue, 7 Apr 1998, Jeffrey B. Lukens wrote:
> At 06:55 PM 4/6/98 -0500, you wrote:
> >If Philmont shortened the treks to 9 days, 7 on the trail and 2 in base,
> >then extended the season from 60 arrival dates to 70, it would be possible
> >to increase Philmont opportunities to 31,500 campers. Possible dates
> >could be June 8 to August 16 (currently June 11-Aug 9 for year 2000).
> >If they increased arrivals to 450 campers/day that would increase the
> >base camp population to 900 (50% increase), while barely affecting the
> >backcountry population, bringing it up to 3,150 campers (5% increase)
> >because of the shortened trek duration (450x7).
> >Which would you rather see; 31,500 get a 9 day opportunity, or 18,000 get
> >a 12 day opportunity with another 13,500 missing out entirely? That's the
> >question you need to ask yourself.
> >By shortening the time on
> >the trail, we can give that backcountry experience to thousands of
> >additional boys with barely increasing the backcountry camper population.
> >By each camper sacrificing 3 days, they can make room for thousands more.
> >I think it's time for a change.
> >What do you think?
> Theoretically it could work, but you math has some flaws. True, only 150
> more scouts would be on the trail each day, so it would seem that the
> enviromental impact would be low, but over the entire summer, you are almost
> doubling the number of scouts who go into the backcountry.
> We have all seen how deteriorated some of the more popular areas are due to
> over use, and imagine if twice as many people used them each year. Philmont
> would become a factory, just churning out arrowhead patches.
We are nearly doubling the number of boys that get to experience Philmont
with only a 5% increase in total backcountry use. Shortening the time a
person is in the backcountry also lessens the impact that individual has
on the environment. It's twice the boys, not twice the use.
When I first attended Philmont 28 years ago, there was less than half the
number of hikers we have now. The increase in numbers hasn't turned it
into a factory churning out arrowhead patches. This wouldn't either.
Giving more boys the opportunity to attend Philmont is what this is all
about. When slots are booked in 90 minutes for a season two years away,
there is a major problem.
> I agree that it is a worthwhile experience, but for some scouts it is once
> in a lifetime. So why do troops try to go every other year? Some troops
With the current demand and availability, for many Scouts Philmont is an
opportunity that is none in a lifetime.
> If we shorten the trek length, and
> double the number of scouts attending, we will not have any philmont left to
Shortening the trip length allows more boys to enjoy Philmont with little
additional environmental impact. I totally disagree with your logic.
> Leave No Trace, it is the only way to go.
Wouldn't it be great if nearly twice as many boys could learn that
concept first hand while hiking the trails of Philmont.
Scoutmaster Troop 33/Advisor Post 333; DeKalb, Illinois
Three Fires Council BSA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City