scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Re: Philmont - not?
Chris Summers (ChrisinHouston@AOL.COM
Tue Feb 22 2000 - 13:09:45 CST
I feel compelled to address this online so I'm going to get on a soapbox.
I get the feeling from the post that the writer has never been on a crew at
Philmont and thus witnessed the wonderful growth proces that crews go through
as they start a year in advance towards theire goal. Depending where you live
there are certainly possible local trips with more scenery than Philmont
(though I find find that idea subjective as in "beauty is in the eye of the
A slide show at Roundtable is mentioned. Well I can assure you that
depending on the quality of the camera taken and the photographer, photos
just don't do Philmont justice. As for lounging around the campsite, the
readers of this list don't really know if those boys had just done a steep
climb or a 10 mile section of switchbacks or they were just being teenagers.
We typically got up before the sun and hiked the scheduled stretch and I can
assure you that the leaders were lounging more than the scouts. At times we
The post mentions <not partaking of any learning activities at the various
trail camps (I thought this was meant to be part of the "deal")> Well this
is a boy led program and although the backcountry program is offered at
Philmont there is no attendance role taken and the crew might choose to do
other activities. It is a crew decision. Sometimes sitting and taking in
the view is enough. Sometimes interacting with your fellow crewmembers
teaches more than a demonstration of program. Sometimes you are so exhusted
and lounging around and miss program.
<not cooking hot breakfasts (too lazy), and not even taking desert fixings.>
Well, the writer having never been to Philmont (I am assuming this just as
he assumes the crew's lazyness) might not know that there is only one cooked
breakfast on the menu, instant oatmeal, which does not have to be cooked
but can be eaten with water and requires no stove and little cleanup.
Dessert fixings require extra pots and water as well and time to cook.
Perhaps the crew decided they didn't like the dessert offered or arrived too
late in camp to cook it or were trying to conserve water. Maybe they left it
in a "swapbox" for another crew to share (what a nice Scoutlike thing to do)
or maybe they were trying to conserve space in their packs or cut down on
As for the scout making the presentation, I daresay I've seen Scouts who are
not the best communicators in front of a group, especially if there is a
hostile adult putting him on the spot about his trip. It porbably would have
been a good idea to have the Advisors there too to add thir input. And by
the way, after dehydrated and freeze dried trailfood the pizza is really
good. Also the ice cream!
Regarding other types of high adventure trips I certainly believe in that.
This is an outdoor program! But the beauty of Philmont is it is Scout
friendly, food and tents are provided, opportunities to learn abound, it
requires a group to come together and plan and execute a trip from start to
finish, and it is especially good for scouts just getting into long term high
adventure hiking and camping. It is also there to help boys and girls grow
and mature. It is a process. I sometimes wish advisors were not even
required as in my mind it truely exists as a method for youth to grow and
develop into adults.
Your Owl Friend
Chris in Houston (where I can't imagine hiking for 10 days and seeing better
scenery than northern NM!!!)