scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Re: Philmont - not?
Jeremy C. Vaughn (vaug7570@UIDAHO.EDU
Tue Feb 22 2000 - 14:25:54 CST
I personally cannot wait for a chance to go back to Philmont. I was
there as a trekker last summer. I would like to address your points one
at a time:
1. The Scenery -- The scenery you see depends very much on the trek
that you take. The northern part (north of the highway) is very desert
like and as such is very dusty, dry, and more sparsely vegetated. The
southern part, which is where most of my trek occurred, is very
vegetated and beautiful. Having grown up in southern Idaho, and spent a
lot of time in some of the most beautiful forests and wilderness areas,
I can assure you that scenes that I saw in the southern portion of
Philmont were among some of the most beautiful I have ever partaken of.
2. The Food: As someone already mentioned, the only cooked breakfast
in the current meal lineup is oatmeal, which my crew seemed to
thoroughly enjoy cooking and eating, since no cleanup is required the
way we did it (cooking and eating in the foil packet -- just add
warm/hot water!). The rest of the breakfast consisted of granola bars
and jerky type items, little to cook. As to the deserts, we found that
few of them were very appetizing, and that several of them were not
worth the time, cleanup, or water used to prepare. We did eat about
half of them, but we, too, did swap several at food trade locations,
often for dried fruits, drink mixes, and jerky that other crews had left
there. I do recommend the cheesecake one, though! Its not bad if the
time is taken to prepare it correctly. That had to be my biggest
complaint about the trek: my crew often did not take the time to
properly prepare the foods, often going the route of if it is steaming,
it is done. But that is a personal crew thing.
3. We partook of every station/learning experience along our trek. My
crew was very much there for those as much as the trek. They have some
incredible backcountry programs, especially at Urraca Mesa (team
challenge course), Dean Cow (rock climbing and rappelling), Apache
Springs (indian life stuff), to name a few. I recommend those heartily
and cannot figure why the one you spoke to did not participate. Their
loss, I suppose.
4. Yes, the food in town is wonderful, especially at the ice cream
shop. And pretty reasonably priced, too. I also recommend the St.
James Hotel for food.
5. Reasons to go? A. the camaraderie of scouting that I felt there
was nearly unmatched at any other event I have attended. B. an
interesting and fun backcountry program. C. a good challenge. D. it
was a chance to travel cross-country without my parents, a chance to do
it "alone". E. good experiences to remember for life, and friendships
were made. Yeah, I know these things can be found elsewhere, but I
looked at it as a special event that is not easily equaled.
I would say that the poor trip experienced by your local scouts was less
than the norm for Philmont experiences. As a matter of fact, that is
the first "bad" trip I have heard of. Thanks for listening, and I am
sorry for the long winded posting, I am studying to be a lawyer after
YIS and WWW:
Jeremy C. Vaughn
--Assistant Scoutmaster Troop 345 Moscow, Idaho
--Secretary, Es-Kaielgu Lodge #311, Order of the Arrow
I used to be a Bobwhite, but I'll always be an Eagle!
And the only person ever kidnapped into Boy Scouts!