Thursday, November 10, 2011

They did it!

Wow they did it! Our Scouts participating in the hiking merit badge hiked 20 miles last week. This was their final hiking requirement for the merit badge and last Philmont urban training hike before moving on to winter stair climbing.

As we walked I thought back to the first 5 mile hike we did way back in summer. I know at that time the thought of going a full 20 in a single day seemed a little far-fetched. Heck I have run several marathons but the idea of walking that far seemed crazy and painful in my mind. There is power in youthful exuberance and the guys had so much fun on all the hikes that the time seemed to fly by. I especially enjoyed the variety of locations around OKC and Edmond they chose for us to walk. It was not very many years ago that walking these trails would have been impossible since they did not even exist.

I was shocked really to read in a Philmont Advisor guide “Rangers that we talked to say that, based on their experience, 80% of the adult advisors coming to Philmont are not adequately prepared for the physical demands of the backcountry and that 50% of the adult advisors had not exercised at all prior to their arrival at Philmont.” Ouch!

I know from my own miserable experience as a youth at Philmont that being physically prepared is a key to actually having fun. I was not in the right shape as a kid at Philmont and my memories now are mostly of blisters and pain on the trail. Our Scouts and adults will be ready.

Perhaps my favorite part of the hike was the look on the faces of folks we passed by as they stared at this group of 14 crazy folks walking with packs on through OKC. I guess it is pretty unusual to see youth hiking 10 -20 miles starting at 6AM. There were also the whoo hoos! from people that would yell “go Scouts!” or people that would say, “You guys must be Scouts!”. Kind of good to know that even out of uniform they can be recognizable by the community is such a positive way.

Now it is time to move on to stage two of the fitness training plan. Hiking stairs at a downtown high rise building. Now that is going to be hard. (well and a lot of fun I am sure)

No comments:

Post a Comment