Monday, December 3, 2012

Back from Philmont

Back from Philmont! Was it what I expected? Indeed it was and so much more. There are few times in life when we get an opportunity to relive something from our youth and make it better. That was the case for me when it comes to my adult Philmont experience vs. my experience as a youth.

Of course Philmont was not about me it was about the Scouts and as is typical with youth I am sure they had no idea what to expect. I also am fully aware that complete appreciation for what they experienced will not kick in until many years from now when they start to share memories with friends and family. I know they too will look back and think of it as a true experience of a lifetime.

We did Trek 11 and had six Scouts and two adults. Our crew was smaller than typical due to taking two groups this year from our Troop. I had the great fortune of joining the Trek with our SM. This was his fifth and professed “final” time to take Scouts to Philmont and it was the first time for all of our guys.

Our trip began first with a few days of touring so that we could acclimate to the altitude and have a little fun. This included renting Jeeps in Red River and then later touring the Philmont area museums.

Next it was time for the Trek. Things went smoothly at check in due to the great staff and our experienced Scoutmaster. We were also lucky to get an outstanding Ranger that quickly bonded with the guys. The Rangers are young college guys and gals that a chosen for their skill and also for their ability to relate well with youth. Bob made great effort to go beyond just teaching stuff skills to also be a mentor with life advice that had much greater credibility coming from someone of his age.

Over the many days of the Trek the Scouts had a great time and also learned a lot about themselves and about leadership. Indeed there is no better laboratory of human dynamics than days in the outdoors hiking with heavy packs. The Scouts dealt with the physically stress that comes with hiking in altitude as well as the mental stress of task management and relationships.

As an adult on the trip, I got pure joy seeing the boys go through this learning process. I also got to experience a trip that I know my son and I will remember for a lifetime. How lucky I am to part of the Scouting movement!

PS:  I wrote this post a long time ago. Sorry it took so long to post!

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