By JONATHAN LOR, Crew Leader
Twelve of us from Troop 201 had the opportunity to experience a backpacking trip in Philmont, the Boy Scouts of America High Adventure base in Cimarron, N.M.
Our trip lasted for twelve days and we hiked about 60 miles for the entire trek while carrying backpacks with everything needed including gear, food and water weighing 44-55 lbs.
Philmont is an environment that requires people to work as a team to accomplish a common goal. From hiking as a group to cooking meals, there’s very few tasks that are meant to be done individually.
When we first started the trek, we were 12 individuals. By the end of it, we were one crew, able to move and communicate efficiently in order to overcome any challenge in our way.
In addition to the bonding experience, Philmont also provided an extreme physical challenge. We felt this especially when we had to climb about 3,000 feet within the span of a few miles in order to summit Mount Phillips, with its peak at 11,700 feet. This hike was our most challenging, and brought us together the most when we had to redistribute pack weight in order to get everyone up the mountain.
Another challenging day was when we were struck by a hailstorm, heavy rain and a cold front. With dangerous lightning nearby, we had to seek shelter under trees and wait about a half hour for the storm to pass. We finally arrived at our destination and most of us were shivering and had few dry clothes. We even managed to set up our tents while the rain continued.
We take many things for granted at home, but Philmont gave us a glimpse of what it’s like not having all the conveniences we’re used to such as running water, flushing toilets, and snacks and food that we can eat anytime.
Looking back on it, Philmont was something I’ll never forget, and I encourage anyone who has the chance to go and experience it for themselves.
Johnathan Lor, incoming Vandegrift senior, was the crew leader of the Troop 201 hiking trip at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico this summer. The youth-led event included 12 local Four Points residents. Dads were on the trip to do things the scouts couldn’t do and to help keep them safe.