CIMARRON, N.M. — A crew of teenage Scouts and their leaders went on a life-changing summer trek through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, N.M.
Philmont covers 214 square miles of vast wilderness with trails that climb from 6,500 feet to as high as 12,441 feet. During their trek, Boy Scout Troop 154 of Monticello hiked more than 70 miles spanning 12 days.
The group of Scouts and their advisors carried everything they needed to survive during the trek on their backs while hiking from camp to camp. They participated in backcountry programs along the way including horseback riding, fly fishing, fly tying, and flint knapping.
The trek included a conservation project where the Scouts learned and participated in Philmont’s forest fire prevention measures. Along the trek, Scouts endured tough challenges including backpacking in bear and mountain lion territory, steep climbs, and often-inclement weather.
“They may meet only one other group of Scouts on the trail in an entire day of hiking,” according to Backpacker Magazine. “Even in the most crowded destinations, each Scout group camps in isolation, out of sight and sound of all other groups.”
The crew made what amounts to a Scouting pilgrimage with their trip to Philmont, a Boy Scouts of America’s premier high adventure camp and the largest youth camp in the world serving nearly 1 million participants since 1938.
Boy Scouts attending were Gage Larimer, Keith Barnes, Nolan Roeske, Tanner Zarse, Jake Inman, Colby Koppelmann and Gabe Zarse. The leaders that attended were Rob McKinney, John Koppelmann and Tony Larimer.
For more information on joining the Scouts BSA, call First Presbyterian Church at 574-583-5787.